Practice Concepts

The key to helping any person is to be able to relate to them in a manner that is satisfying and gratifying. This is an enormous task for not only must you have some basic understanding of their worldview (their beliefs about themselves, of other people including what they believe other people believe about them, and their expectations for the future; you must also know thyself. People perceive what they expect to perceive: angry people expect to see offense, etc. Too often we supply the very fodder to assure people with problems in living that they are right to be angry, anxious, or sad. Use these concepts as a means of expanding your own thinking: develop a ‘beginner’s mind’. Nothing is quite as it seems – can you allow the process of change to develop?

Related Content

49 Principles of Psychological Services in Schools

The harmful effects of medical model interventions are significant and far outweigh any benefits such interventions may have. This is not simple opinion, but has been consistently documented by the failures of the last fifty years. Further, any study designed to specifically test this observation will verify these facts.

48 Discipline Culture

Discipline has to do with standards, rather than simply procedures. Behavioral standards exist in any continuing social relationship. Appropriate behavior is a result of awareness of such standards, or in other words, the result of social consciousness. The objective of good discipline is to increase self-responsibility, social awareness and social responsibility.

47 School Response to Social and Psychological Problems

Having read the report: The Current Status of Mental Health in Schools: A policy and Practice Analysis (3/2006), I find it difficult not to express concerns. The Center for Mental Health in Schools, authors of the report are good, caring and bright people. However, their thinking flawed, distorted by their perspective – and this is epitomized by it very name of the organization. The term ‘mental health’ is a euphemism that is a cohort of the euphemism ‘mental illness’.

46 Building a Center for Social Education

Social education is defined as learning the skills, techniques and competencies that enable one to form mutually satisfying and gratifying relationships. While it is true that “individuals with a wide range of physical, mental and behavioral differences – people with disabilities or unusual sexual preferences, criminals, substance abusers – regularly form close relationships with typical people”, it is also true that children with externalizing antisocial behaviors often find such relations to be the exception rather than the rule. Often rejected by their typical peers, they form relations with deviant peers who support and maintain the antisocial behaviors. In the process, the socialization process is skewed, since the opportunities for peer conformance experiences are limited.

45 Ethical Considerations

The question of ethics in human services is unfortunately not always a priority consideration for the people involved. We cannot have failed our children so consistently over such a long period of time, and have considered very seriously or deeply the ethics of what we are doing. This article does not presume to present all of the ethical issues which might be considered in human services, but hopes to highlight the need for thought about ethics and how our decisions conscious or nonconscious impact our expectations, implementations and outcomes.

44 Casting a New Functional Assessment

This is an article about assessment. It is built upon three concepts: 1) that interactions between people create thoughts in the other person which may be helpful and/or harmful; 2) that this interrelatedness extends to all of the people who regularly populate an individual’s ecosystem; and 3) that these regular participants need to take responsibility for the whole, not simply draw attention to a part. These concepts might suggest that referral and assessment for professional clinical services may be ‘toxic’ as presently implemented.

43 Social Education – Overview

Since school is likely to be the first and most powerful socializing environment outside of the home that children in this society will face, it seems incomprehensible that more effort is not made in helping children with the adjustments that they need to make. Instead, the teaching and administrative staff tend to view the children who fail to adjust as ‘interlopers’, who need to be removed as quickly as possible so that the rest of the children can achieve academically.

42 Introduction To Functional Cognitive Behavior Assessment

The functional assessment requirements of IDEA ’97 have provided an impetus for the consistent implementation and interpretation of the functional behavioral assessment or FBA. Unfortunately, it also ignored the history of children with emotional and behavioral problems who create the most difficult issues for education and clinical services. This omission occurs because of the unwillingness or inability of practitioners to identify the differences between children whose behaviors are predominantly the result of deficits and those whose difficulties are primarily the result of distortion.

41 Creating an Elegant Theory of Self

One of the constructs that is vital to understand about human beings is that they create themselves. Personalities are only influenced but not created by genetics or environment. Helen Keller and the ‘elephant man’ created elegant selves despite egregious influences of both genetics and the environment. This article explores the ‘elegance’ of self and expands to consider a group theory of culture.

40 Cognitive Concepts for Behavior Assessment

A functional behavior assessment is virtually mandatory whenever one works with a child’s behavior. The intent is to make a hypothesis about the function of the behavior. Knowing that, we can test the hypothesis and then find alternate ways that the child may reach those goals. Finally, we can then teach new skills to reach the goals more appropriately. Embedded in this description is of course, thought.


Unless specifically noted all materials are written by Jerome R. Gardner. As you will see by the size of the library contents, the materials are substantial. Since most of the writing was developed as think papers and not for publication, there will inevitably be some areas without proper citation. If you come across any, please notify the site manager and it will be rectified. Other than that, readers may use all materials. While I would prefer recognition, it is not necessary.