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Concerned About Unconventional Mental Health Interventions?

Concerned About Unconventional Mental Health Interventions?
Alternative Psychotherapies: Evaluating Unconventional Mental Health Treatments

Sunday, December 17, 2017

What Do Evidence-Based Psychotherapies for Children Look LIke?

Adults who have been in psychotherapy as children may have had a lot of different experiences, but most of them had to do with talking—often a rather general “free association” kind of talking, or play with toys or drawings. A few others may recall more hands-on work, sometimes painful or frightening for the child. But evidence-based treatments for children, the ones supported by empirical research into outcomes of treatment, are more directed, and do not involve intentional pain or fear.

Here are links to some youtube clips of evidence-based treatments, made by developmental psychopathology graduate students under the supervision of their professor, Dr. Cynthia Hartung of the University of Wyoming.



Modular Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Childhood Anxiety
by Lauren Zimmerman & Angeline Bottera

Multifamily Psychoeducational Psychotherapy for Childhood Bipolar Spectrum Disorders
by Kandice Perry & Katy Richardson

Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Children & Adolescents
by Kati Lear & Sarah Steinmetz

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Adolescent Depression
by Brooke Merrow & Kendal Binion

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Adult Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
by Christopher Shelton & Ryan Kozina

Coping Cat to Treat Anxiety in Children and Adolescents
by Andrea Slosser & Shira Kern

Parent Management Training for Childhood Behavior Problems
by Adam Ripley & Alejandra Reyna



Most of these include actors’ performances of child and parent behaviors that are related to the original problem and to the therapeutic methods. You will see that most of the problems under treatment involve seriously concerning behaviors like undue aggressiveness, profound sadness, and unusual levels of disobedience and opposition to adult wishes—problems that  some unconventional therapists often problematically attribute to difficulties of attachment. Rather than trying to create or manipulate emotional attachments, evidence-based treatments usually concentrate on helping parents manage children’s behavior effectively, and on offering children tools and skills they can use to help themselves cope with anxiety or anger. They are certainly not about encouraging child disobedience or talking about parents' sex lives!

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