Drug-free Therapy For Children

drug-free therapy for children helps with depressonDrug-free Therapy Tested For Young Kids With Depression

This day in age if your child is out of control with tantrums and other behavioral issues, get them to a doctor. The doctor will then prescribe countless medications. These medications will numb your child into what you want, a calm, docile child. Is this really the right way? What about drug-free therapy? How about taking the time to raise your child? Instead of drugging them up, look further into the situation. Drug-free therapy may not work for every child. There are some cases where medication is needed. Before you medicate your child, shouldn’t drug-free therapy be the first option? The University of Washington is testing this out.The University of Washington is enrolling children from ages 3 to 7 in a therapy program to help with depression and other behavioral issues. This study will enroll 250 kids that show signs of depression, such as problems with sleeping and eating, being socially withdrawn, and showing issues with guilt. These children cannot be diagnosed with autism and cannot be medicated for behavioral issues prior to the study.

This study is very interesting. Not only is it helping children with their behavioral issues, it is teaching parents how to interact with their children. The therapy entails 18 weeks of 1 to 2 hour sessions of parents interacting properly with their children. The sessions are held in a room with a one way mirror for a therapist or watch and instruct the parents via an earpiece. The sessions have 3 stages.

Stage one is child-directed interaction. For the first six weeks the parents follow the child’s lead. If the child is playing with legos, the parent is too. The parent is encouraged to use verbal praise and a general stance of letting the child know they have the parent’s attention 100 percent. For example, the parent would say, “Wow, you are really good at putting those legos together.”Stage two is parent leading activities. This stage builds a foundation of consistent and structured discipline. The parents instruct their children to clean up their toys and sit down, in a proper manner.Stage three focuses on emotional development and signs of depression. The children learn how to cope with emotions, as well as breathing techniques. The children are given toys that are rigged to break. When the toys break, the parents are instructed to help the children through the emotions and not fix the problem right away. Eventually the children are given a new toy.

Parents report that their children are showing signs of improvement, with fewer tantrums. The program reports that every child is showing signs of improvement. Is this the new way to help the children?

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