Parent-Child Therapy Technique Could Be Useful for Depression in Very Young Children

May 2, 2012 · Posted in Potential Treatments 

LubyThere are few treatments approved by the Federal Drug Administration for the treatment of depression in very small children.  But a new therapeutic technique parents can use with their children is being studied.

According to an article published by the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation,

Now, a novel approach called Parent Child Interaction Therapy-Emotion Development (PCIT-ED), being tested by Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Independent Investigator Grantee Joan Luby, M.D., and colleagues at Washington University in St. Louis, has shown promise in an early trial of improving mood and behavior in very young children with depression. The results of the pilot study were reported online on Oct. 31, 2011 in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

PCIT-ED is a dyadic psychosocial intervention with two components. The PCIT part is aimed at strengthening the parent-child relationship by teaching positive play techniques and training parents in ways to handle children’s noncompliant and disruptive behavior. PCIT has previously been shown to be effective for treating disruptive disorders among preschoolers. The new ED component was designed to help parents enhance their children’s ability to recognize their own emotions as well as emotions in others and to more effectively regulate intense emotions.

[Editor’s Note.: our emphasis]


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