Assignment: Therapeutic Relationships

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A child’s or adolescent’s disruptive behaviors can be challenging for a clinician. Disruptive behaviors can interrupt the counseling process, and they often signify the existence of emotions a child or adolescent is unable to express verbally. Some prospective child and adolescent clinicians may be ill-equipped to manage disruptive behaviors or recognize that the behaviors are symptomatic of an issue or disorder. This lack of knowledge may elicit a nontherapeutic response from a clinician, which can damage the development of a therapeutic relationship. A therapeutic relationship is vital in order to counsel children and adolescents effectively.


To prepare for this Assignment, review the Disruptive Behaviors Part Two media and select a particular child or adolescent with a disruptive behavior. Consider one strength and one weakness of the therapeutic relationship with the child or adolescent during the counseling sessions.


The Assignment (3–5 pages) is in two parts:

Part One: Ineffective Interventions

  • Identify the less effective counseling session you selected, and explain why it was less effective.
  • Identify and explain the intent of the target goal in the counseling session.
  • Explain one ineffective aspect of the counseling approach and why.
  • Explain one misstep the counselor made that inhibited the development of a therapeutic relationship and why.

Part Two: Effective Interventions

  • Identify the more effective counseling session you selected, and explain why it was more effective.
  • Explain one intended goal the counselor was attempting to accomplish in the counseling approach and why.
  • Explain one ineffective aspect of the counseling approach and why.
  • Explain two critical skills the counselor demonstrated that promoted the development of a therapeutic relationship and how those critical skills were used.

Required Readings

Hamblin, J. (2017, December 11). How spanking affects later relationships. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2017/12/the-fourth-r/547583/
Taggart, J., Eisen, S., & Lillard, A. S. (2019). The current landscape of US children’s television: Violent, prosocial, educational, and fantastical content. Journal of Children and Media13(3), 276–294. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1080/17482798.2019.1605916
Klein, B., Damiani-Taraba, G., Koster, A., Campbell, J., & Scholz, C. (2015). Diagnosing attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children involved with child protection services: are current diagnostic guidelines acceptable for vulnerable populations?. Child: care, health and development, 41(2), 178-185.
Powers, C. J., & Bierman, K. L. (2013). The multifaceted impact of peer relations on aggressive-disruptive behavior in early elementary school. Developmental Psychology, 49(6), 1174–1186.
As you review this article, consider the impact of peer relations on disruptive behavior. Focus on how peer relations contribute to aggressive-disruptive behavior.
Document: DSM-5 Bridge: Disruptive Behaviors (PDF)
Use this document to guide you through the definition of disruptive behaviors for this week’s Discussion.
Cochran, J. L., Cochran, N. H., Nordling, W. J., McAdam, A., & Miller, D. T. (2010). Two case studies of child-centered play therapy for children referred with highly disruptive behavior. International Journal of Play Therapy, 19(3), 130–143.
As you review this article, consider how child-centered play therapy, as a therapeutic approach, supports disruptive behavior
Eyberg, S. M., Nelson, M. M., & Boggs, S. R. (2008). Evidence- based psychosocial treatments for children and adolescents with disruptive behavior. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 37(1), 215–237.
As you review this article, consider the evidence-based psychosocial treatments used for children and adolescents with disruptive behavior. Focus on how clinicians might use these therapeutic approaches in their professional practice.
Pardini, D. A., Frick, P. J., & Moffitt, T. E. (2010). Building an evidence base for DSM-5 conceptualizations of oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder: Introduction to the special section. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 119(4), 683–688.
As you review this article, consider the recommended revisions to the diagnostic criteria for oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD). Focus on this information might inform your professional practice.

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2014c). Disruptive behaviors [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note:  The approximate length of this media piece is 20 minutes.

In this media program, Drs. John Sommers-Flanagan and Eliana Gil discuss disruptive behaviors. Focus on how disruptive behaviors can be regulated.

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Laureate Education (Producer). (2014d). Disruptive behaviors: Part one [Interactive media]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Disruptive Behaviors: Part One Transcript (PDF)
In this media program, you will analyze four disruptive behaviors in children and adolescents. Focus on your analysis and answering the questions for each disruptive behavior.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2014e). Disruptive behaviors: Part two [Interactive media]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Disruptive Behaviors: Part Two Transcript (PDF)
In this media program, you will select one counseling session from the same four disruptive behaviors you previously viewed. Focus on the session and answering the questions addressed in the media.
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    • Many children and adolescents who go to counseling engage in behaviors that are disruptive to others. These children and adolescents are sometimes labeled as having “externalizing” disorders …