Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for a six year old? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 06-21-2008, 04:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Mamas,

I have posted only minimally about my DS, but we've finally, finally, finally narrowed down the bulk of his problems through many hours of neuropsych testing, a fantastic developmental ped, and a great new psychologist. In addition to the ADHD, his primary problem has clearly come out to be OCD. On the official diagnostic test (she called it a Y-BOC or something I think?) he scored a 39, which is in the severe range. To offer perspective, she said that her goal in therapy is to get children with OCD down to an 11 or less before discontinuing therapy.

There is some question whether he is ready, age-wise, to tackle CBT right now. He is aware that his "brain gets stuck" and that he is rather unhappy most of the time. But he has developed some severe regulatory issues related to dealing with this issue from such a young age that I am concerned he won't be able to really work through CBT until he's older. The psychologist wants to try it for a few weeks, but she is clear that the first step in having CBT work is an awareness of the patient of the OCD issues at play and a willingness to "boss them back." If he isn't ready, we'll do some subtle things at home and wait a year or two until he is.

Honestly, though, life is so hard with his issues that I will be so deflated if we have to wait any longer to work through this. His obsessions and rituals take up so much of our time and energy (not to mention his).

So I guess what I'm asking is this: has anyone had success with a child having CBT this young? Any recommendations to prep him to help with his willingness level?
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#2 of 11 Old 06-21-2008, 04:26 AM
 
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Have you read the book "Freeing Your Child From Anxiety" by Tamar Chansky?

http://www.amazon.com/Freeing-Your-C...4032926&sr=8-1

She also has a book specifically for OCD:

http://www.amazon.com/Freeing-Your-C...4032926&sr=8-2

I haven't read the OCD, but have read the first one and it is very good - talks about CBT.

If you want something to read to your child, you could try:

http://www.amazon.com/What-When-Brai...4032926&sr=8-3

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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#3 of 11 Old 06-21-2008, 05:29 AM
 
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Hello Bookmama - have you heard of Jonathan Grayson? He is one of the leading experts in the area of OCD. I have had OCD for the past 2 yrs. and it has been absolutely miserable for my DH and DS - nothing was helping me until I found Dr. Grayson. Here's some info on him -

http://http://www.anxietytreatmentcenter.com/treatment/?sectionid=2

http://http://www.ocfoundation.org/scientific-advisory-board.html

Good luck to you and your family. I hope your DS feels better very soon.

Kate, Wife to DH and Mommy to a 5yo lovin' DS; three angels 4/08 9/08 3/10 in Heaven,
waitin' for my baby

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#4 of 11 Old 06-21-2008, 05:52 AM
 
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I'm training in, and seeing clients as a cognitive behavior therapist, and what we have always been taught is that before 9 years of age, kids cognitive functioning isn't there enough for cbt. I think if someone was to try with a 6 year old, it would end up being almost solely behavioural therapy, with much less cognitive content. This isn't a bad thing, per se, some research has shown that behavioural therapy can be as effective as cbt.

I'm not sure where you would go from here. I worked with a kid from about 14-17 with OCD, and to be honest, it was just painful how it dominated his (and his parents') lives. I don't think there would be a harm in trying, as long as you have enough trust in the therapist, but I don't think it would be "true" cbt on a kid of your son's age.

Mum to Quinn, Aug 14th 2010
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#5 of 11 Old 06-21-2008, 10:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Jade* View Post
I'm training in, and seeing clients as a cognitive behavior therapist, and what we have always been taught is that before 9 years of age, kids cognitive functioning isn't there enough for cbt. I think if someone was to try with a 6 year old, it would end up being almost solely behavioural therapy, with much less cognitive content. This isn't a bad thing, per se, some research has shown that behavioural therapy can be as effective as cbt.
I have no idea why you'd have been taught that - it's simply incorrect. There are lots of CBT programs developed specifically for little kids, with really good outcomes, especially in the area of anxiety. Sure, cognitive challenging is done differently for six-year-olds than for older kids or adults, but it can still be done. More importantly, though, cognitive challenging isn't generally a big component of treatment for OCD - exposure plus response prevention is generally considered the best therapy for OCD.

(Jade - if you're really being taught that little kids can't benefit from CBT, you really ought to let your supervisors or whoever know that that's wrong, and maybe point them to some of the programs developed specifically for kids, like the Coping CAT program for child anxiety, or PCIT for disruptive behavior disorders.)
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#6 of 11 Old 06-21-2008, 11:44 AM
 
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My dd is in counseling for anxiety, and I am pretty sure the things she is doing qualify as CBT (rather than BT). She is doing extremely well with it. She is 7.
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#7 of 11 Old 06-21-2008, 09:31 PM
 
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My mom is a therapist and recently gave me some advice regarding a friend's son who has OCD. Although she doesn't work with kids, she said the treatments are very similar for kids and adults. Her opinion was that CBT could work with him (he was about 7 or 8, I think); she said that when kids are younger the parents take on more work (for example, enforcing a no-hand-washing time period).

Beth
DS (8), DD (5), #3 due 1/5/09
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#8 of 11 Old 06-22-2008, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to all who responded! You've given me a lot to think about. I'll give an update in few weeks as we see how things go with this psychologist.

Thanks again!
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#9 of 11 Old 06-22-2008, 06:05 PM
 
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My ds did a modified CBT course of therapy for PTSD and anxiety, and it helped him tremendously. He is 6. This was after a year of "talk therapy" that was unhelpful and perhaps even counterproductive. I hope your little guy gets some relief.
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#10 of 11 Old 06-23-2008, 01:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eggplant View Post
More importantly, though, cognitive challenging isn't generally a big component of treatment for OCD - exposure plus response prevention is generally considered the best therapy for OCD.
: Exposure response is the treatment that I had with my OCD. My psychiatrist also stated that CBT is not generally the treatment of choice with OCD.

Kate, Wife to DH and Mommy to a 5yo lovin' DS; three angels 4/08 9/08 3/10 in Heaven,
waitin' for my baby

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#11 of 11 Old 04-08-2014, 12:48 AM
 
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My daughter is four, two months shy of five and has been started in basic CBT but is soon to be starting sessions with a new therapist in a month, yes CBT is available for very young children, my daughters a very precocious nigh five year old, today in fact she let it be known "I don't need a nap, I'm only mentally tired, not physic-y tired" (little stinker) but she's able to communicate her thoughts and experiences well beyond what's needed for CBT and it's doing wonders already, we've only barely begun but I'm so eager, finally something that makes sense, she went from colic right to anxiety with barely a year between..
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