Children & Adolescents

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Children and Adolescents

Children and teens have it tough these days. Packed schedules, competing demands, and peer pressure can lead to feelings of instability, insecurity, and frustration, which can lead to emotional and behavior problems. Many children and teenagers struggle to find their way and can develop depression, anxiety, academic difficulties, social problems, and oppositional behavior. Children with ADHD find it especially hard to cope with the ordinary demands of childhood. It is important that children and teens get help during this critical period in their lives.

Child and adolescent CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is an effective way to treat child and adolescent emotional and behavior problems.

I provide therapy and assessment for children and adolescents in Southlake and surrounding areas. Contact me now to schedule an appointment for your child or adolescent, or read about specific child and adolescent problems below.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Children and adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) display a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with their school or home activities. They have difficulty paying attention, listening, and staying organized. They often make mistakes and fail to follow through. Children and adolescents with ADHD often find it hard to sit still, stay quiet when expected, and wait their turn. Grades, extracurricular activities, and relationships with parents and peers can suffer. Cognitive behavioral therapy and parent behavioral training are ideal therapy approaches for ADHD. They work by teaching children and parents to manage the symptoms of ADHD by structuring their environment, proper use of incentives, and helping the child or teenager think and act differently in various situations.
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Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Children and adolescents with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) are often angry, irritable, or easily annoyed. They often have periods of losing their temper and can be argumentative and defiant. Children and adolescents with ODD will often argue with authority figures, defy or refuse to comply with requests by adults, deliberately annoy others, or blame others for their mistakes or misbehavior. A good parent training and behavior management program can effectively treat this problem by setting limits, proper use of rewards and consequences, and helping the child or teenager make choices that lead to better long-term outcomes.

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Anxiety is the most common emotional problem in young people. Anxiety can affect virtually every area of their lives and can present in many ways. Children with Separation Anxiety Disorder, for example, have difficulty leaving their primary caretaker (e.g., mom or dad) when being dropped off at school or day care. Children with Selective Mutism can comfortably speak in certain settings (e.g., at home), yet have difficulty speaking, or refuse to speak, in settings where speaking is expected (e.g., at school). Children and adolescents with Specific Phobia have a fear of various stimuli (e.g., spiders, heights, needles, etc.). Children and teens with Generalized Anxiety Disorder have great difficulty controlling their worries, and they may have excessive worry and stress about many events or activities. Children and adolescents with Social Anxiety Disorder have excessive anxiety or fear in social situations where they will be evaluated by others. Cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective method to treat Anxiety Disorders in children and adolescents by teaching them to think and act differently in various situations.

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Around 2 to 3 percent of children ages 6 to 12, and 6 to 8 percent of teens in the U.S. may have serious depression according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. While depression affects boys and girls, girls are more likely to be affected during adolescence. Children and adolescents with depression may display a depressed, angry, or irritable mood, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, a change in grades or getting into trouble at school, a change in eating habits, feeling worthless or restless, frequent sadness or crying, withdrawing from friends and activities, a loss of energy, low self-esteem, or thoughts of death or suicide. Depression can affect virtually every area of a young person’s life. Cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective method to treat depression in children and adolescents by teaching them to think differently about their life and circumstances, and to act differently in various situations.

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