I gave one of my 3rd grade girls a mini-notebook to journal in and within days, I had many more of my little ladies requesting their own journals/diaries. One such student was struggling with being very critical and very negative about people and situations around her. After a session where I introduced the basic concepts of CBT to her, I gave her a little journal and challenged her to do some “thoughts homework” for me – with the promise of eating lunch with me if she completed it. Challenge accepted! I took a page and made spots for her to give 4 examples of a positive and negative thought.
Not too bad for an 8 year old who had only recently been introduced to these concepts! I was lucky that this student doesn’t have an aversion to homework, because having her think through these ideas at home lead to greater generalization and faster improvement of her feelings.
Looking for other posts related to CBT? Here’s an individual or small group counseling game of CBT baseball, here’s how I help students be thought detectives, and this is a lesson plan on a helpful thinking vs. “Baditude”.