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What is Cognitive Behavior Therapy for kids

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 05-01-2011

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), a goal orientated form of therapy, can produce positive effects in troubled children much faster than traditional psychotherapy, experts believe. It is designed to have a profound effect by placing emphasis on the role thoughts play on emotion and behavior patterns for those with mood, anxiety and behavioral disorders.

Therapists work with children and their families to develop tailor-made treatment plans designed to help kids learn problem solving skills while increasing their confidence and self-esteem.

CBT works on restructuring thoughts. Anxious or depressed children often sub-consciously give themselves negative messages of inadequacy and doubt so the aim of CBT is to help kids reconsider their assumptions. This will change the way they view themselves and their environment which means they can improve their condition.

Experts believe that CBT is based on the notion that thoughts and reaction are learned rather than inherent so the idea is that they can also be ‘unlearned’ replacing negative, depressive information with positive, empowering thoughts. That is why most therapists encourage their patients to read material related to their condition while practising the recommended skills that are discussed during their sessions. They believe that practising the skills will go a long way to ultimately mastering behavior and retraining the thought process.

The therapist must ask the right questions if the CBT is to be successful. They need to get kids to re-think their negative assumptions and encourage the child to formulate their own questions. When kids are encouraged to express their worries, they may come to the realization that many of their fears are unfounded.

Children with behavioral disorders may feel overwhelmed by their symptoms and that their problems are too big to overcome and providing suggestions and tools that break down recovery into small, manageable chunks will give kids hope.

Positive thoughts often result in positive actions, and positive actions are good for everyone.

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