Abu Dhabi-UAE: 8 October, 2017: Cognitive strategies can give students the tools to cope and learn how to think rather than what to think, Dr Naif Al-Mutawa, professor of clinical psychology at Kuwait University's Faculty of Medicine, award-winning serial entrepreneur and clinical psychologist, told teachers in Abu Dhabi yesterday.
He was leading an Expert Masterclass session themed ‘Turning Behaviour Choice into a Skill: Cognitive Behaviour Strategies That Help Teachers and Students' on the opening day of the Qudwa 2017 Global Teachers' Forum.
Dr Al-Mutawa pointed out that cognitive behavioural interventions are gaining increasing acceptance as a viable, research-based approach, appropriate for use in the classroom. He added that the strategies could enable teachers to help students control their own behaviour through leveraging their inner speech to modify their underlying thinking and, consequently, the way they behave.
Dr Al-Mutawa said: “You can't change the overarching circumstance if you don't change the smaller things that impact how you think about the circumstance.” During the session, he emphasised the importance of boldly confronting mental health issues that could potentially derail a student's personal, professional, and intellectual growth.
He added: “The objective is for the person to live the best life they can for themselves; not your life.” As someone highly sought after by private companies and governments, Dr Al Mutawa conducts regular workshops in creative problem solving, attention management, stress management, conflict resolution, and anger management. His workshops and therapy sessions are designed to offer support while dismantling the rigid and limited expectations he claims human beings have subjected themselves to.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Qudwa 2017 will conclude today (8 October) at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Under the theme ‘Teaching for Tomorrow', the forum has convened more than 900 education professionals from more than 80 countries to discuss latest global trends in empowering teachers and inspiring students.