Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective therapeutic approach that examines how our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by both our environment and our own preconceived notions. CBT aims to teach individuals how to identify irrational thought processes that result in undesirable behavioral results and to replace them with new, rational thought patterns.
The CBT therapist supports the person’s empowerment by empowering them with lifelong strategies to control their symptoms that they can use throughout their lives through skill training and behavior modification.
How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Kids work?
When working with young children in counseling, the majority of the therapeutic work is often done with the parents or caregivers, who are then trained how to use CBT approaches with the child. When working with older children and teenagers, both the patient and the caregiver must learn how to use particular techniques to address the issues that brought them to therapy. This technique allows the client more control while also empowering them, with caregiver assistance to ensure optimal application of therapeutic treatments outside of the treatment office.
Types of CBT for Children
This therapy has been demonstrated to be most beneficial, especially for teenagers with anxiety, and involves one-on-one sessions with a qualified therapist.
This therapy offers both individually and in a group setting using Parent-Child CBT. It is especially helpful for families with a history of trauma and abuse since it aids in the healing of the children while also teaching parents how to control their emotions and raise their children well.
By include family therapy in CBT treatment, parents and other family members can learn CBT techniques alongside their children, enhancing family support and communication.
CBT in a group setting
Therapy with children of the same age allows kids to learn crucial skills together and has been proved to boost self-esteem as well.
Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT)
TF-CBT has been demonstrated to be quite helpful in assisting traumatized children and adolescents, as well as their caregivers, in finding healing, especially when the treatment protocol is adjusted to the child’s developmental stage.
CBT combined with motivational enhancement therapy
This approach is particularly successful in treating adolescents with substance use disorders.
Common CBT Techniques for Kids
Cognitive restructuring is the process of detecting irrational beliefs and swapping them out for sensible ones in order to break one’s unfavourable thought patterns. Age can affect the patient’s comprehension of this, but a qualified CBT therapist will be able to modify this strategy to meet their patient’s needs and intellectual level.
Goals are great for use with kids as it helps them to become Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and have time-bound objectives. Age and maturity appropriate goals should be set.
Exercises for centring, breath work, and progressive muscle relaxation are among relaxation approaches. These can be made simple for even the youngest patients and teach the patient to control their physical and emotional reactions to stress.
Changes in Behavior
The goal of behavioral modification is to recognize any undesirable habits, stop them, and promote the emergence of new, appropriate behaviors. Working with children often necessitates the involvement of a caregiver. An action plan for behavior modification is created by the caregivers and therapist together, and it is then implemented at home, school, etc.
Age-appropriate skills including time management, socialization, organization, and changes to one’s lifestyle are taught through skill training.
Play-based CBT combines unstructured, child-directed therapeutic play with structured, goal-oriented exercises. Through play, the therapist encourages the kid to make connections between their thoughts, feelings, and actions. To provide developmentally appropriate care, the therapist may employ role-playing games, desensitization techniques, and scenarios from the child’s life.
When working with kids, a therapist will frequently use modeling to show desired abilities and behaviors without giving explicit instructions. Young children learn new abilities like walking and talking by copying others since they are inherently good at it. The therapist aids the child in naturally achieving their objectives by demonstrating to them how to express their feelings, rearrange their thinking, or handle difficult social circumstances.
For children and adolescents with anxiety or OCD, exposure treatment is frequently used in conjunction with CBT to help them confront specific concerns. The therapist assists the kid in reducing anxiety-related symptoms over time by helping the youngster develop coping skills to use when exposed to anxiety-producing events.
How to Find a Child Therapist for Your Child
Numerous internet directories of therapists are available to help you choose a therapist for your adolescent or younger child. Many websites even let you focus your search by using specific criteria, such as looking for local CBT and child experts.
Ask Child therapist if they are familiar with cognitive behavioral therapy, how much clinical experience they have utilizing CBT, and how much experience they have working with children and teenagers when you get in touch with them. If you are looking for “Child Therapist near Me” you can opt for Online Counselling platform like TalktoAngel, they have well qualified and experienced therapists.