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Treating Explosive Kids: The Collaborative Problem-Solving Approach 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
ISBN-10: 1593852037
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  • Treating Explosive Kids: The Collaborative Problem-Solving Approach
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Editorial Reviews


“Greene and Ablon have done it again. This book illustrates their clinical acumen, conceptual sophistication, and scientific rigor--all at the same time! This is an uncommonly useful book for students and for therapists at all levels of experience. The authors' collaborative problem-solving approach takes into consideration the delicate dance between poorly regulated children and their frustrated and sometimes poorly equipped parents. These children and their families require special interventions, and this innovative book goes a long way to helping us in our clinical practice, teaching, and research.”--Thomas H. Ollendick, PhD, Child Study Center and Department of Psychology, Virginia Tech

"Provocative, conceptually grounded, and clinically wise. The CPS approach looks at a range of common, vexing parent-child problems and applies sound individual and family strategies, innovatively framed in the context of children's deficits in executive functions, communication, and emotion regulation. Loaded with case examples, this is essential reading for all those who work with 'externalizing' children."--Stephen P. Hinshaw, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley

"This cutting-edge book provides a practical and easily understood guide for treating explosive children and adolescents. It presents an innovative, compassionate model that is very helpful in improving the quality of life for these kids and those who care for them." --Michael S. Jellinek, MD, Child Psychiatry Service, Massachusetts General Hospital; Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

"Greene and Ablon's CPS approach is an excellent integration of theory, research, and clinical wisdom. The authors present a thoughtful clinical framework and specific procedures for interpreting and managing children's explosive, noncompliant behavior. This book belongs on the bookshelf of every clinician who works with these youngsters."--Howard Abikoff, PhD, Institute for Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity and Behavior Disorders, NYU Child Study Center

"Ross Greene and J. Stuart Ablon...have elegantly translated neuropsychologists' perspective of how children organize their experiences, regulate their emotions and behaviors, and integrated it with systemic family therapy, empathy development, and communications analysis to present a refreshing treatment approach to disruptive behaviors in children and teens....Details a new systemic approach for children with behavioral issues, as well as articulates a significant challenge to interventions derived from learning theory (e.g. time-outs, token economies), which the authors feel are not sufficient explosive behaviors are the result of neurologically based skills deficits that should be remediated by parents in collaboration with their children, not by parents imposing their will on their children....Useful for clinicians at any stage in their training and level of expertise as a comprehensive introduction to a new treatment approach for a very challenging set of familiar clinical issues."
(Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Book Reviews 2005-10-20)

"One of the greatest benefits of the book is its case examples. There are several 'scripts' in which its approach is illustrated in different situations—schools, family therapy, and treatment facilities. These examples provide the reader with excellent demonstrations of the model....The book is well written and easy to read for both professionals and parents. The book's points are emphasized and reemphasized so that there is little possibility for confusion. Treating Explosive Kids can most certainly be a useful resource for psychologists in schools, private practice, and residential facilities and for parents and teachers."
(PsycCRITIQUES 2005-10-20)

From the Author

The Collaborative & Proactive Solutions approach has been dramatically refined and updated since this book was published (even the name of the model has changed!). So the book is pretty dated at this point...but it still contains basic information about an early rendition of my CPS model. -- Ross Greene

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 246 pages
  • Publisher: The Guilford Press; 1 edition (October 18, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593852037
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Divinna S. Schmitt on July 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Ever since my child was about 4 I have been wondering what he "had"....what his behavioral issues were all about. Three therapists later, psychological testing, and countless offerings of advice from friends, parents and teachers I have finally found an explanation that rings true and speaks to my husband and me. My son is now 14. How I wish I had known about this "CPS approach" years ago. The approach is not "Magic 123" (and therefore simplistic) but if it's followed, it works. I first read Dr. Greene's other book aimed at parents called "The Explosive Child" which is also wonderful. "Treating Explosive Kids" is directed at therapists and is therefore more dense and a little more difficult to understand for the lay person but the book is filled with dialogue between professionals, parents, and kids which brilliantly and realistically illustrates how to treat a child who is inflexible, explosive, and therefore incredibly frustrating. Guess what: these kids are not simply being manipulative or looking for attention.
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Format: Hardcover
This is by far the best approach I have ever encountered for children who are easily frustrated, chronically inflexible, and explosive (as well as those who "shut down" rather than explode). As a clinical and school psychologist who has worked with such children and families for over 15 years, this approach is the one that works when so many others have failed.

