Children can just as easily be affected by mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders as adults, and if these are not addressed early on in a child's life, they can have long-term effects on their health and well-being. Early assessment and treatment can improve the child's quality of life at home, in the classroom, and help them develop and maintain healthy friendships. It's important to intervene early about suspected disorders in order to provide a holistic treatment plan.
When children are still young, it is common for parents to accompany their child throughout the therapeutic practice; however, it is also a practice for the therapist to meet with both the parent and the child individually to assess different things and to gather independent perspectives. Therapy involving children can include talking, playing, or other activities the child uses to express their emotions and feelings.
What types of therapy and techniques are most effective for mental disorders in children?
- Parent training in behavior management --- therapist works directly with parents to better figure out how to gain personal skills so that they can better manage their child's behavior. Parents are encouraged to practice these skills with their child (can occur during the session or at home). When children are older, the therapist can work directly with the child to team them how to select more positive behaviors, and the parents can be a supportive guide during this process. This can work well for ADHD and disruptive behavior disorders.
- Child behavior therapy --- works well for ADHD and disruptive behavior disorders
- Cognitive-behavior therapy --- therapist helps child identify the thoughts and feelings, unfiltered, that enter their mind in a given time. Children will be taught to identify whether these thoughts are illogical or distorted, and this can begin the process of reframing the thoughts, emotional reactions, and behaviors that accompany the thoughts. This works well for disruptive behavior disorder, depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
Here at Madrigal, we are committed to addressing child mental disorders in a holistic manner.
*This information was adapted from Counseling.org. Click here to learn more information.*