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Diagnosis and getting treatment

Kids in Mind // Education // Nov. 4, 2016

Rebecca speak with us this month on mental health diagnoses for children and adolescents. This week's topic: diagnosis and getting treatment.

Diagnosis and getting treatment

Kids in Mind is brought to you in association with the British School of Geneva.

Listen to the full episode here:


When a child or teen has a mental or behavioural problem, what does treatment look like?

Children vary immensely amongst themselves and they grow and change so dynamically compared with adults. Capturing both the underlying depth as well as the symptomatic surface of emotional, cognitive and social capacities, may take the shape of various kinds of treatment.


Does treatment only happen in a clinical setting?

Symptoms that disrupt development include anxiety, intolerance of frustration, depression, disordered eating, addictive tendencies, or incapacity to self-regulate emotions. Each type is different and requires different interventions.

Multimodal approach:

  • - Play groups for social skills
  • - Sports for self regulation
  • - Homework club for dissimulating parent-child stress moments
  • - Medication may treat symptoms of depression or concentration
  • - Psychotherapy will attempt to address the underlying dynamics that may have led to certain symptoms in the first place


So diagnoses don’t answer the “why” questions?

Some diagnoses do include the why – such as neurological functioning that could explain low concentration or high levels of activity. Other diagnoses focus on addressing the symptoms.


Can various treatments co-exist?

Yes, ideally they do co-exist: a social skills group at school, psychotherapy for managing internal world and identity development, medication for symptom relief…


Once treatment is in place can diagnoses be removed?

The question is removed from where – reports? School record? Health insurance? Children are very labile - children change and symptoms change. In the absence of symptoms – does the diagnosis go away? Why did the symptoms arise in the first place?


What is important for parents to know about diagnosis and treatment?

It is important that they understand the objectives of the treatment: medication for altering mood and behavior, talk therapy to address underlying questions, behavioral therapy to address symptoms, parent-child therapy to address relationships. Parents should feel like an active participant in their child’s treatment

For more information please contact Rebecca at rebeccaweber.net

For more Kids in Mind, take a look in the show archives.


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