This study involves the use of methods derived from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to change the attributions for success and failure of school children with regard to learning. Children with learning difficulties and/or motivational and self-esteem difficulties(n = 29) were identified by their schools. The children then took part in twelve 30-minute group sessions with an educational psychologist, in which the children's attributions were retrained using methods derived from CBT. The intervention appeared to accelerate the children's progress in reading but not in spelling. Significant improvements in motivation and self-esteem were reported by the children and their parents. These changes were less apparent to the teachers. The findings point to a potentially fruitful way of offering additional intervention and support to children with learning difficulties and of increasing attainment. The cognitive behaviour methods complement more directly focused curricular work in a positive manner.