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The Use of Popular Culture Characters, Humor, and Improvisation in CBT with Youth

Presented by Robert Friedberg PhD, ABPP

Presenter Bio

Robert D. Friedberg, Ph.D., ABPP is a Full Professor, Head of the Pediatric Behavioral Health Care Emphasis, Director of the Center for the Study and Treatment of Anxious Youth at Palo Alto University, a member of the Speakers’ Faculty at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and a licensed clinical psychologist.

His professional experience includes work at Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital, Methodist Hospital of Indiana, Penn State Milton Hershey Medical Center/College of Medicine, and Wright State University. Friedberg is a Board-Certified Diplomate in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a former Extra-mural Scholar at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and a Fellow of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy (ABCT). He was named a Spotlight Mentor by ABCT.
Friedberg is the author of eleven books including Clinical Practice of Cognitive Therapy with Children and Adolescents (2015 with Jessica McClure), CBT-Express (with Drs. Jessica McClure, Micaela Thordarson, and & Marisa Keller), Handbook of CBT for Pediatric Medical Conditions (with Dr. Jennifer Paternostro), and Cognitive Behavior Therapy with Youth: Tradition and Innovation (with Dr. Brad Nakamura). A new book on creative applications of CBT with Dr. Erica Rozmid is due to be published in July 2022.

Dr. Friedberg has authored many journal articles, book chapters, and national/international presentations focusing on CBT with youth, integrated pediatric behavioral health care, impact of COVID-19, and intolerance of uncertainty. His brand-new project is the use of narrative and storytelling to disseminate CBT to community practitioners.

This two-hour course focuses on the use of popular culture characters, humor, and improvisation in CBT with youth. These augmentations to traditional CBT practice may foster greater engagement and collaboration. More specifically, integrating superheroes into modular CBT is explained and described. The judicious use of humor as a way to both promote better working alliances and objectively evaluate faulty thinking patterns is discussed. Finally, improvisational theatre exercises are recommended as potentially valuable methods for increasing young patients’ tolerance of uncertainty.

Course Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. List and apply the benefits of integrating superheroes into CBT with youth
  2. List 3-5 advantages of the judicious use of humor in CBT with youth
  3. Identify the ways improvisational theatre exercises increase tolerance of uncertainty
  4. Discuss with young patients when using superheroes and improvisational theatre exercises

Instructional Level


Licensed mental health professionals employed through Kaiser Permanente and psychological assistants performing under supervision of a licensed psychologist.

This CE program is free to Kaiser Permanente employees.
Instructional Methodology
On-line Presentation

Continuing Education Information

Kaiser Permanente Northern California Mental Health Training Program is approved by the California Psychological Association to provide continuing professional education for psychologists. The Kaiser Permanente Northern California Mental Health Training Program maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Refund and Attendance Policy

All programs offered on KP Learn for CE credit through the KP Northern California Mental Health Training website are free of charge to Kaiser Permanente Staff and trainees. Once a course is selected in the KP NCAL MH Training Website, the registration process begins, and it will appear in the individuals KP Learn profile for completion within 90 days.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Those who attend the program in full and complete the appropriate evaluation form will receive CE credits. Please note that credit will only be granted to those who attend the entire program. An attestation of attendance will be given once the individual has completed viewing the program, which will then initiate the final steps of completing the evaluation forms to receive a certificate of completion.

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