Why is My Child Acting Out?

Posted April 10, 2019

Challenging behavior is a frequently experienced part of raising a child, and it’s not unusual for a child to act out as a response to everyday stressors, changes in their routine, and other typical factors. However, if you’re concerned that your child is struggling to overcome significant behavioral issues and/or emotional difficulties, it may be time to seek out professional help and resources.

What is Causing this Behavior?

It’s not unusual for parents to be confused by a child’s challenging behavior, especially when it’s difficult to pinpoint the reasons behind it. It can be difficult not to feel like you are at fault, or to experience feelings of guilt for wondering if you simply have a “bad” child. However, a child’s negative behavior can often be attributed to one key factor: on some level, their basic needs are not being met. For some children, that may be something as simple as an inconsistent sleep schedule, the stress of dealing with a new school, or complex feelings about the birth of a new sibling.

But for other children, there is a major obstacle that prevents their basic needs from being met: severe emotional difficulties that require professional therapy.

DBT Therapy: A Way to Help Your Child Overcome Emotional Difficulties

Making the decision to seek professional help for your child is the first step, and it’s important to consider the full range of options available. One of the effective treatment options for juveniles is called DBT therapy, a type of therapy that provides successful aid for patients with varying needs.

What is DBT Therapy?

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that combines the acceptance of a patient’s emotions and behaviors with a focus on working toward change. Essentially, children learn to tolerate and function through emotional distress while learning concrete skills to respond in more productive ways. Parents are often involved in the process as well, enabling them to support the development of their child’s emotional regulation, self-esteem, and positive behavior.

What Can DBT Be Used to Treat?

The early forms of DBT were created solely for the treatment of borderline personality disorder. Today, DBT has been successfully used to help patients dealing with a range of concerns including eating disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance addiction, and suicidal thoughts.

Early adolescent DBT provides professional assistance to children, helping them deal with the challenges arising from one or more of the following difficulties:

  • Behavioral challenges at home, school, or other environments
  • Isolation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Self-harming
  • Aggression

 

 

Who Benefits from DBT Therapy?

Although DBT was initially created as a treatment option for borderline personality disorder (BPD), mental health professionals have adopted the therapy for effective use with a wide range of patients. Early adolescent DBT therapy is specifically designed for targeted use with children and young teens.

Partner with a Professional in Your Child’s Wellbeing

Helping a child with emotional difficulties is challenging for any parent or caregiver, but you don’t have to do it alone. MHS is a professional provider of comprehensive treatment programs, specializing in DBT therapy and behavioral health, including programs specifically created for young patients.

Our Early Adolescent DBT Program is expertly designed to help children and young teens build the skills they need to successfully manage emotional difficulties and implement positive behavioral changes. A combination of ongoing therapy, consistent skill-building, and regular assessment allows the MHS team to take a personalized approach to your child the help they need.

Learn more about DBT therapy and how it may help your child by contacting MHS today.