School Psychology Review

Some Considerations in Evaluating the Clinical Utility of Cognitive Behavior Therapy With Children

Benjamin B. Lahey, Cyd C. Strauss

pp. 67-74

Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions for Classroom and Academic Behaviors

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ABSTRACT: Because cognitive behavior therapy is a promising approach for helping children, it is important to carefully evaluate the evidence supporting its effectiveness before advocating it or using it in applied settings. Eight criteria were proposed for use in evaluating the clinical utility of new treatment methods. A treatment method should be considered for use in applied settings only if it can meet most or all of the following criteria: (1) methodologically adequate research has been conducted evaluating its effectiveness; (2) clinically meaningful measures have been used in the evaluation research: (3) the treatment is effective: (4) the treatment is cost-effective; (5) the treatment is comparable or superior to alternate treatments in terms of effectiveness: (6) the treatment has no unacceptable negative side effects: (7) the treatment does not require an unreasonable amount of cooperation and effort from teachers and parents: and (8) the treatment can be used by others in the way it was developed and validated. The research on three types of cognitive behavior therapy (social problem solving,self-instruction, and cognitive fear reduction methods) is reviewed and it is concluded that it is premature to use cognitive behavior therapy in applied settings except under limited conditions.