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A case study is presented which describes the application of soap opera material to demonstrate and practise the primary tasks of cognitive therapy with an adolescent girl with moderate learning disabilities. It is argued that soap operas provide a valuable learning opportunity as they are watched by a large proportion of the population, focus on the relationships between their characters, create an opportunity for the viewer to get to know the characters and, hence, speculate about their thoughts and feelings and predict their actions. The television medium also appears to aid attention and memory processes and is often inherently motivating for the viewer. It is argued that television is an under-used resource in our work, in particular when it comes to helping people to recognize emotions and understand the rules of interpersonal relationships.

Original publication




Journal article


Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Publication Date





307 - 315