Do you have a child that is dealing with emotional disorders? Is oppositional defiant disorder an issue your child is dealing with? Being a child is hard enough, but when you couple that with the endless list of disorders that can affect their day to day life, you have challenges that can really put your child and your family to the test.
Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) can cause disruptive behavior at home, in school or just about any public area. It can seriously impact a child’s ability to interact with their peers and educators in a positive way in turn causing long term emotional issues. Many doctors when diagnosing a child with ODD automatically turn to drugs as a treatment, but they may not always be the best alternative. Drugs can have severe side effects – both emotionally and physically which could make your child even more miserable. Because every child is different in how they react to drugs, it is important to closely monitor whether the drugs are working enough to help their ODD symptoms to warrant them taking them.
There are a variety of therapies and techniques that can be used to replace the drugs that can give your child a whole new outlook on life! Drugs can alter the mind and cause other issues, but these therapy procedures can help rework the issues that your child has that is causing the unwanted behaviors.
Dr. Rosenthal, a licensed child psychologist based in NYC, offers the following treatments for children dealing with emotional issues such as ODD, social anxiety disorder, eating problems, sleeping problems and so much more.
1) Group Therapy – by immersing your child in a group of children that are in their own age range we can help them learn to socialize better with their peers in a more natural environment. Typically when a child is taking part in group therapy they are also receiving individual therapy which results in a much higher improvement rate.
2) Social Skill Training – in social skills training groups their are goals that are set for each child and through the use of drawing, role-play, discussion and sharing of experiences children can learn to overcome barriers to their social skills. These groups help children deal with anxiety, depression and help them learn to express feelings, problem solve and other issues such as aggression. With this type of therapy often the parents are met with as well to help them continue working with their children on the techniques they learned in the group therapy.
3) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – this type of therapy focuses on finding the faults in your childs thinking that is bringing on the bad behaviors and then works on changing those thoughts. This treatment is a short-term treatment where everyone involved works together to identify and meet specific goals and objectives. Thought monitoring, activity management and response prevention are some of the treatments within CBT Therapy that will help your child learn to define the issues and control them before negative behaviors begin.
4) Family Therapy – because some children have emotional issues because of the family dynamic, it is important to have family therapy sessions to ensure everyone understands the issues and goals. It offers the opportunity for children to express themselves in a more neutral environment and allows the therapist to see how the family unit works which in turn will allow them to better help your child. Hidden anger or pent of thoughts can be set free in this therapy will adults, siblings and the child with the issue be more open and able to better handle conflict. By building a stronger family unit – many behavioral issues can be resolved.
Although we understand in some cases that drugs are the only option, we sincerely hope most families will consider reaching out to their closest child psychologist for a full evaluation. Ask about the therapies available that can best help your child and work with the psychologist closely on a program that they create just for your unique situation.
If after trying the therapies there is no major improvement, then it is time to consider the use of drugs in conjunction with the therapy.