Our psychotherapists are trained in evidenced-based practices. The strategies and techniques that are used are based on research and clinical literature. Therapy is individualized to meet the unique needs of each child and family. In general, child psychotherapy requires parent involvement.
Evidenced-based therapies utilized by our therapists include:
- Behavior Therapy: Behavioral therapy is generally used with younger children. Research shows that children learn through modeling (e.g. observing others) and reinforcement (e.g. they will repeat the same behavior if they are positively reinforced).
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT): CBT helps improve a child’s moods, anxiety and behavior by examining the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behavior. The therapist helps the child change their thoughts, which results in more appropriate feelings and behaviors. Research shows that CBT can be effective in treating a variety of conditions, including depression and anxiety.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): DBT is used to treat older adolescents and adults who are struggling with emotional regulation. DBT emphasizes taking responsibility for one’s problems and helps the person examine how they deal with conflict and intense negative emotions.
- Family Therapy focuses on helping the family function in more positive and constructive ways by exploring patterns of communication and providing support and education. Family therapy sessions can include the child or adolescent along with parents, siblings, and grandparents.
- Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is a brief treatment specifically developed and tested for depression, but also used to treat a variety of other clinical conditions. IPT therapists focus on how interpersonal events affect an individual’s emotional state. Individual difficulties are framed in interpersonal terms, and then problematic relationships are addressed
Psychotherapy is not a quick fix or an easy answer. It is a complex and rich process that, over time, can reduce symptoms, provide insight, and improve a child or adolescent’s functioning and quality of life.
At times, a combination of different psychotherapy approaches may be helpful. In some cases a combination of medication with psychotherapy may be more effective. Child and adolescent psychiatrists are trained in different forms of psychotherapy and, if indicated, are able to combine these forms of treatment with medications to alleviate the child or adolescent’s emotional and/or behavioral problems.