Concepts

The delivery of human services is mediated by both strong management and strong technology skills. Many separate fields of human services will find that the cognitive skill building and reinforcement technologies are pertinent to their interests. We will fill this area with material on specific techniques, modes of delivery and training modules. We hope to get some on soon. In the meantime, you may be interested in a short excerpt from “A Social History of Madness” by Roy Porter which says something about communication between people who provide services and those who receive them. Or for those of you interested in education, you might want to read about.

Abstracts Available:

Cognitive Rehabilitation: Cognitive rehabilitation does not assume that individuals start with any motivation to change. Creating conscious choice is the heart of motivating antisocial offenders to change. The program challenges children to make a conscious choice and to accept full responsibility for that choice. Giving choice and acknowledging that they have the potency to make such choices is empowering. It changes the dimensions of the situation, acknowledging potency rather than attempting to control. The understanding of what to change, how to change, and the motivation to change will lead to the ultimate goal of the program: reduction of antisocial behavior. This goal will not be achieved in everyone who completes the program. Cognitive change is self-change.

Generic Cognitive Behavior Management Practice: This article attempts to define the generic aspects to Awareness, Attendance, Analysis, Alternatives and Adaption and connect these to the goal seeking aspects of the individual.

Cognitive Constructionism: Restructuring mind maps: Educators, researchers and policymakers have been discussing constructivism and a constructivist approach to learning [and therefore teaching]. During the past few years, this orientation has become de rigueur in educational circles. The use of a constructionist perspective therefore to help children gain a deep understanding of themselves in relation to others in the world, should not therefore be foreign to most educators. Yet the issue of whether the teacher him/herself should directly intervene in such affairs is one of concern. Two factors must be addressed in making such a decisions: a) is this an activity which requires permission from the child’s family, and b) is this a responsibility for which I should expend considerable time? These are not easy answers, and should be addressed by each school district as part of the framework for teaching. However, in order to make such a decision, teachers and administrators should have a clear understanding of what cognitive restructuring is all about, and as good constructivist, we should start from a concept that most will know and understand.

Anxiety: Everyone knows what it is like to feel anxious. Anxiety arouses you to action, It gears you up to face threatening situations. The “butterflies” focus you for better response. Anxiety in children is normal at specific times in development. Healthy youngsters may show intense distress [anxiety] at time of separation from their parents. Young children may have short-lived fears such as fear of the dark, thunder, animals or strangers. Yet when anxiety becomes severe either exaggerated or chronic in duration, it can disrupt daily life and the ability to cope.

Aetiology: Assignment of a cause; philosophy of causation. If we become who we are through learning, it is fair to ask, how such learning takes place and to identify the origins for positive social adjustment. But before outlining personal growth and development phases, it is important to disclaim any single factor or system of learning through social experience.

Addressing Cognitive Issues in an Educational Setting: While the primary function of the school is to educate, the school also provides a common and important social environment for all children. Perhaps, more importantly, the school is often the first formal opportunity for a conflict with values, attitudes and practices which the child has acquired from his/her family. When the primary function of education is inhibited by the social issues of the student, the school has both an obligation and an opportunity to ameliorate those issues.

Remedial Options: Cognitive change is based on the simple fact that how people think has a controlling effect on how they act. Common themes of antisocial thinking include the belief and mindset that they are being victimized. Many offenders are accustomed to feeling unfairly treated and have learned a defiant, hostile attitude as part of their basic orientation toward life and other people.

Uncertainty & Preference: Decisions concerning the evaluation and treatment of any child are heavily embedded within the child’s social and cultural milieu, and are always the result of ongoing judgment that are either made or not made by significant individuals in the child’s environment, usually parents and teachers. Reduction of uncertainty is a requirement of any system of social intervention. Minimum ethical standards must include determining whose objectives should the intervention aspire to reach and keeping records that document the effectiveness of treatment in achieving its objectives.

Social Learning Interventions: Social education is often taken for granted.While not everyone has the opportunity to bond to a mother who is warm and supportive, have peers who are oriented to appropriate social play and find heterosexual relationships which support positive mental schema about oneself, others and future prospects, we think that somehow they should be aware of what is right. Therefore when they do not behave as expected we identify them as abnormal; meaning either deviant or criminal [perverted or evil].