The book, which is for school personnel as well as clinicians, helps people who are just starting to use the model as well as those who have been using it for a while and would like additional information, ideas, etc. It is written in clear, easy to understand language, and the stories, vignettes, and dialogs are especially helpful in illustrating how to use the approach and clarifying some of the aspects of the model. I refer back to it often as I prepare for school staffings, parent meetings, client sessions, etc.

If you are a clinician who works with children in any setting, or anyone (teacher, administrator, counselor, dean, etc.) who works with these students in a school setting, this book is an absolute necessity. It is especially important for school personnel, because the core of this model involves teaching skills in the settings in which the problem behaviors occur and teachers are experts at teaching skills. If we can intervene with these students early, in the general education setting, I firmly believe we can prevent more serious difficulties with these students later on. Schools continually struggle with these types of behaviors and need effective models such as this.

If you are a parent of an explosive child, I highly recommend the companion parent book, The Explosive Child by Dr. Ross Greene.
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Format: Hardcover
I purchased 'Treating Explosive Kids' out of frustration of trying to figure out how to work with one of our grandchildren (age 7) who seems unable to control his temper and outbursts. While other family members said it was just 'bad behavior' I felt there was something much deeper to this behavior. I think Dr. Greene has finally provided not only an answer, but some very do-able solutions. I realize this particular book was probably aimed more at professionals, I found it exceptionally helpful. The sample dialogs between doctor and parents, doctor and children provided real-life scenarios that could be used as examples in using the Collaborative Problem Solving Approach. This book, as well as well as the corresponding video I purchased, have finally given hope that explosive children can be helped as long as the adults/caregivers are willing to work at it.
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Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book to assist with my daughter. I gave this book a 3 star rating because I feel the book has a lot to offer children of a certain criteria. Unfortunately, it didn't meet our needs. If you are dealing with a child who is on the autism spectrum or is of limited intellectual functioning, you may not find this book helpful. I also found the dialogue between the therapist and parent quite condescending. It is as if the author chose to only represent the parents who appear to clearly have deficits in their own areas, but maybe that was the point. The book addresses many cognitive deficits, but I feel it is misleading to a certain extent. I think the author is merely addressing children who fall into the learning disabled category as is reinforced by stating the treatment model "requires participants to have the capacity to identify and articulate their concerns...." This critical piece of information isn't disclosed until we dive in and get into chapter 6 of the book. It would be helpful if the author would point out what degree of cognitive impairment would not benefit from this treatment plan earlier on in the book. Alas, it is a textbook and not a self-help guide.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a clinical therapist with 18 years' experience. Several years ago I attended Dr. Green's training and was very impressed. So much in the mental health field, for working w/ behaviorally challenging kids and parents, focuses on rewards and consequences - basic behavioralism - which only works part of the time for part of the population. This is a wise and effective alternative, and one in consonance with what we're learning about why explosive kids are that way. My specialty areas are complex trauma and attachment disorders, which aren't mentioned as root causes for the difficulties in self-regulation skills for (I believe) a majority of explosive kids, which I think is an oversight. However, Dr. Green's creation of interventions which address the effects of these skill deficits remains an outstanding acheivement. His "Plan A, Plan B, Plan C" model is easily explained by clinicians and understood by parents. His model keeps parents empowered, gives them reasonable guidelines for which plan to use when, strengthens both kids' and parents' abilities to problem-solve in a connective, caring way, and gives kids hope for their own growth and change.
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