Evidence-Based Treatments for Childhood Depression
This paper discusses various published articles and literature that report on results from research conducted on the effectiveness of various approaches in treating childhood depression. The articles vary in their topics and strategies. This paper will examine each article and focus on treatments that have been proven to improve the symptoms of childhood depression. Methods
Through extensive research on treatments of childhood depression, this paper will discuss my findings on proven effective treatment strategies. Results
I have found an overwhelming amount of information on the various approaches in treating childhood depression. In most of my research on this topic, the authors and researchers conclude that further studies must be conducted on the effectiveness of treatments of childhood depression. They would like to see more longitudinal studies conducted to contribute to the already existing body of knowledge to further investigate if the depressive symptoms return after a period of time even if the treatment/s have proven to be effective. On a more positive note, there has been a significant amount of evidence that proves effective many different approaches to treating childhood depression. Discussion
The first treatment approach I would like to discuss is family therapy. If a case involves any type of family discord whatsoever, the research I have found on family therapy gives me great confidence that including key family members in the treatment process of a child’s depression can be extremely beneficial. In a study conducted by Trowell, et al, 11 sessions of family therapy were found to be even more effective as a program which included 25 sessions of psychotherapy coupled with 12 parent classes. 81% of the cases receiving family therapy were recovered at a 6-month follow-up (Carr, Alan, 2008). Although there are many different schools and variations of family therapy, the main idea among them all is to give family members the tools necessary to create a more harmonious environment. Interventions such as communication and problem-solving skills to resolve family conflict, enhancing family relationships and promoting better mood management are common themes among all family-based therapy programs (Carr, 2008). Family therapy can be used as a sole treatment or combined with other modalities (Kaslow, Nadine, J. et al., 2012). Here is a description that I found while doing research on the topic: “Home is not necessarily a house, or piece of property; home is a layer of valued emotional experiences and memories, accumulated over a period of time and grounded in social relationships with family and friends (Riemer, Jeffrey W., 2000).”
Another type of therapy that is gaining more evidence of its effectiveness on decreasing childhood depression is child-centered play therapy. Child-centered play therapy is conducted by building a therapeutic relationship between the child and play therapist in a facilitative environment that promotes self-directed healing. The idea is that within this environment, the child is able to confront emotional pain that he/she has experienced, process his/her feelings regarding any pain or trauma, and finally gain mastery over it through repetitive symbolic play (Campbell, Megan M. et al., 2010). Being that infants and preschoolers do not have the ability to express in words their feelings of rejection or anger, diagnosing any psychiatric disorder in this age group is very difficult. In this case, clinicians must rely mostly on parental history, evaluation of parent-child interactions and play interviews by trained professionals in this area (Son, Sung E., et al., 2000). One journal article I reviewed discussed the case study of a 6-year-old boy whose use of repetitive symbolic play became a therapeutic process in assisting him toward healthier adjustment in his home and school environments. The article...
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Campbell, Megan M., et al. (2010). Repetitive Symbolic Play as a Therapeutic Process in Child-Centered Play Therapy. International Journal of Play Therapy, Vol. 19, No. 4, 222-234.
Carr, Alan. (2008). Depression in young people: Description, assessment and evidence-based treatment. Development Neurorehabilitation, 11 (1): 3-15.
Dixon, Andrea L. et al. (2009). The Adolescent Mattering Experience: Gender Variations in Perceived Mattering, Anxiety and Depression. Journal of Counseling & Development, Vol. 87.
Ellen, Cindy, et al. (2006). The Roles of Sex, Gender, and Coping in Adolescent Depression. Adolescence, Vol. 41. No. 163.
Kaslow, Nadine J., et al. (2012). Family-Based Interventions for Child and Adolescent Disorders. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, Vol. 38, No. 1, 82-100.
Riemer, Jeffrey W. (2000). Job relocation, sources of stress and sense of home. Community, Work & Family, Vol. 3, No. 2.
Son, Sung E., Kirchner, Jeffrey T., (2000). Depression in Children and Adolescents. American Family Physician, Vol. 62, No. 10: 2297-2308.
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