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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and your kid

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Is CBT the right option for your child?If you have a kid who may benefit from therapy or counseling, this is less of an opportunity for you to break out your "back in Russia, we had vodka, not shrinks," joke and more of an occasion to brush up on your psychology know-how. Of all of the approaches being practiced by therapists today, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is widely regarded to be one of the most promising for children and adolescents, particularly for those who are suffering from anxiety and behavioral issues.

According to the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, CBT is one of the few psychotherapy techniques that's been empirically tested to work for children. To sum up a complex theory in a nutshell, CBT treats emotions, thoughts and actions as an interwoven package and addresses thoughts directly with the aim of eventually guiding a child to recognize abnormal thought patterns and use her acquired skills to deal with them effectively.

Though not all of the results of CBT are easily quantifiable, the high success rate seems to speak for itself. As one example of many, a field case study led by Dr. Anthony James, senior lecturer at the University of Oxford in England, found that 28 percent more children and teens with anxiety disorders displayed improvement after practicing CBT than those who did not. Those treated with CBT also experienced 58 percent fewer symptoms than their peers.

Talk to your family physician for a referral, or speak to a trusted source. CBT may be a viable alternative strategy to try before you resort to putting your child on medications.
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