Therapy for Behavioral Disorders
Help your child work through disruptive behaviors
Get matched with a child therapist for behavioral disorders
Behavioral disorders can make parenting challenging – and can make life hard for your child or teen too. If your child frequently has frequent struggles with behavioral or emotional issues, they may have a clinical behavioral disorder. Team up with a therapist who can help you better understand and correct your child’s disruptive behaviors.
How can you tell if your child has a behavior disorder?
All children have their moments of destructive and defiant behaviors or explosive emotions. Unfortunately, children aren’t born knowing how to act or how to manage painful and overwhelming emotions. Tantrums, whining, yelling, hitting, and defiance are all methods children use to communicate how they’re feeling and to attempt to exert control.
So how can you tell if your child is exhibiting normal (but difficult) behavior or if they might have a behavioral disorder? When diagnosing a child with a behavioral disorder, there are a few key things we look for: are the behaviors outside the norm for the child’s developmental stage, are they frequent, and are they causing severe issues for the child and others? If a child meets these criteria for at least six months, they may have one of the following behavioral disorders:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): the child struggles with hyperactivity, poor impulse control, and trouble paying attention
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD): the child is generally angry, irritable, argumentative, defiant, and vengeful
- Intermittent Explosive Disorder (EID): the child frequently experiences emotional outbursts, lacks control over their anger, and maybe violent
- Conduct Disorder (CD): the child may break rules or laws, harm or disrespect others, destroy or steal property, lie, or bully others
The goals of therapy for behavioral disorders
When a child is diagnosed with a behavioral disorder, our goal is not to label them or make you feel bad as a parent. There are many reasons children develop behavioral disorders, including past trauma, parenting styles, biological factors, or brain damage. We’re here to talk with your child, understand why they’re struggling, and teach them strategies to better cope and respond to difficult behaviors and situations. We also can work with parents to help you better respond to your child’s disruptive behaviors and create the best environment possible to support their development and growth. Your Ellie therapist will help by:
- Helping your child develop and practice their social skills and how to communicate their needs and emotions in a healthy way
- Teaching your child how to regulate their emotions, defuse anger, cope with sadness or disappointment, and relax
- Working with you as the parent to deescalate tense situations, communicate with your child effectively, and discipline in a constructive manner
- Working with your child to find constructive, healthy activities that help them to express themselves, release emotions, and build confidence.
- Helping children to identify negative thought and behavior patterns and help them learn to problem solve, show self-control, and have a better self-image.
Let’s work through behavioral disorder together
Helping your child work through a behavioral disorder is a team effort. Your therapist will help you get to the root of your child’s difficulties and will work to find the right solutions for you and your child. However, parents and guardians play a major role in the process. Our goal is to give you the tools and resources to help your child thrive, improve their behaviors, and build a strong future.
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