Think:Kids and the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital are pleased to offer an online training program featuring Dr. J. Stuart Ablon. This introductory training provides a foundation for professionals and parents interested in learning the evidence-based approach to understanding and helping children and adolescents with behavioral challenges called Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS). This online training serves as the prerequisite for our professional intensive training.

The CPS approach provides a way of understanding and helping kids who struggle with behavioral challenges. Challenging behavior is thought of as willful and goal oriented which has led to approaches that focus on motivating better behavior using reward and punishment programs. If you've tried these strategies and they haven't worked, this online training is for you! At Think:Kids we have some very different ideas about why these kids struggle. Research over the past 30 years demonstrates that for the majority of these kids, their challenges result from a lack of crucial thinking skills when it comes to things like problem solving, frustration tolerance and flexibility. The CPS approach, therefore, focuses on helping adults teach the skills these children lack while resolving the chronic problems that tend to precipitate challenging behavior.

This training is designed to allow you to learn at your own pace. You must complete the modules sequentially, but you can take your time with the content as your schedule allows. Additional resources for each module provide you with the opportunity for further development. Discussion boards for each module allow you to discuss concepts and your own experiences with other participants. Faculty from the Think:Kids program monitor the boards and offer their point of view.

Registrants will have access to course materials from the date of their registration through the course expiration date.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Shift thinking and approach to foster positive relationships with children
  • Reduce challenging behavior
  • Foster proactive, rather than reactive interventions
  • Teach skills related to self-regulation, communication and problem solving

Course Agenda

Segment 1Introduction
Review of Philosophy
Limitations of Motivational Approaches
The Shift in Thinking: Behavioral Challenges as Learning Disability
Segment 2Assessment
Identifying Problems to be Solved
Five Domains of Thinking Skills
Segment 3Planning
Review of Three Plans and their Goals
Prioritizing and Planning
Segment 4Intervention
Proactive vs. Emergency Plan B
Ingredients of Plan B
Segment 5Conclusion
Problem Solving as Skills Training
Emergency Plan B
Group Plan B
Implementation in Systems
Research on CPS Across Settings


  • Director, Think:Kids, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital
    Director, Psychotherapy Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital
    Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Target Audience

This program is intended for: Parents, clinicians, educators, allied mental health professionals, and direct care staff.


All care Providers: $149

Due to COVID-19, we are offering this course at the reduced rate of $99 for a limited time.

NOTE: If you are paying for your registration via Purchase Order, please send the PO to Our customer service agent will respond with further instructions.

Cancellation Policy

Refunds will be issued for requests received within 10 business days of purchase, but an administrative fee of $35 will be deducted from your refund. No refunds will be made thereafter. Additionally, no refunds will be made for individuals who claim CME or credit, regardless of when they request a refund.


Through the duration of the course, the faculty moderator will respond to any clinical questions that are submitted to the interactive discussion board.The faculty moderator for this course will be:

J. Stuart Ablon, PhD

***Please note that discussion boards are reviewed on a regular basis, and responses to all questions will be posted within one week of receipt.***

Additional Online Courses

We offer several online courses on cognitive behavioral therapy that complement the course you are currently viewing.

View our online CBT course offerings

CE Information

Release Date: May 7, 2016
Expiration Date: June 30, 2020
Reviewed by Rob Althoff
New Expiration Date: June 30, 2021

To receive credit for this activity, listen to the presentations and complete the post-test and activity evaluation.

AMA PRA credit is not being issued for this course.

Psychologists: The Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This offering meets the criteria for 3 Continuing Education (CE) credits for psychologists.

Social Workers:This program has been approved for 3 Social Work Continuing Education hours for relicensure, in accordance with 258 CMR. Collaborative of NASW and the Boston College and Simmons Schools of Social Work Authorization Number D 61675-E.

Licensed Mental Health Counselors:This program has been approved for 3 Category 1 Continuting Education credits by the MaMHCA Continuing Education Program (MMCEP), approval number 17-0490.

Educators:Think:Kids is a Professional Development Provider for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. A certificate of attendance will be issued for3 contact hours to those completing this course.PDPS can only be issued for asingle training thatmeets the 10contact hour minimum.

Faculty Disclosure Statements
In accord with the disclosure policy of Partners HealthCare System as well as guidelines of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), planners, speakers and/or their spouse/partner or anyone who may have an influence on the content of the activity have been asked to disclose any relationship they or their spouse/partner have to companies producing pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, devices, etc. that may be germane to the content of their presentation. Such disclosure is not intended to suggest or condone bias, but provides participants with information that might be of potential importance to their evaluation of a given presentation.

Resolution of Conflicts of Interest (COI)
Partners HealthCare System has implemented a process to resolve potential COIs for this CME activity to help ensure content objectivity, independence, fair balance and ensure that the content is aligned with the interest of the public.

Planner Disclosures
The following planners and/or their spouse/partner have reported no relevant financial relationship with a commercial interest:
J. Stuart Ablon, PhD
Jane Pimental, MPH

Susan Sprich, PhD,Reviewer

Speaker Disclosures
The following speakers and/or their spouse/partner have reported no relevant financial relationship with a commercial interest:

J. Stuart Ablon, PhD

Hardware/Software Specifications:
This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 4+. This Web site requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.

Optimal System Configuration:
Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.1+
Browser: Firefox 3+, Internet Explorer 8.0+, Safari 4.0+, or Google Chrome 7.0+
Operating System: Windows XP+ or Mac OS X 10.4+
Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

Minimum Requirements:
Windows PC:
500-MHz Pentium II; Windows XP or higher; 128 MB RAM; Video Card at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card at least 16-bit; Macromedia Flash Player 10 or higher, audio playback with speakers for programs with video content; Firefox 1.1+, Internet Explorer 7.0+, Safari 1.0+, Google Chrome, or Opera
Mac OS X 10.3 or higher with latest updates installed; 1.83MHz Intel Core Duo or faster; RAM: 128MB or more; Video Card: at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card: at least 16-bit