Fundamentals of Child and Adolescent Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MGH Residents)


This course will review the theoretical basis and practical applications of evidence-based psychotherapies for children and adolescents.  It will focus on well-established therapeutic skills for children with mild-to-moderate mental health needs and their families. The course will review case conceptualization and the application of cognitive-behavioral skills including relaxation and mindfulness skills to reduce physiologic arousal, cognitive strategies to address unhelpful thought processes and enhance coping and resilience, and behavioral skills to reduce maladaptive avoidance, increase engagement in pleasant and meaningful activities, and enhance positive parenting practices.  The presenter will review strategies to enhance child and family engagement and address common challenges when conducing therapy with youth.  The course will incorporate didactic training with role plays to illustrate key concepts, and regular live question and answer sessions with faculty to facilitate application of therapy skills in a culturally informed manner.

Target Audience

The course is designed for primary care physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists , social workers and other providers in the US and internationally who are providing behavioral health care to children and adolescents with anxiety, OCD, mood, and other common psychological problems.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Explain how to develop an individualized treatment plan based on conceptualization of the presenting case
  • Describe how to conduct a thorough assessment of the child and family
  • Describe how to collaborate with the youth and family to define goals for intervention
  • Explain how to use psychoeducation strategies with children and families
  • Explain how to use relaxation and mindfulness techniques with youth to reduce physical symptoms of stress and anxiety
  • Explain how to use cognitive strategies with youth to help them recognize and challenge unhelpful, negative thinking patterns
  • Describe out to use behavioral activation strategies to address depression in youth. 
  • Describe how to develop progressive hierarchies of exposure to address anxiety disorders or OCD. 
  • Explain how to use relapse prevention strategies to maintain progress with pediatric patients
  • Describe and address common challenges in implement CBT with youth
Course summary
Registration opens: 
Course closes: 

Participants must complete each week sequentially and while completing all components of each week to receive credit, including:

  • Activity Overview
  • Video Lecture
  • Reading and Resources (required and optional)
  • Q&A with Faculty
  • Discussion Board
  • Case Assessment


Module 1: Introduction to the CBT model, case conceptualization, assessment, goal-setting, and psychoeducation

Module 2: Affective education, relaxation and mindfulness, and cognitive techniques

Module 3: Behavioral techniques for addressing depression and anxiety disorders in youth, including behavioral activation and exposure practice

Module 4: Relapse prevention, addressing common challenges, a review of empirical evidence for the use of CBT with youth, parenting work, and new directions in the field (including use of technology, telehealth, and adaptations for special populations)

Please login or register to take this course.
Please login or register to take this course.
Please login or register to take this course.
Please login or register to take this course.
Please login or register to take this course.

Course Director(s)

Aude Henin, PhD
Dina Hirshfeld-Becker, PhD


David H. Rubin, MD, content reviewer
Jane Pimental, MPH
Susan E. Sprich, PhD, psychologist reviewer
Aude Henin, PhD
Dina Hirshfeld-Becker, PhD

Disclosure Information 

In accord with the disclosure policy of McLean Hospital as well as guidelines set forth by the Accreditation Council on Continuing Medical Education, all people in control of educational content, including speakers, course directors, planners, and reviewers, have been asked to disclose all financial relationships with ineligible companies for the past 24 months, as defined below:                        

Ineligible Companies 

The ACCME defines an “Ineligible company” as “those whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.”  For more information, visit

Financial Relationships

Financial relationships are those relationships in which the individual benefits by receiving a salary, royalty, intellectual property rights, consulting fee, honoraria, ownership interest (e.g., stocks, stock options or other ownership interest, excluding diversified mutual funds), or other financial benefit.  Financial benefits are usually associated with roles such as employment, management position, independent contractor (including contracted research), consulting, speaking and teaching, membership on advisory committees or review panels, board membership, and other activities from which remuneration is received, or expected. 

Mitigation of Financial Relationships

All financial relationships are reviewed to determine which ones are relevant, and then measures are taken to mitigate all relevant financial relationships and ensure that they do not insert commercial bias into the content of the education.   

The following planners, speakers, content reviewers, and others in control of educational content have reported financial relationships with ineligible companies over the past 24 months. Measures have been taken to mitigate the impact of these financial relationships on the educational content and ensure that they do not insert commercial bias into the content of this education.  

Susan Sprich, PhD
Royalties (Co-Author): Oxford University Press
Royalties (Co-Edited Book): Springer
Honoraria (Associate Editors): Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT)

All other individuals in a position to control the content of this educational activity have reported no financial relationships with ineligible companies.

Hardware/Software Specifications

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 4+. This Web site requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.

Optimal System Configuration

Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.1+
Browser: Firefox 3+, Internet Explorer 8.0+, Safari 4.0+, or Google Chrome 7.0+
Operating System: Windows XP+ or Mac OS X 10.4+
Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

Minimum Requirements

Windows PC:500-MHz Pentium II; Windows XP or higher; 128 MB RAM; Video Card at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card at least 16-bit; Macromedia Flash Player 10 or higher, audio playback with speakers for programs with video content; Firefox 1.1+, Internet Explorer 7.0+, Safari 1.0+, Google Chrome, or Opera
Macintosh: Mac OS X 10.3 or higher with latest updates installed; 1.83MHz Intel Core Duo or faster; RAM: 128MB or more; Video Card: at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card: at least 16-bit

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