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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a scientifically proven method of treatment that works for younger children as effectively as it does for adults in the treatment of the anxiety disorders, such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This is when a child or adult worries most of the time about many things or things that have happened in the past, in the present or in the future. When children have this disorder they worry about events that are coming in the future, conversations or actions they went through, their health and their family’s health, school concerns and world events.

They worry so much and feel that they can’t control their worrying and so the worrying begins to interfere in all that they try to do.

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder are anxiety, worrying, restlessness, feeling constantly tired, on edge, finding it difficult to concentrate and having problems with sleep, depression, and physical complaints that are not caused by an actual physical condition.

Cognitive therapy is actually most often used in conjunction with behavioural therapy when used with children and most often is aimed at trying to break the circle of emotion, thought, and behaviour that is thought to cause most of the symptomology that the therapy is intended to ameliorate. The idea is that a person feels an emotion which leads to a thought that is uncomfortable which in turn leads to a behaviour that makes the feeling better, but the feeling is then affected by the behaviour so that it leads to another uncomfortable thought which leads to another and possibly even more inappropriate behaviour which leads to another feeling and so on. Cognitive therapy is an attempt to change the thought into a more realistic and helpful one thus breaking the circle.

When children and adolescents receive cognitive therapy the focus is on breaking the circle at the thought phase. Having the child focus on the thought and bringing that step in the cycle come more under his or her control can help him or her to see the fallacies in the thoughts and thus repair his or her behaviour to the reality of the situation rather than continue in the avoidance behaviours that are inappropriate. In hundreds if studies, cognitive therapy has been shown to be quite effective.­


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