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Popular Topics : Children


Children

See How They Run: When Did Childhood Turn into a Rat Race?
By William Doherty
September/October 2003

Beloved Stranger: Temperament and the Elusive Concept of Normality
By Alice Shannon
May/June 2005

The Rise of the ADHD Diagnosis
By Lawrence Diller
January/February 2008

The Worry Hill: A Child-Friendly Approach to OCD
By Aureen Pinto Wagner
May/June 2008

The Healing Power of Play: Helping the Traumatized Child Find Safety Again
By David Crenshaw
September/October 2008

The Impossible Child: A New Treatment Offers Hope for the Undiagnosable
By Karen Smith
September/October 2000

 

 

 

Content Search Overview: Therapists, social workers, counselors and others found these articles helpful in learning more about working with children and teens in therapy practices. People searching for information on the following terms and concepts found these articles helpful:

Children/Adolescents
Anxiety
Depression
Eating Disorders
Trauma
Parenting
Limit Setting
Boundaries
Time-Out
School Problems
ADHD
OCD
Learning Disorders
Oppositional Behavior
Conduct Disorders
Teenage Suicide
Self Injury
Play Therapy
Cognitive Therapy
Medication
Ritalin
Sensory Integration Disorders
Overscheduling

Sample from: The Worry Hill, by Aureen Pinto Wagner

To alleviate blame and shame and build an alliance with the family, I then discussed the current understanding of OCD as a neurobehavioral disorder. "Having OCD isn't your fault. It's not your parents' fault either. It's like having allergies or asthma—it happens to you because you're more sensitive to it. Sometimes there are other people in your family who are also sensitive and have OCD. OCD isn't something you do on purpose to get attention or because you're lazy. Sometimes your parents or your teachers or friends may think that you're just being stubborn or annoying. It's hard for them to understand that you don't want to do it, but you don't know how to stop." Maria glanced at her parents with a "See, I told you!" look, as her mother tearfully acknowledged having had such reactions.

Communication is key. Most children and families aren't aware that the body is designed to habituate naturally to anxiety. I developed the Worry Hill metaphor to make CBT more child-friendly and prepare children for treatment, by helping them understand how exposure leads to habituation. It's a drawing of a bell-shaped curve that graphically illustrates how anxiety rises with exposure until it reaches a peak, and then, if the child persists in resisting the urge to employ the usual anxiety-avoidance tactics, automatically begins to decline.

In our second session the next week, I explained to Maria and her parents, "Learning how to stop OCD is like riding your bicycle up and down a hill. At first, facing your fears and not doing your rituals feels like riding up a big Worry Hill, because it's tough. You have to work hard to huff and puff up a hill, but if you keep going, you can get to the top. Once you get to the top, it's easy and fun to coast down the hill.

From Psychotherapy Networker, May/June 2008

 

Sample from: The Healing Power of Play, by David Crenshaw

In the fourth session, we continued with these playful activities—dropping in and springing out of the water—repeated many times with the jungle animals, farm animals, dogs, and the figures of adults and children. All of them were jumping into and out of the water, obviously having a good time. Bobby's parents' active participation in the play therapy intervention was crucial because they, too, were "shell-shocked" by this horrific experience of almost losing their son, their only child, and had no idea how to help him. Engaging in the play activities with Bobby was empowering for them and for him.

A clear indication that Bobby was healing was his increasing ability to play again, both in the session and at home. He entered the play in each subsequent session with more gusto, even at times with screams of delight. This was particularly significant because the trauma event occurred while Bobby was running around in the backyard playing. Meanwhile, at home, he was recovering his language ability, was less fretful, and usually slept through the night, much to his parents' relief.

But there was one more major step left to accomplish: we needed to "bracket" the event for Bobby—make it clear that what he'd experienced was extremely unlikely to occur again. Even adult trauma survivors often find their assumptions of safety in the world so shattered that they need help placing traumatic events in a meaningful context, so they can realize emotionally that the trauma will not endlessly recur. Children have less ability to put traumatic events into perspective and understand that what happened was a rare, improbable event that won't need to be confronted over and over again. This bracketing of the trauma event was a challenge with a child as young as Bobby.

From Psychotherapy Networker, September/October 2008

Last modified on Sunday, 16 May 2010 07:42

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