Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Crucial Cs

This is material that I learned in a training from KC Play Therapy Institute. It is adapted from Terry Kottman, Ph. D., RPT-S, NCC, LMHC

I give this handout to almost every parent and teacher I work with. I find it is often a "game changer" for how they work with a child.

In order to SURVIVE and FLOURISH, children must master each of the Crucial Cs.

COURAGE - children need courage - the willingness to face life's tasks and take risks even when they do not know if they can succeed. Children with courage feel hopeful. They are willing to take risks and believe they can handle challenging situations. They are resilient.

Children who do not have courage feel inferior to others and inadequate. They do not take risks and tend to give up without trying. They frequently avoid challenges.

CONNECT - children need to connect with others. Those who do connect with others, feel secure, are able to cooperate, and can reach out and make friends. They believe they belong.

Children who do not have the skills necessary to connect will feel isolated and insecure. They make seek attention (usually negative, self-distructive ways) in order to feel that they have a place in the group or family.

CAPABLE - children need to feel that they are are competent and capable of caring for themselves. Those who do feel capable, have a sense of competence, self-control, and self-discipline. They are self-reliant and assume responsibility for themselves and for their behavior. They believe they can do whatever they set their minds to doing.

Children, who do not feel capable, frequently feel inadequate and frequently try to control others or let others know that they cannot be controlled. They frequently become dependent on others or seek to overpower others.

COUNT - children need to feel they are significant - that they count. Those who feel that they count believe that they make a difference in the world and that they can contribute in some way to others around them. They feel valuable and valued, and they believe that they matter.

Children who do not feel as though they count feel insignificant. This belief is painful to them, and they may; react to their feelings of hurt by trying to hurt others. Many children who feel that they don't count develop poor self-esteem and may give up, try to intimidate others, or overcompensate by acting superior. Other children feel that they count only "if" - their sense of significance is conditional.
So, where is your child's weak point?  When they act out, is it to prove that they count or trying to connect?  If you can find these areas of need, then you can be intentional to build them up and help them to see themselves having all 4 of the Crucial Cs. 


  1. Thanks for sharing this useful info. Keep updating same way.
    Regards, Ashish Crucial Conversations training

  2. Just wanted to reach out and thank you for keeping this information alive and well. Also, the original concept for the Crucial C's came from Dr. Betty Lou Bettner and Dr. Amy Lew. They have published many books and articles on the use of Crucial C's.

    Susan Belangee
    Vice President
    North American Society of Adlerian Psychology



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About Me

Licensed Associate Counselor, Licensed Assoicate Marriage and Family Therapist, Registered Play Therapist