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Advances in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Positive Psychology Interventions to Promote Resilience, Positive Emotions & Personal Growth in Youth
Original Recording Date :

Course Format

Recorded webinar.

This training was made in part by the support of the NYS OMH Children, Youth, and Families Mental Health Evidence-Based Practice Project. Learn more about the project and see if you are eligible for special training opportunities. 

This program will review advances in cognitive behavioral therapy from the field of Positive Psychology with a focus on practical, youth friendly, evidence-based interventions to promote resilience, positive emotions and personal growth in youth.

Positive Psychology, since its’ inception in the mid-1990s by Martin Seligman, Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, has been a leading force in the development of innovative, evidence-based interventions for youth.

Positive Psychology contributions represent a noteworthy paradigm shift with respect to traditional cognitive-behavioral treatments. No longer is the focus limited to what is wrong with our client and what needs to be fixed. In contrast to traditional cognitive behavioral therapy and its’ focus on psychopathology, Positive Psychology offers a number of innovative interventions that focus on promoting strengths, resiliency, positive emotions and personal growth.

This training will provide training in practical, evidence based, youth friendly skills that attendees can readily use with young clients to help them be resilient and persevere through challenges, experience positive emotions, build supportive inter-personal relationships and pursue their passions with courage and confidence.

Through the use of structured therapeutic activities, client handouts and worksheets attendees will learn how to implement a variety of innovative Positive Psychology interventions such as: self-regulation, perseverance, gratitude, self-compassion, optimism, a growth mindset, grit, identifying & utilizing personal character strengths, goal setting, values clarification, communication & social skills, peer conflict resolution and many more. 

In addition to learning skills to intervene with youth, the training will provide a number of practical methods to involve parents and enlist their participation in helping their children learn the skills being offered. 

This training will provide a valuable set of clinical tools to complement traditional interventions and enhance your clinical competency with youth. Whether your young client is struggling with depression, anxiety, the effects of trauma or disruptive behavior, these youth friendly tools will help your client learn essential skills to develop a positive, fulfilling life.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the Positive Psychology theoretical foundation and research evidence base.
  2. Identify methods to enhance youth resilience to manage depression, anxiety, trauma and various life challenges.
  3. Practice interventions to increase the experience of positive emotions.
  4. Use therapeutic techniques to promote personal growth and actualization of life goals.
  5. Discuss approaches to involve parents and help them promote their child’s resilience, positive emotions, and personal growth.

Research: There is a lot of research available on the subject of cognitive behavioral therapy and anxiety on Google Scholar.

Target Audience: social workers, mental health therapists, and other clinicians providing mental health services to children, youth, and families who meet the NYS OMH training grant eligibility criteria

Customer Service

ADA Accommodations: If you require any support for your ADA needs in the United States, please contact us by email at least 3 weeks prior to the event by email at or by phone at 716-829-5843.

Customer Service: We are happy to respond to any concerns or questions you may have. Please contact us at by email at or by phone at 716-829-5843.

David M. Pratt, MSW, PhD

David M. Pratt, Ph.D., MSW, is a New York State Licensed Psychologist with 40+ years’ experience working with children, adolescents and families. Dr. Pratt is in private practice at the Western New York Psychotherapy Services in Amherst, NY and a trainer with PESI, Inc. He is presently on faculty with the University at Buffalo, School of Social Work, Office of Continuing Education and a member of New York State, Office of Mental Health Advisory Board on Evidence-Based Treatments for Youth. He was the Principal Psychologist at the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University at Buffalo and Adjunct Professor/Lecturer, University at Buffalo Counseling, School and Educational Psychology department.

Dr. Pratt has conducted numerous trainings in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at local, state, national and international forums. He is the author of CBT Toolkit for Depressed, Anxious and Suicidal Children and Adolescents (PESI Publishing, Inc., 2019) and Advanced CBT Toolbox for Children and Adolescents: Promoting Resilience, Positive Emotions and Personal Growth (in press, PESI, Publishing, Inc.).


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