Due to a continuingly rising prevalence of depression in children (Hidaka, 2012), it is becoming increasingly more important to develop and adapt current psychotherapeutic interventions for use in the treatment of children. Using the case of Max, an 8 year old boy with displaying behavioural changes including social withdrawal, irritableness, lack of appetite and other symptoms of depression. He has received a diagnosis of depression and drawing from the information provided in the case study, this piece of work will apply two different psychotherapeutic interventions, play therapy and a modified form of cognitive behavioural therapy, TB-CBT, (traumatic based-CBT). A brief description of each therapy will be given along with the reason why each one was chosen for Max and the effectiveness, benefits and drawbacks of the interventions will also be examined.
Play therapy is a proposed intervention because it has been suggested to be most appropriate to be used with children aged 3-12 years (Carmichael, 2006; Schafer 1993). Max ia 8 years old and his age should be considered when selecting a therapy, as children and adults are different and the traditional talking therapies that work with adults may not be as effective when used with children, (Lesniak, 2001).
Bratton, Ray, Rhine and Jones, (2005) report play therapy as effective in treating a range of mental disorders, including depression. Play is a natural behaviour displayed by children and it is a medium in which they socialise, communicate and interact with the world around them. Play therapy aims to tap into these natural behaviour...
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...her forms of therapy for children including non-directive play therapy and TF-CBT was found to be the most effective. These trials not only showed positive results immediately after the therapy but were also shown to be maintained over time and were effective in treating depression and other disorder. Also as TB-CBT contains a parental involvement component which is suggested to improve the positive effects of therapy.
In conclusion either play therapy or TB-CBT would be effective in treating Max’s depression. Play therapy promotes self-efficacy so will prevent relapse in the event of any future triggers and TB-CBT has shown evidence of long-term management of treatment. Depending on the severity of Max’s depression will depend on the first line of treatment. Full co-operation with Max’s parents and teachers will ensure either treatment is as effective as possible.
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