There are several types of psychotherapy that involve different approaches, techniques, and interventions. At times, a combination of different psychotherapy approaches may be helpful. In some cases, a combination of medication with psychotherapy may be more effective.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) helps improve a child’s moods, anxiety, and behavior by examining confused or distorted patterns of thinking. CBT therapists teach children that thoughts cause feelings and moods which can influence behavior. During CBT, a child learns to identify harmful thought patterns. The therapist then helps the child replace this thinking with thoughts that result in more appropriate feelings and behaviors. Research shows that CBT can be effective in treating a variety of conditions, including depression and anxiety. Specialized forms of CBT have also been developed to help children coping with traumatic experiences.
Negative thoughts can develop as normal thoughts after a traumatic experience. When negative thoughts become the normal a child thinks in their cognitive development, it affects the choice they make, their behavior, and actions. This cognitive process can affect the entire life of a child since it’s altered while their brain is still developing and is called a dysfunctional assumption.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy acts to help the child understand that this is what’s going on. It helps him or her step outside their automatic thoughts and test them out. CBT would encourage and teach a child how to examine real-life experiences to see what happens to them, or to others, in similar situations. Then, in the light of a more realistic perspective, the child may be able to take the chance of testing out what other people think, by revealing something of their personal difficulties to friends. When a child is in a disturbed state of mind, they may be basing their predictions and interpretations on a biased view of the situation, making the difficulty they face seem much worse. CBT helps children to correct these misinterpretations.
CBT treatment has structured sessions starting with identifying problematic symptoms such as not sleeping well, not being able to socialize in friendships, or withdrawing from school work like reading or problem-solving. These identified problematic symptoms then become the basis for planning goals the child and their family can work towards on a weekly basis.
A child might be asked to keep a diary of their weekly experience and progress in their plan. This kind of recorded homework helps the child take ownership of the plan created with their therapist.
Another element unique to Cognitive-behavioral therapy is establishing an equal relationship between the therapist and the child. The term ‘collaborative empiricism’, emphasizes the importance of the child and therapist working together to test out how the ideas behind CBT might apply to the child’s individual situation and problems.
Children ready for Cognitive-Behavior Treatment
CBT is likely to be helpful for children who can relate to the problem-solving approach and the need for practical self-assignments. Children who can follow practical steps assigned to them will progress with this treatment. If your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms, CBT may be a solution for them and your family.
- anger management
- anxiety and panic attacks
- child and adolescent problems
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- chronic pain
- eating problems
- general health problems
- habits, such as facial tics
- mood swings
- obsessive-compulsive disorder
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- sexual and relationship problems
- sleep problems
Call us today to learn more about our Cognitive Behavior Treatment today.
More information can be found from this article: https://psychcentral.com/lib/in-depth-cognitive-behavioral-therapy/