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Cognitive Counseling for Person with Special Needs
Authors: Herb Lovett
Herb described this seminal book in the following words:
"The working title for my first book was Person to Person, but my editor thought it needed more of an academic tone so it was published as Cognitive Counselling and Persons with Special Needs. At the time, this didn't bother me much. I thought the book would quietly disappear no matter what it was called. But, thanks to the kind support of virtual strangers, the book gained a wider readership and I was invited to talk about what I had written. Suddenly "cognitive counseling" seemed far too narrow for my purposes. But when people asked me what to call this way of thinking, I was somewhat at a loss. I had not developed a new technology, per se, but a way of thinking about behavior. And little of what I articulated was any more than the Golden Rule. So it was hard to think of naming something as if I had invented it and owned the patent.
"In 1988, I was invited to do a series of workshops in Pennsylvania and, when pressed to give these events a title, I suggested we just call them "positive approaches for people with difficult behavior." The idea was that positive approaches seemed too vague a phrase to suggest technology but did imply the spirit of exploration, of working with-- rather than on people.
"This has been a mixed blessing. the open-endedness helped people feel part of a process rather than tools in a program, but this way of speculating empathetically became reified as "Positive Approaches." New names and phrases always run the risk of becoming spiffy euphemisms for "business as usual." ....
Positive approaches are not about cheerfully reinforcing people to do what we expect them to do but about listening to their preferences and good reasons for what they are doing, no matter how difficult what they are doing might be. The term positive approaches in not a rhetorical flourish about preferring rewards to punishments but a way of life that moves from control to collaboration.
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