The concept of changing behavior by changing the environment around a youth is sometimes met with skepticism. However, a child’s behavior does change according to the environment. A child may be loud and aggressive with friends, but most kids do not behave that way at church, or with a grandmother, or around the police. Some environments support offensive behavior, while others do not. If a child is exhibiting delinquent behavior, the goal is to alter the environment around him to one that no longer supports the behavior in question.
When it comes to curbing delinquent behavior in teenagers, a label or diagnosis does not really matter; it is not what will make a child stop drinking, fighting, or engaging in other harmful behaviors. What matters most is what will make the behaviors stop.
Editor’s Note: The following is a Q&A with Karen Bluth, PhD, a mindfulness teacher, researcher, and one of the lead authors of a paper published this January in the journal Mindfulness, which examined the efficacy of Learning to BREATHE or L2B, a mindfulness curriculum for adolescents in an alternative school for ethnically diverse, at-risk teens.
Teens with autism face unique challenges when it comes to school and friends. But what many people may be surprised to learn is that teens with autism can also have a natural gift for acting. In their new book, The Autism Playbook for Teens, Irene McHenry and Carol Moog seek to empower autistic teens with a fun, creative, strengths-based approach using mindfulness strategies and scripts. These imaginative exercises are designed to help teens on the autism spectrum manage emotions, reduce anxiety, and form meaningful connections with others.
Happy Friday! Today, we’re giving away Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychopharmacology Made Simple to the first 20 respondents.
Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychopharmacology Made Simple is the only resource parents and professionals need to consult for the most up-to-date information on medications for the treatment of children and teens suffering from psychological disorders.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), developed by Marsha Linehan to teach clients emotional regulation and coping skills, was first used with adult patients who responded to emotional pain with self-harming mechanisms, like cutting, engaging in intentionally dangerous behaviors, or attempting suicide. Today we’re taking a look at how DBT helps teens and adolescents develop healthier coping skills and responses to emotional duress and discover new ways to work through their pain.
The support and understanding of parents if often vital to successful Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) treatment for adolescents; however, parents (or parental figures) may feel a range of negative emotions surrounding the child and the therapeutic intervention, like shame, guilt, anger, or helplessness. Working with parents to create an open, compassionate environment where their feelings are validated helps ensure that everyone is focused on the recovery of the adolescent—and, by extension, the entire family.