In this final chapter we argue that the recent investment in neuropsychology to obtain greater understanding of developmental difficulties needs to be matched by an abiding concern with the common humanity of people with intellectual disabilities. The strength of a CBT approach is that it involves developing a formulation for each client that is based on their individual history, characteristics including their strengths and their presenting problems in contrast to a pathological diagnostic approach which attempts to fit the client in a specific category. Throughout the book we have emphasised the need for theory to underpin the suggested adaptations. In particular, we have pointed to the work of Vygotsky and the zone of proximal development to help promote an understanding of how working in partnership with others and ‘scaffolding’ can help clients achieve more than if they were working on their own. We need a commitment from researchers as well as from ‘scientist-practitioners’ to build an evidence base to support and improve the delivery of CBT to people with an intellectual disability. Post-qualification training and reading is essential to keep a fresh perspective, as is regular clinical supervision. Gaining insight into our clients’ ways of thinking can be challenging on many levels and requires empathy, creativity as well as curiosity on the part of the therapist.
- Bender, M. (1993). The unoffered chair: The history of therapeutic disdain towards people with a learning difficulty. Clinical Psychology Forum, 54, 7–12.Google Scholar
- Lovett, H. (2002). Learning to listen – Positive approaches and people with difficult behavior (4th ed.). Baltimore: Brookes.Google Scholar
- Reiber, R. W., & Robinson, D. K. (Eds.). (2004). The essential Vygotsky. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
- Silberman, S. (2015). Neurotribes: The legacy of autism and how to think smarter about people who think differently. NSW: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
- Waite, J., Heald, M., Wilde, L., Woodcock, K., Welham, A., Adams, D., et al. (2014). The importance of understanding the behavioural phenotypes of genetic syndromes associated with intellectual disability. Paediatrics and Child Health, 24, 468–472. doi: 10.1016/j.paed.2014.05.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Westbrook, D., Mueller, M., Kennerley, H., & McManus, F. (2010). Common problems in therapy. In M. Mueller, H. Kennerley, F. McManus, & D. Westbrook (Eds.), The Oxford guide to surviving as a CBT therapist. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar