VISTAS Counseling Children and Adolescents

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

BEST Buddiez: A Programmatic Innovation in Early Child Mental Health Treatment for Physically Aggressive Preschool Children

Rita J. Terrago


A pilot program at Learning Together in Raleigh, NC, incorporated research-based practices and community professionals’ expertise to work with birth to 5-year-olds, and developed an innovative systemic course of mental health treatment entitled BEST Buddiez, an acronym standing for the prevention themes of boundaries, empathy, self-esteem, and thinking. The overall socially proactive concept of a group of buddies, in fact, best friends, allows for group work on a 3- and 4- year-old level for their own individual issues of social difficulty. Certainly, not all of the children in the program are to a point that they can participate in the group modality, but the concepts are still worked into the individual therapy, aiming to prepare them for group interactions at a later date.

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