Using Research-Informed Pedagogical Practices to Maximize Learning in Youth Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for youth is an evidence-based treatment that typically starts with some form of psychoeducation, during which the patient is taught in a didactic manner about their presenting problems and strategies to ameliorate their symptoms. The learning process continues over the course of treatment as patients consolidate and attempt to utilize their aqcuired knowledge in their daily life. Manuals provide helpful structure and strategies to facilitate this learning process (e.g., using metaphors, personalized coping cards); however, there is variability across patients in terms of what presented content they will be able to access and understand, how they can most effectively transfer what they learn into their everyday life, and why they will become engaged in this learning process. The purpose of this article is to connect CBT and pedagogy by outlining the research-informed pedagogical framework known as Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as it relates to the teaching and learning that takes place in CBT. First, we describe UDL as a lens through which clinicians can conceptualize evidence-based pedagogical principles that undergird common CBT teaching practices. Second, we recommend that clinicians use UDL as a guiding framework when they are faced with barriers to learning due to the variability that exists in how patients engage in, access and understand, and utilize the material. We posit that UDL can help clinicians ensure that more patients are able to successfully access and benefit from CBT.

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Evidence-Based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health


Taylor & Francis

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