8 Definitions of psychological interventions

8 Definitions of psychological interventions

Anger control: usually offered to children who are aggressive at school, anger control includes a number of cognitive and behavioural techniques similar to cognitive problem-solving skills training (see below). It also includes training of other skills such as relaxation and social skills.

Brief strategic family therapy: an intervention that is systemic in focus and is influenced by other approaches. The main elements include engaging and supporting the family, identifying maladaptive family interactions and seeking to promote new and more adaptive family interactions.

Cognitive problem-solving skills training: an intervention that aims to reduce children's conduct problems by teaching them different responses to interpersonal situations. Using cognitive and behavioural techniques with the child, the training has a focus on thought processes. The training includes:

  • teaching a step-by-step approach to solving interpersonal problems

  • structured tasks such as games and stories to aid the development of skills

  • combining a variety of approaches including modelling and practice, role-playing and reinforcement.

Functional family therapy: a family-based intervention that is behavioural in focus. The main elements include engagement and motivation of the family in treatment, problem-solving and behaviour change through parent-training and communication-training, and seeking to generalise change from specific behaviours to positively influence interactions both within the family and with community agencies such as schools.

Multidimensional treatment foster care: using strategies from family therapy and behaviour therapy to intervene directly in systems and processes related to antisocial behaviour (for example, parental discipline, family affective relations, peer associations and school performances) for children or young people in foster care and other out-of-home placements. This includes group meetings and other support for the foster parents and family therapy with the child's biological parents.

Multisystemic therapy: using strategies from family therapy and behaviour therapy to intervene directly in systems and processes related to antisocial behaviour (for example, parental discipline, family affective relations, peer associations and school performances) for children or young people.

Parent-training programmes: an intervention that aims to teach the principles of child behaviour management, to increase parental competence and confidence in raising children and to improve the parent/carer–child relationship by using good communication and positive attention to aid the child's development. Examples of well-developed programmes are the Triple P (Sanders et al. 2000) and Webster-Stratton (Webster-Stratton et al. 1988).

Self-talk: the internal conversation a person has with themselves in response to a situation. Using or changing self-talk is a part of anger control training (see above).

Social problem skills training: a specialist form of cognitive problem-solving training that aims to:

  • modify and expand the child's interpersonal appraisal processes through developing a more sophisticated understanding of beliefs and desires in others

  • improve the child's capacity to regulate his or her own emotional responses.

References

Sanders MR, Markie-Dadds C, Tully LA et al. (2000) The triple positive parenting program: a comparison of enhanced, standard, and self-directed behavioral family intervention for parents of children with early onset conduct problems. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 68: 624–40.

Webster-Stratton C, Kolpacoff M, Hollinsworth T (1988) Self-administered videotape therapy for families with conduct-problem children: comparison with two cost-effective treatments and a control group. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 56: 558–66.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)