Share |

Printable version of this page (PDF) 

Cognitive Behavioural Skills Training

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is based on scientific research.

You can ask your family physician, your psychologist or your psychiatrist about CBT and they can direct you to a health care professional dealing specifically in this area.  The principles of CBT have also been incorporated in some self-directed resources (i.e. self-help books, computer programs, DVDs).Children with mental health concerns often have challenges in the areas of social skills, problem-solving and managing their frustration.  Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is based on scientific research, and is the process of teaching people the skills and attitudes necessary to associate with others in ways that are mutually satisfactory and gratifying.  CBT involves learning how to change your thoughts (or cognitions) and your actions (or behaviours), which is why it is called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.  CBT was primarily developed out of behaviour therapy, cognitive therapy and rational emotive behaviour therapy and has become widely used to treat various kinds of mental health concerns, including mood disorders and anxiety disorders and has many clinical and non-clinical applications.

Some parenting and teaching strategies to help change behaviour and promote problem-solving are:

  • A presentation called “Cognitive-Behavioural Brake Jobs” by Dr. B. Duncan McKinlay, psychologist.  To view his presentation slides, visit and type in the upper Search Box ‘cognitive-behavioural’.
  • A DVD called “Leaky Brakes: What they are. What they AREN’T” by Dr. Duncan McKinlay, psychologist. This DVD can be purchased online at and type in the upper Search box “DVD” or call 1-519-858-2774 ext. 2074.This DVD is an excellent resource for parents, children and youth, educators and medical professionals. This DVD is also available at the KidsLink Resource Centre – 519-741-1122 Ext. 225.
  • A DVD or book called “The Explosive Child” by Dr. Ross Greene.  Almost everyone knows an explosive child, one whose frequent, severe fits of temper leave his or her parents standing helpless in their fear, frustration, and guilt.  Most of these parents have tried everything — reasoning, behaviour modification, therapy, medication — but to no avail.  Throughout this compassionate book, Dr. Greene demonstrates why traditional treatments don’t work for these kids and offers a new conceptual framework for understanding their behaviour, along with new language to describe it.  He explains the latest neuroscience findings about the importance of flexibility, and, most important, he shows parents specific, practical ways they can recognize the signs of an impending explosion, defuse tension, and reduce frustration levels for the entire family.  This DVD is available at Kitchener Public Library and Waterloo Public Library.
  • A book called Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them” by Dr. Ross Greene.  Emphasizing the revolutionarily simple and positive notion that “kids do well if they can”, Dr. Greene persuasively argues that kids with behavioral challenges are not attention-seeking, manipulative, limit-testing, coercive, or unmotivated, but that they lack the skills to behave adaptively. And when adults recognize the true factors underlying difficult behavior and teach kids the skills in increments they can handle, the results are astounding:  the kids
    overcome their obstacles; the frustration of teachers, parents, and classmates diminishes; and the well-being and learning of all students are enhanced. In Lost at School, Dr. Greene describes how his road-tested, evidence based approach – called Collaborative Problem Solving – can help challenging kids at school. Available through Waterloo Public Library.
  • A book called “Teaching the Tiger” by Marilyn Dornbush, Ph.D. and Sheryl Pruitt, M.Ed.Provides information to teachers and parents to aid in the teaching of students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Tourette Syndrome or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  Available at Kitchener Public Library.
  • “Educators Resource Kit” by the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada.  This kit contains a DVD, an Interactive Workbook, a Facilitators Guide, Symptom Checklists, and a copy of Understanding Tourette Syndrome: A Handbook for Educators, 2nd Edition!  This handbook provides a comprehensive overview of Tourette Syndrome and other neurological disorders such as Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity (ADHD).  It is an invaluable guide for educators looking for strategies to use in the classroom.



Child and Parent Resource Institute –  – or 519-858-2774 for information on the Brake Shop and Leaky Breaks 101
Dr. Ross Greene, Ph.D. – “The Explosive Child” book, video or DVD or “Lost at School” book -“Teaching the Tiger” available online at or or “Educators Resource Kit” available online