Does Your Child Need Behavioral Therapy? How to Tell and What to Do
Determining whether or not your child is experiencing depression or anxiety can be tough. How do you know when your child’s behaviors warrant therapy and what type of therapy they need?
Determining whether or not your child is experiencing depression or anxiety can be tough. Trying to understand if their tantrums are typical or unusual is also a difficult task. So, how do you know when your child’s behaviors warrant therapy and what type of therapy they need?
Depression can appear in many forms, such as regular irritability, loss of interest in activities, changes in eating and sleep patterns and thoughts of death and/or suicide. Anxiety is considered excessive when it gets in the way and causes problems in daily life. And, if your child struggles with intense emotional reactions, disruptions in mood or behavior, or is easily set off by minor triggers, then they may need assistance.
Warning signs include any sudden change in mood or behavior, or if you notice that your child or teen is struggling in day to day tasks. If safety towards oneself or others is an issue, or if the emotional or behavioral problems are impacting their functioning, it’s time to seek professional help.
Effective therapies include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Mindfulness practices geared towards children and adolescents.
CBT focuses on problem solving. CBT looks at the relationship between thoughts, behaviors or feelings. When someone has depression, anxiety, or ADHD there may be negative or irrational thoughts that lead to certain feelings or behaviors. With CBT, the patient tracks and identifies these thoughts, tests whether they are realistic and is then challenged to replace those thoughts with more positive ones.