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Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 12 Dec 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Cbt

Unlike traditional psychotherapy which can take years, cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is specific-goal oriented, with positive results often beginning rather quickly. CBT places emphasis on the role that thoughts play in regards to emotions and behaviours, stressing that changing thoughts can have a profound affect altering behaviour. Highly respected for providing relief in mood, anxiety and behavioural disorders, CBT therapists work with children and their families to develop individualised treatment plans designed to help children to learn new problem solving skills while they increase their confidence and sense of self-esteem.

Restructuring Thoughts
Often, when children are anxious or depressed, they are flooded with self-directed messages of inadequacy and doubt. CBT strives to help kids reconsider their assumptions and helps them to see that if they change the way they view themselves and their environment, they can improve their condition. For example, it is not uncommon for kids with social phobias to believe that other people don't like them or will laugh at them if they make mistakes. By getting kids to see that thinking these things doesn't necessarily make them true, it opens up the possibility that they may be well accepted into their peer group, giving them the confidence to attempt social situations that they may have previously avoided.

Practice Makes Perfect
One of the most fundamental beliefs of CBT is that mastering changes in thought processes that ultimately help to control behaviours requires practicing the recommended skills. CBT therapists routinely request that patients read materials related to their condition as well as practicing the skills that are discussed during sessions. Also, since CBT is based on the notion that thoughts and reactions are learned, rather than inherent, they can also be "unlearned," replacing debilitating misinformation with positive, empowering thoughts.

Therapists Provide Guidance
While CBT therapists provide information and encouragement to their patients and act as sounding boards for children's input, the main responsibility for successful therapy lies with the patients themselves. Therapists can provide guidance, but consistent dedication to achieving the goals on the part of the patients and their families is what will ultimately determine the results. CBT therapists believe that you cannot merely "talk it out" and expect to see positive results, but must instead be willing to retrain the thought process and then put the new ideas into action.

Asking the Right Questions
In order for cognitive behavioural therapy to be most effective, CBT therapists must ask questions that get children to re-think their negative assumptions and also encourage the kids to formulate their own questions. When kids are encouraged to express their worries, they may come to the realisation that many of their fears are unfounded. Getting children to view feared situations as less threatening or intimidating. Kids who suffer from mood, anxiety, or behavioural disorders may feel overwhelmed by their symptoms and feel that their problems are far too huge to overcome. By providing suggestions and tools that break down recovery into small, manageable steps, kids can gain hope. Positive thoughts often result in positive actions, and positive actions are good for everyone.

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Blue - Your Question:
My son is 7, almost 8, and has always been a well mannered, very polite and loving child. In the last 3 years (since he started primary school) he has turned into a very nasty child, his behaviour is very erratic and he becomes very antagonistic. He answers back, he hits, kicks, throws things across the room, he tells me I am mean for punishing him for his behaviour. I've tried all approaches that I can think of; confiscating things he enjoys, grounding him, shouting, smacking him, pleading, begging, the soft approach. He's had me in tears and wanting to leave our family home, so I've even tried telling him how his behaviour makes me feel like leaving, of course he gets upset, but nothing changes. I do not know what to do.I have very little support from his father (my husband) though he adopts the authoritative approach and tries to go with the softly-softly thing with him, but as soon as he is out of the room, out comes the demon child again. I'm tired, I'm exhausted, I'm nearing the end of my tether. I don't know what to do anymore. Please help.

