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ABS408 - Development-facilitating educational, psychological and psychotherapeutic help in overcoming learning difficulties

3.2 Multi-method approaches: Issues, challenges and promising directions
11:00 AM, Thursday 31 Aug 2017 (20 minutes)
The number of children who experience learning difficulties has been increasing steadily.
From the perspective of the cultural-historical psychology, learning difficulties – unless they are overcome – result in a blockade of the overall developmental process. Furthermore, these difficulties are interrelated. The cultural-historical approach views various types of help as facilitation of development by various means.
In the course of helping, the epicenter of the blockade may shift and a helping professional needs to change tools so as to break through this blockade and establish conditions for a child’s further development.
The ways to break the blockade may relate to working with personal problems (persistent failure and related learned helplessness; passive or negative attitude to learning; believing learning to be useless etc.) or with inappropriate modes of action in specific areas of learning. These issues represent various dimensions and epicenters of the specialist’s practice.
Correspondingly, practitioners may feel the need for developing a specific counseling approach to help children overcome learning difficulties based on an integral understanding of various developmental dimensions. The Reflection and Activity Approach (RAA) meets this need. RAA, which relies on the cultural-historical understanding of development, has been evolving over the last two decades. As a counseling approach, RAA looks for integrating knowledge in the fields of psychotherapy, education, and developmental psychology. The research aiming at combining RAA, Cognitive Behavioral and Existential Psychotherapies is currently underway. The authors’ presentation uses cases from the practice of counseling children with learning difficulties to illustrate feasibility and heuristic power of this combination. 
Moscow State University of Psychology and Education (MSUPE)
Moscow State University of Psychology and Education
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