Many kids with learning and attention issues also have mental health issues. The most common is ADHD, anxiety, behavioral challenges, stress, fear, low self-esteem, depression, and other emotional struggles. There are a number of treatments for these and other emotional health problems. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of them.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a treatment approach that calls attention to the interrelation of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. If a person is experiencing negative thinking, they will have negative feelings and behaviors in alignment with this negative wave of thinking. Thoughts such as “I am dumb,” or “I am worthless” precipitate feelings of sadness or frustration and facilitate negative behaviors that continue to fulfill these negative internal beliefs. On the contrary, if a person experiences positive thinking their feelings and behaviors will be positive in nature.CBT teaches kids how to manage their emotions and put things in perspective. Therapists are interactive, solution-focused, and work with the client on solving the problems of most relevance. The therapist trains the client to recognize maladaptive/negative thought patterns and then to replace negative thoughts with positive, coping self-talk to reverse the cycle of negative thinking, feeling, and behaving.
Cognitive behavioral therapy aims to define the triggers of particular behaviors so that a child starts to recognize those moments himself. Through practice, a therapist introduces practical responses. In other words, kids learn to see when they are about to head down a habitual behavioral or mental path
If you have a child who struggles with any mental illnesses ask your occupational therapist how they can help. If you are not currently seeing an occupational therapist please call TEAM 4 Kids to schedule an appointment at one of our two convenient locations in Surprise and Peoria.
Jill Campbell COTA/L