Cognitive-Behavioural Techniques Used by OTs

Occupational Therapist using cognitive behavioural techniques with child in OT session in Bondi junction, Mascot, Randwick, Sydney

Helping Kids Shine: Cognitive-Behavioural Techniques Used by OTs

Occupational Therapists (OTs) are essential when it comes to helping kids develop the skills they need to succeed in everyday life. One of the powerful tools they use is cognitive-behavioural techniques (CBT). These techniques can make a big difference for children who face challenges with their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Let’s explore some of these amazing CBT methods and how they help kids shine!

What Are Cognitive-Behavioural Techniques?

Cognitive-behavioural techniques are strategies that help children understand how their thoughts, feelings, and actions are connected. By changing negative thought patterns, kids can improve their behaviours and emotional responses. These techniques are fun, engaging, and tailored to each child’s unique needs.

Awesome CBT Techniques Used by OTs

1. Positive Thinking

OTs teach kids to recognise and change negative thoughts. If a child thinks, “I can’t do this,” an OT helps them reframe it to, “This is tough, but I can give it a try!” Positive thinking boosts confidence and encourages kids to tackle new challenges.

2. Thought Stopping

Thought stopping helps kids interrupt negative thoughts. When a negative thought pops up, they learn to say “stop” and replace it with a positive one. This technique is great for reducing anxiety and building a more optimistic mindset.

3. Rewarding Good Behaviour

Positive reinforcement means rewarding kids for good behaviour. This could be with stickers, praise, or extra playtime. Rewards make learning new skills fun and motivate kids to keep trying their best.

4. Keeping Track

Self-monitoring helps kids become aware of their behaviours and feelings. They might use a chart or journal to track their progress. This awareness helps them understand the connection between their actions and emotions, making it easier to make positive changes.

5. Pretend Play

Role-playing is a fun way for kids to practice new skills. Whether it’s pretending to greet someone or solving a problem, role-playing builds confidence and improves social interactions. It’s like rehearsing for real-life situations in a safe space.

6. Problem Solving

Problem-solving skills training teaches kids to tackle challenges step by step. They learn to identify a problem, think of solutions, weigh the options, and pick the best one. This technique empowers kids to handle difficulties on their own and boosts their independence.

How OTs Make CBT Fun and Effective

1. Tailoring Activities

OTs personalise CBT techniques to fit each child’s needs and interests. This might involve using favourite toys or games to teach new skills, making the learning process enjoyable and relevant.

2. Using Play

Play is a natural way for kids to learn. OTs incorporate play-based activities to teach CBT techniques. Whether it’s a game, a craft, or a pretend scenario, play keeps kids engaged and motivated.

3. Teaming Up with Parents and Teachers

Collaboration is key! OTs work closely with parents and teachers to ensure consistency. They provide strategies and resources that can be used at home and in school, creating a supportive environment for the child.

4. Creating a Supportive Space

OTs create a safe and encouraging environment where kids feel comfortable trying new things and making mistakes. Building a trusting relationship helps kids open up and engage fully in the therapy process.


Cognitive-behavioural techniques are fantastic tools that help kids develop the skills they need to succeed. By teaching positive thinking, thought stopping, rewarding good behaviour, and other CBT methods, OTs empower children to overcome challenges and thrive. These techniques are made fun and effective through personalised activities, play, and teamwork with parents and teachers.

Ready to See Your Child Thrive? ????

Does your child need a boost in confidence, focus, and positive behaviour? Our dedicated Occupational Therapists at OneOnOne Children’s Therapy are here to help! With engaging and effective cognitive-behavioural techniques, we can support your child in overcoming challenges and reaching their full potential.

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