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Youth Work Service Providers' Attitudes Towards Computerized CBT for Adolescents

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 May 2012

Theresa Fleming*
University of Auckland, New Zealand
Sally Merry
University of Auckland, New Zealand
Reprint requests to Theresa Fleming, The University of Auckland, Department of Psychological Medicine, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand. E-mail:


Background: Attitudes of social service providers towards computerized CBT (cCBT) might affect use of cCBT by their clients and may provide important insights that should be considered in dissemination. There is no literature exploring the attitudes of providers of youth work services towards cCBT despite the likelihood of them having close relationships with young people at high risk of mental ill-health. Method: Focus groups and semi-structured interviews were undertaken with a total of 40 providers (21 youth workers and social service staff providing alternative schooling, justice or other intensive youth work programmes to adolescents, 6 youth service managers, 2 trainers, 5 peer leaders and 6 trainees). Results: Participants considered supporting young people who were distressed to be an important part of their role. They were generally interested in cCBT, especially those who were more mental health oriented and those who saw a cCBT programme in action. Their greatest concerns regarding cCBT related to it possibly displacing human contact, while advantages were seen as its appeal to young people and its potential therapeutic power. They would utilize cCBT in a range of ways, with many wishing to offer it in group settings. Training and resources would be required for them to use cCBT. Conclusions: Many providers of youth work services would like to be involved in the use of cCBT; this might extend the reach of cCBT to vulnerable young people. They would wish to utilize cCBT in ways that fit their current approaches. Providers’ opinions need to be considered in the dissemination of cCBT.

Research Article
Copyright © British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies 2012

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