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Therapy Treatment Options for Childhood Anxiety

Anger is an all-consuming emotion at times, even more so now as we deal with new situations. If you don't get a grip on it, it can affect your quality of life. Anger will damage your relationships and raise your stress levels. If anger is beginning to impact your life, start taking steps to control your emotional state.

Children are prone to different types of anxiety, the same as adults. They can suffer from generalized anxiety and social anxiety. They may also have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive compulsive disorder. It can be more difficult to get a child to open up about what is bothering them. He or she may not even realize the cause. Various therapies can help a child to overcome this affliction.

A child will experience a great deal of change and growth through his youth. Most children will handle it fine. About 10% are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder that can be treated. Many children suffer from anxiety and it is mistaken as childhood fears. Normal childhood fears are separation from family, monsters, loud noises, and thunderstorms. These fears will usually dissipate as they age.

It is important to treat symptoms of anxiety. Children experiencing anxiety may have recurring nightmares, dizziness, or difficulty breathing. They may also avoid social situations and worry about things that have not happened. It is common that these children exhibit low self-esteem . If these signs are present for a few weeks and do not show signs of lessening, the child should visit a doctor. A referral to a therapist who specializes in treating children will likely occur.

Therapy is the first course of action for children. The medications prescribed for anxiety in children may have unpleasant side effects. Severe cases only should get medication. There are different types of therapy for children. These include talk therapy, CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) and art therapy/play therapy.


Talk Therapy



The therapist will ask questions in a safe, non-threatening environment. The child may not give information in the beginning as they are talking to a stranger. A few sessions may occur before the child feels comfortable enough to talk more openly. Some sessions may produce little progress while others will have a big breakthrough. Talk therapy can help the child release negative thoughts, feelings and traumas.


Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)


The therapist will start on CBT after talk therapy has done its job. Children may have blown up views of life and the world around them. A trauma could stick with them a long time if not addressed. The therapist will help the child to view the events in a friendlier manner. They will help them see that the future can look brighter. If trauma is not involved, CBT can provide the means to show children how to cope with negative thoughts.


Art Therapy


Art therapy can help find underlying issues on what is causing anxiety. Most children love to draw or color and can find this a fun activity. The therapist will usually ask the child to draw their family or a school event or anything that comes to mind. The drawing(s) could have an underlying theme. The therapist may pick up on this to discover the anxiety source. This method works well with those children that may have problems opening up.


Play Therapy


This therapy works well with children. Children love to play. The therapist will have toys and figurines for the child to play with and the therapist may join in. The child can come up with scenarios involving characters of their making. Many times the scenes enacted mimic the child's life. The child's play may point to some event that is making the child uncomfortable and anxious. The therapist will be able to come up with a treatment plan based on the information obtained.

All children have fears and may suffer some anxiety. Some forms of anxiety may need treatment. It's important to find a therapist who has experience with children. This is the first step in alleviating the distress. A knowledgeable therapist will help diagnose the source and treat the anxiety.

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