Smart Thot Toys: A New Application of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Play Therapy, and Mindfulness Theory
More children come to therapy with problems that appear to stem from our culture of materialism, intense competition and extreme perfectionism. The Anxiety Disorder, "Too Much Worrying," is everywhere. Indeed, one-third of all pre-school children have significant behavioral problems.
Smart Thot toys are tools that help build a child's emotional resiliencyand self-esteem by teaching them how to cope with negative feelings. Negative thought patterns reinforce negative thoughts, often leading to low self-esteem, chronic anxiety, experiences of depression and helplessness.
Children who start life with a "can do/is possible" attitude anticipate and typically achieve success. Positive thinking skills are the foundation for emotional resiliency.
In Dr. Avery's private practice she identified positive thinking as a teachable skill associated with successful coping and emotional health. The idea for the Smart Thot toys and books grew from a desire to tap the healing powers of play, while at the same time providing instruction in a coping skill recognized to be effective in post therapy adjustment.
Neurodevelopmental research, a range of clinical outcome studies and Dr. Avery's clinical work with children offered validation for synthesis of three established intervention strategies: Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Play Therapy and Mindfulness Theory. Combined with Positive Psychology, they point to the practicality of creating fun toys that could also be tools that teach children the coping skills of positive thinking.
Neuroscience confirms that experiences in early childhood years (3-8) are the best window of opportunity for establishing structural hardwiring in the brain.
At the center of the Smart Thot approach is Thotso the Brain, an endearing character who engages a child's natural curiosity and inclination toward mastery through interactive play. Thotso empowers a child with effective thinking tools and language that can encourage successful processing and sharing of life's inevitable negative emotions.
Thotso teaches the mindfulness skill of observation and acceptance, without judgment. Smart Thot toys provide counselors, teachers, therapists, caregivers and parents new, effective tools that teach children the coping skills of positive thinking.
Positive thinking is a teachable skill associated with successful coping and emotional health. Smart Thot toys are the first tools created to incorporate systematically this skill into a play format, promoting children's emotional health and resiliency.