Treating a Nine-Year-Old Boy with Depression: A Cognitive Behavioral Approach

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Treating a nine-year-old boy with depression: A Cognitive Behavioral Approach Depression is difficult to treat in an adult, and treating depression in a child presents additional potential problems. Adults are often treated with a combination of 'talk' and drug therapy, but antidepressants are seldom recommended for young children, because of the potential side effects (although drug treatments are occasionally prescribed). Suicidal ideation has been linked to the administration of antidepressants in young children and adults. For a young child, medication would not be the first course of treatment prescribed. Instead, one of the most useful approaches for young children suffering mental health problems has been found to be cognitive behavioral therapy. "For depression treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy may be especially effective. Children who are depressed often have an unhealthy, negative view of themselves and their experiences. With cognitive behavioral therapy, children learn to develop a healthier, more positive outlook which can help relieve depression" (Hoecker 2012). A cognitive behavioral approach identifies unproductive thinking patterns such as, in the case of the nine-year-old boy in the case study: 'I'm worthless.' Or 'my parents don't love me.' The therapist probes such broad and sweeping statements, and helps the boy identify the fallacies of in black-and-white thinking that may be interfering with normal peer relationships. "Through CBT children

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