ERIC Number: ED225677
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jan
Reference Count: 0
A Cognitive Approach to Stress Reduction for Early Childhood Professionals.
Smith, Doris O.
For early childhood educators a cognitive approach to stress therapy is a valuable supplement to other approaches. Early childhood educators, like others, may develop psychological vulnerabilities that contribute to stress and depression. An exaggerated need for approval or an unhealthy demand for perfectionism may contribute to their experience of stress. Reducing stress through a cognitive approach involves defining the problem, reviewing options, and assimilating and accommodating the stressful event. Seemingly simple to make, attempts at stress reduction encounter various difficulties. The narcissism of teachers, their need to feel that they are in control, and their feelings of total responsibility can block efforts to reduce stress. Further, teachers, like others, tend to feel desires strongly, see only how events affect themselves personally, and focus on their own point of view. As Piaget has pointed out, only through a conscious act of will can individuals overcome desire and gain a more inclusive perspective. The shift from desire to will is not automatic, but involves resistance to change as well as possible stress-influenced distortions of reality. Although the process may be difficult, early childhood educators can learn to recognize their own psychological vulnerabilities, observe how they are activated in certain situations, protect themselves from cognitive distortions, and invoke will over desire in stressful situations. (RH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Cognitive Complexity; Cognitive Therapy; Piagetian Theory
Note: Paper presented at the USC Piaget Conference (Los Angeles, CA, January 30, 1981) and at the Meeting of the California Association for the Education of Young Children (Fresno, CA, March 1980).