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What does behavior therapy for kids look like?

What is behavior therapy?

The goal of behavior therapy is to help modify behavior that isn’t working very well. We all learn how to get our needs met, but sometimes we learn something that doesn’t work well for us. Behavior therapy works to replace an old behavior with a new, more functional and helpful behavior. Behavior therapy will also help parents feel more effective and argue less with their kids.

When should you start behavior therapy?

It’s never too late for a child to benefit from behavior therapy, but the sooner the better. Younger children generally have simpler problems, and these may be responsive to behavior therapy more easily. For younger children, parent-child interactions aren’t ingrained and may be easier to change. Studies have found that children with ADHD have 1-2 negative interactions per minute with teachers, parents and peers. That adds up to over a half a million in a year! The earlier the intervention the earlier this negative pattern can be stopped. The more often parents have negative reactions with the child, the more damage is done to the relationship, and in learning new negative behaviors. Start early to ensure a healthier parent child relationship.

Why is behavior therapy the best choice?

Behavior therapy is the best first option for behavior issues at home and at school. Medications are often prescribed when kids are having difficulties in school, but the only way to adjust the behavior is through behavioral interventions. When medications are used alone, the impulsivity and distraction can improve, but when the medication is no longer being used the behavior resumes. When behavior therapy is used, the behavior itself is changed and new learning takes place preventing the behavior from returning.

Should my child be the only one going through behavior therapy?

No. For behavior therapy to be the most help, parent involvement is very important. The therapist can practice behaviors for 1 hour at a time, but parents are involved 24 hours per day. Parents will learn helpful techniques to reduce the way the negative behaviors impact the home and increase the positive interactions. Teachers can also get involved. Teachers spend a lot of time with your kids, and often have the most opportunities to see the negative behaviors impact their learning. With input from the parents and the teacher the therapist is best able to identify a plan that works with the lifestyle of the family.

Clear Perspective is here to help with all of your mental health needs. Please call to set up your appointment and help your child feel more in control of the future.

Call us at 828-475-0149

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