School Psychology Review

A Brief Clinical History of Cognitive-Behavior Therapy With Children

W. Edward Craighead

pp. 5-13

Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions for Classroom and Academic Behaviors

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ABSTRACT: Although there were earlier applications, the directly traceable history of behavior therapy with children began in the late 1950’s. The major emphasis of behavior therapy with children in the 1960’s was on operant procedures or applied behavior analysis. The late sixties and early seventies witnessed an increased emphasis on internal or cognitive variables as the target and mechanism of therapeutic change; hence the term cognitive-behavior therapy.Cognitive psychology influenced this shift in emphasis in three ways: a cognitive information processing explanation of modeling effects: the employment of the cognitive-developmental language literature in the conception and application of self-instructional training and the development of clinical procedures based on the problem-solving literature. A second factor in the development of cognitive-behavior therapy was the evolution of the cognitive explanation of self-control procedures in clinical work. A third factor was the influence of cognitive therapy, particularly the writings of Ellis and Beck. Suggestions are offered for areas which might be valuable for cognitive-behavior therapists to consider in the eighties.