Our Response:
Try looking online for practical help from organisation such as Care for the Family or Family Lives It's worth asking at school to see if your child is struggling socially or academically and might help you identify a reason for the behaviour.
KidsBehaviour - 29-Sep-16 @ 1:01 PM
My son is 7, almost 8, and has always been a well mannered, very polite and loving child. In the last 3 years (since he started primary school) he has turned into a very nasty child, his behaviour is very erratic and he becomes very antagonistic. He answers back, he hits, kicks, throws things across the room, he tells me I am mean for punishing him for his behaviour. I've tried all approaches that I can think of; confiscating things he enjoys, grounding him, shouting, smacking him, pleading, begging, the soft approach. He's had me in tears and wanting to leave our family home, so I've even tried telling him how his behaviour makes me feel like leaving, of course he gets upset, but nothing changes. I do not know what to do. I have very little support from his father (my husband) though he adopts the authoritative approach and tries to go with the softly-softly thing with him, but as soon as he is out of the room, out comes the demon child again. I'm tired, I'm exhausted, I'm nearing the end of my tether. I don't know what to do anymore. Please help.
Blue - 28-Sep-16 @ 5:46 PM
Hi , My son is 11 and a school refuser ,, myself and his dad split up after 20years so with starting secondary school and parents parting I need to find some help for my son , can you recommend any help please
Sam - 12-Jan-16 @ 5:25 PM
Marley199 - Your Question:
Hi my son has just turned 10. He really struggles with social interaction. He has very negative thoughts about himself and the people around him and a lot of anger. In a group situation he is more often the outsider and will fall out with everyone in the group and causes a lot of conflict. I would like to know how I can get him to feel more positive towards himself and people around him and learn to get along with everyone better without causing so much conflict. I have tried giving him advice but he just gets angry with me when I try and intervene

Our Response:
Ask at school and see whether they have any counselling/therapy contacts etc. They might also be able to give you some advice on a club or group that he could join; is he for example, a keen footballer or actor etc? If he can develop in one of those areas it will help his self esteem etc.
KidsBehaviour - 15-Dec-15 @ 2:26 PM
Hi my son has just turned 10. He really struggles with social interaction. He has very negative thoughts about himself and the people around him and a lot of anger. In a group situation he is more often the outsider and will fall out with everyone in the group and causes a lot of conflict. I would like to know how I can get him to feel more positive towards himself and people around him and learn to get along with everyone better without causing so much conflict. I have tried giving him advice but he just gets angry with me when I try and intervene
Marley199 - 15-Dec-15 @ 9:31 AM
worried mum - Your Question:
My son is 10 and has struggled with his behavior, in school mainly, for a number of years now. He often doesn't respond to doing certain tasks he is being asked to do if the mood doesn't strike right and often speaks rudely to teachers,out right refuses to do any of his class work. He then is given a consequence and this just sends him off the rails. He's had art therapy a number of times and is currently having anger management, both at school. He's been reduced to a part time rota at school, building up his time half an hour a day. The school have been incredibly supportive. However, I wondered if cbt would help to get him focussed on why he makes negative choices and then expects no consequence for his actions. I praise him whenever he's good or chooses to talk honestly about his feelings. And I try to ignore his bad behaviors. I just feel he really needs something more focussed on his mind set to help him become successful in anything he does with a more positive attitude,not only towards others,but also towards himself. Any advice would be greatly appreciated

Our Response:
It may do but we don't know enough about your son's position to say. Your GP should be able to refer you to a CBT specialist though.
KidsBehaviour - 12-Oct-15 @ 1:54 PM
My son is 10 and has struggled with his behavior, in school mainly, for a number of years now. He often doesn't respond to doing certain tasks he is being asked to do if the mood doesn't strike right and often speaks rudely to teachers,out right refuses to do any of his class work. He then is given a consequence and this just sends him off the rails. He's had art therapy a number of times and is currently having anger management, both at school. He's been reduced to a part time rota at school, building up his time half an hour a day. The school have been incredibly supportive. However, i wondered if cbt would help to get him focussed on why he makes negative choices and then expects no consequence for his actions. I praise him whenever he's good or chooses to talk honestly about his feelings. And i try to ignore his bad behaviors. I just feel he really needs something more focussed on his mind set to help him become successful in anything he does with a more positive attitude,not only towards others,but also towards himself. Any advice would be greatly appreciated
worried mum - 11-Oct-15 @ 3:24 PM
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