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(Re)Thinking Challenging Kids: CPS Training Experience

With a partnership from our friends at the Flawless Foundation, a nonprofit organization advocating for people with brain-based behavioral challenges, Think:Kids recently had the pleasure of having Flawless intern, recent Columbia University graduate and aspiring psychologist, Tre Gabriel, help report on our Summer 2019 Tier 1  training. Here he shares his insights on what he gained by diving in deeper to the Collaborative Problem Solving and takeaways that are helpful to anyone considering training in this evidence-based approach.

“There are more than 15 million kids with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges in North America alone. Most are misunderstood and being ineffectively disciplined. I learned this recently, when I attended a Tier 1 training for “Think:Kids in Collaborative Problem Solving,” led by Think:Kids Director & Founder, Dr. Stuart Ablon and Think:Kids trainer, Heather Johnson, LCSW. Think:Kids is a program in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital that trains parents, teachers, clinicians and adults working with youth in Collaborative Problem Solving® (CPS), a revolutionary, evidence-based approach to helping children with behavioral challenges. Instead of viewing these children as “lazy” or “unmotivated,” CPS recognizes that these kids simply require a different approach—at home and in school. 

CPS offers participants an alternative model for understanding challenging (and often exasperating) behavior in children: that kids often lack the skill—not the will—to behave differently. Unlike traditional disciplinary approaches, CPS avoids the use of control and reward-based discipline, in favor of teaching kids and parents skills that tackle challenging behaviors and fosters trusting relationships.

This three-day training was loaded with informative strategies and techniques. When I learned that the vast majority of people in attendance worked with students, I felt heartened that this training was reaching the necessary audience. Here are some of my key takeaways from each day of the training…”  Read more >>


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