What Are the Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Kids?

Andrew Kirmayer
Andrew Kirmayer
The practice of journaling may be incorporated into cognitive behavioral therapy.
The practice of journaling may be incorporated into cognitive behavioral therapy.

Cognitive behavioral therapy for kids can be beneficial for psychological well-being as well as education. A child is often exposed to causes of or reasons why he or she feels or acts a certain way. Professional treatment typically addresses behavioral problems in school, or if the child experiences social anxiety, phobias, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It can also be effective in alleviating behaviors and thoughts often associated with depression. For kids, cognitive behavioral therapy techniques are often carried out in multi-stage treatments that focus on eliminating actions that can get in the way of normal life.

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help with frequent hand washing and other symptoms of OCD.
Cognitive behavioral therapy can help with frequent hand washing and other symptoms of OCD.

Children who are afraid of something often try hard to avoid it. The first stage of cognitive behavioral therapy for kids usually involves an explanation of anxiety and the type of treatment by the therapist. Techniques are discussed as means to get a child to experience fewer symptoms. Once the condition is fully assessed, in the second stage, a child is often exposed to the object or situation that he or she is afraid of. Controlled exposure is combined with the prevention of the patient from evading a fear.

Once progress is made, a child is typically prepared to end treatment, and techniques to help prevent relapses are often discussed as well. Cognitive behavioral therapy for kids can teach skills that enable someone to avoid a relapse, which sometimes occurs with fatigue, stress, or illness. In the case of anxiety, the benefits of the treatment include ways to change the thoughts and ideas that keep anxiety about a particular thing going.

Studies have also shown that cognitive behavioral therapy for kids can be effective in treating OCD. A child who too-frequently washes his or her hands, or performs other overly repetitive tasks, can be treated with a combination of therapy and medication. Such treatments often resolve symptoms and the related stress, as indicated by research.

Behavioral problems in school are often addressed through discipline and other measures. When using cognitive behavioral therapy for kids, treatments can combine the reinforcement of positive actions with recognition of the thought patterns that lead to undesirable behaviors. The benefit of this kind of approach is often that kids behave better in classrooms and other school settings. A kid who is treated early is also at an advantage because the skills learned in dealing with a condition can be applied when he or she is a teenager, or even later in life.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • The practice of journaling may be incorporated into cognitive behavioral therapy.
      The practice of journaling may be incorporated into cognitive behavioral therapy.
    • Cognitive behavioral therapy can help with frequent hand washing and other symptoms of OCD.
      Cognitive behavioral therapy can help with frequent hand washing and other symptoms of OCD.