Behaviorism is no longer an appropriate treatment paradigm for child psychotherapy.
The scientific research on brain neuro-development during
childhood is revolutionizing child psychotherapy, particularly around the
importance and functioning of relationship and communication systems. Based on the scientific research
regarding brain neuro-development during childhood, effective psychotherapeutic
treatments are available for ADHD, Oppositional-Defiant Disorder, affect
regulation dysfunctions involving anger modulation problems (often diagnosed in
children as Bipolar Disorder or depression), school related behavioral and
motivational problems, adolescent behavioral, emotional, and motivational
problems, and attachment related problems during childhood.
A professional understanding of the scientific research on
brain neuro-development during childhood is essential to competent professional
practice of child psychotherapy. So
vital is the scientific research on brain neuro-development during childhood to
the practice of child psychotherapy, that child psychotherapists are either knowledgeable
in the scientific research on brain neuro-development during childhood and the
application of this scientific research to child psychotherapy, or they are
practicing beyond the boundaries of their competence.
Behaviorist interventions are not sufficient for
professional competence. Behaviorist interventions are actually not always supportive of healthy
child development and would be contra-indicated in a variety of
interventions are “evidenced based” in that there is “evidence” that we can
induce submissive behavior (called “compliance” or a reduction in “behavior
problems” in the behaviorist literature) in most children through the application
of punishment. This behaviorist
approach involves the activation of dominance-submission networks within the
social Authority System. However,
healthy child development involves several additional brain systems besides the
simple dominance-submission networks of the Authority System. In many cases, behaviorist interventions would actually interfere with healthy child development. Either the treatment plan recognizes and
is integrated into the broad array of brain systems involved, including vitally
important relationship-based and communication-based systems, or it is very
likely to do more harm than good.
Professional competence in child psychotherapy requires a
professionally competent understanding of the scientific research on brain
neuro-development during childhood. This pdf describes the seminars and trainings offered by Dr. Childress
regarding the scientific research on brain neuro-development during childhood and
its application to child psychotherapy.