Topics: Learning + Attention Issues
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a special kind of talk therapy that can be used to help with mental health challenges. In this CBT Snapshot series, Dr. Ellen Braaten gives a glimpse of what it looks like to use CBT for a range of mental and behavioral health disorders.
Matt was a 10-year-old boy who, according to his mom, had been “hyper since he was born!” Matt was diagnosed with ADHD at age five, and while medication had improved his symptoms somewhat, he still experienced discipline problems at home and at school, struggled to complete his schoolwork, and had difficulty making and maintaining friends. His symptoms were classic in that he had difficulty concentrating, struggled to complete long or complex tasks, couldn’t easily move from one task to another, had trouble following through on directions, and was always the “slowest one done” when asked to complete assigned work.
As an aide to medication, Matt completed a course of CBT treatment. His therapy included:
Matt’s behavior improved considerably, but when he started high school he came back to therapy. At this time, the therapist became less of a “teacher” and more of a “collaborator,” emphasizing mutual problem-solving skills. Matt also learned how best to advocate for himself with his teachers and learned additional organizational strategies that helped him better manage the multiple tasks required of a high school student.