Oppositional Defiant Disorder Treatment
Table of Contents
The central focus of therapy with oppositional defiant disorder is usually
behavioral, implemented through parent training. The parent training can
often be done in a group setting (to help reduce costs and increase social
support) and is often as or more effective as family therapy, conducted with the parents and
child. In these courses, which are very psychoeducational in nature, parents
learn specific behavioral techniques which help increase the likelihood
of maintaining control in the relationship with the child. Gradual shaping of
the child's behavior toward more age-appropriate behaviors is accomplished through
the implementation of a behavioral monitoring and reward program.
The alternative method of treatment, family therapy, can be as effective
in some cases, as parent training. But because it is usually more
expensive and can focus heavily on the child's behavior and causative
factors, it may not be appropriate for all families. Parents will usually find
that a parent training class to be more effective as well as less expensive;
it therefore should usually be tried first before family therapy.
Very little research has been conducted in the use of medications for
oppositional defiant disorder. Therefore, medication is not recommended
as a treatment option for this problem.
Parent support groups can be extremely helpful in
propping up single parents or parents who are having a
difficult time with a child who suffers from this disorder.
A local community support group for parents is highly
recommended. Often times, parent training classes can
be found to be run outside and independent of mental health
professionals, and can be an effective and useful method in
helping treat this disorder.
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