Universal Interventions: Cognitive and behavioral approaches have been used throughout the history of man. As natural components of life, they have occurred naturally for good or evil and have been extensively honed by spiritual leaders from the oldest known records of the Vedic teaching to Buddha and Jesus. There are three practical techniques in Cognitive Behavior Management: 1) Cognitive Restructuring, 2) Cognitive Skills Development, and 3) Cultural Restructuring

Finding The Keys To Change: The National Corrections Training Institute [NCTI] identifies eight keys to change, which we believe need extrapolation and enhancement. These keys to change are not “in and of themselves” wrong; but they certainly could be improved. The keys fail to identify areas such as unconditional positive regard or opportunities for role performance such as altruistic & productive roles; if we cannot be productive and give to others we probably cannot think well of ourselves and the downward cycle begins, empowerment through personal responsibility and responsibility for others.

Social Education Curriculum: There is a mountain of literature about cognitive, affective and behavioral mastery through learning. Our labor is to mold that literature into a course of study which will enable children to reach this ideal destination. It is the content of social experience in which teachers are variable, not in the process of teaching.

The Neuro in NLP: Much of Neuro-Linguistic Programming [NLP] operates on the cognitive level, i.e. by manipulating images, words, and feelings through an organized process. However, NLP also purports to utilize neurological approaches. According to Lee Lady, the neurological approaches go about changing the mind’s programming by confusing the nervous system in ways that the subject doesn’t directly connect to the subjective phenomena s/he wants changed.

Enhancing Positive Behavior Supports: In reauthorizing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Congress has provided for the use of functional behavior assessment and positive behavior supports. While the history of such approaches have met with some success, they also have some extraordinary failures. In an attempt to address these failures, we enhance these processes with a cognitive flavor.

The Problem with Psychiatric: Mundus vult decipi: the world wants to be deceived. The truth is too complex and frightening; the taste for the truth is an acquired taste that few people acquire. The unethical and fraudlent self promotion of psychiatrists leads to ‘physician-induced need,’ or what the Health Care Finance Administration (HCFA) refers to as an increased ‘volume’ and ‘intensity’ of prescribing. And, when that no longer compensates, they take to inventing diseases.

Casting a New Functional Assessment: This is an article about assessment. It is built upon three concepts: 1) that interactions between people create thoughts in the other person which may be helpful and/or harmful; 2) that this interrelatedness extends to all of the people who regularly populate an individual’s ecosystem; and 3) that these regular participants need to take responsibility for the whole, not simply draw attention to a part. These concepts might suggest that referral and assessment for professional clinical services may be ‘toxic’ as presently implemented.

Creating a Theory of Self One of the constructs that is vital to understand about human beings is that they create themselves. Personalities are not created by genetics or environment, only influenced. Helen Keller and the ‘elephant man’ created elegant selves despite egregious influences of both genetics and the environment. This article explores the ‘elegance’ of self and expands to consider a group theory of culture.

Communicating It should be apparent that both verbal and nonverbal [including gestures, emotional sequences, etc.] modes of communication are salient methods of shaping other peoples thoughts and behaviors. Unfortunately good communication has not been an imperative discipline for parents and professionals who work with children.

Helpful Communication Since human services provided to people with problems in living are contingent upon the sharing of information, it is surprising how little concern has been shown in regard to our words. If we intend to help people help themselves, it is imperative that we examine closely our words. It is difficult to change a language.

Promotivation There are many excellent books and articles available which address cognitive approaches to problems in living. Among my own favorites are those written by Martin E.P. Seligman and those by Matthew McKay with a host of other writers, most significantly Patrick Fanning and Martha Davis.

Reflective Openness This article discusses guidelines to group decision making behaviors. If you believe that your solution is right, you cannot proceed. If you believe that your solution is best, it can be improved. Ruthless compassion brooks no compromise in both sharing one’s feelings and views and being open to having those views change.

What Are Mental Health Services This outline is a starting point for conversation about the development of educational services for what is traditionally called ‘mental health’ services. It posits that education has an opportunity to develop social education services for students If the principle assumptions are sound, creative discussions can take place.

An Orientation This overview outlines the process of such creation and indicates how [and why] cognitive behavior management techniques and procedures can be used to alter ourselves and our reality.

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