Behavior Therapy for Children and Adolescents

Behavior Therapy for Children and Adolescents

Often the child or adolescent doesn’t understand or even know why they are behaving the way they are.

Often psychological interventions for children focus on educating the parent on how best to change the child’s behavior problems through changing the environment, including the use of appropriate consequences. For some problems, however, such behavioral strategies are not enough.

During childhood, adolescence, and the teenage years, it’s is common for children to experience occasional problems as they grow and mature. They experience conflicts at home over such issues as toilet training, bedtime and homework. Children encounter problems with parents and peers as they attempt to establish a personal identity and practice relating to others.

As a child is faced with new situations, demands and expectations, it is common for the child to experience emotional ups and downs characterized by feelings of sadness, fear and anger. Often the child or adolescent doesn’t understand or even know why they are behaving the way they are. They only know that they feel pain, worry, sometimes fear. So, how does a parent know when it is time to seek professional assistance for their child? AT Psychological HealthCare, we look at a number of factors in determining the appropriateness of therapy. First, we evaluate if the emotional distress is disrupting daily functioning, threatens to overwhelm the child or interferes with the achievement of age-appropriate developmental milestones.

Through beginning to understand the problem we can help the child or adolescent understand themselves as well as the parents understand and how to best help their child. Talking with a therapist can help determine what is typical behavior and when a parent should be concerned.