For example, if a child is reprimanded at school for not doing his work and is required to miss recess, they might kick their desk, talking back to the teacher and believe that it’s not fair because people always pick on them. They will document their thoughts in a journal. When they meet with their therapist, they will discuss their thoughts and behaviors, determine if they were rational based on both current and past experiences and, if not, they will work to replace those thoughts with positive ones. In this case, they could recognize that they received an appropriate reprimand for not completing their work, but that they were usually treated well.
CBT also works on managing behaviors, such as those associated with anxiety or depression. If a child is experiencing anxiety, the therapist may work on relaxation techniques to help ease anxiety in stressful situations. For depression, a CBT therapist may focus on creating an activity schedule to guarantee that the child does not withdraw from friends and important events.
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy incorporates a horse, or horses, to assist the child in exploring their thoughts, feelings and actions about the challenges they are facing. EAP is a powerful and effective modality in helping people of all ages safely explore issues that are holding them back and then move forward in a positive, powerful and effective way.
Mindfulness practices are creative and varied. Age does not matter. It is simply about being with whatever is coming up in that moment…to notice, observe, allow, and let go. Practice is the key!
When selecting behavioral therapy, it is highly recommended for parents to speak to a variety of providers and ask about their approach. Some therapists combine and integrate different techniques so it is important to understand their approach, experience and training beforehand.
Selecting the right therapist takes research, understanding and insight into your child’s strengths and weaknesses. And while these programs can be intense and time consuming, they do obtain results.