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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Children, Adolescents and Adults

The following disturbances can most likely be successfully treated:

  • Anxiety and panic disorder (including phobia & being socially insecure): Anxiety is counted among the basic emotions of human beings. Anxiety is normal in some situations and even important for survival, calling our attention to actual danger. For instance, in case of a natural disaster or some diseases, anxiety or fear can be lifesaving. If anxiety is inadequate and also occurs in situations that are actually unharmful or if it persists for a long time and is very strong, it should be treated with psychotherapy. Untreated, strong anxiety can become chronic in the long term and cause further mental disturbances such as depression and compulsions.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorders: The main characteristics of a compulsive disorder are recurring compulsive thoughts and/or compulsive acts. The risk of obsessive-compulsive disorder becoming chronic is high, if left untreated. At least one third of all compulsive disorders begin during childhood. Therefore, therapy should be offered as help at an early stage.
  • Depressive disorders: Disappointment, grief, anguish and changes in mood are normal emotional reactions and are (along with joy) part of human life and are not pathological. A depressive affliction changes the whole human being profoundly: emotions, thoughts and behavior as well as body functions and metabolism. In depression, the capability of experiencing joy ceases, thinking becomes brooding and gyrating (and tends to become suicidal) and often self-accusatory. A sense of emptiness, numbness and a paralyzing incapability to make decisions and to take action takes the place of sadness or grief. Depressive disorders do not only occur in adulthood. The existence of depression in children and adolescents has long been debated. Today, it is acknowledged that children and adolescents can be affected by depression. In cases of intermediate or severe depression therapy is imperative regardless of age. There has been good success in the use of cognitive behavioral therapeutic methods. In the case of severe depression a combination of medication (according to doctor’s care) and behavioral therapy could be considered.
  • Sleep disorders: Sleep is a prerequisite for health, productivity and wellbeing. In western countries, sleep is often regarded as a rather inconvenient interruption of a day filled with appointments and work. Lack of sleep is often regarded as ‘chic’ in our stressed society, “ I can sleep when I’m dead…” (R.W. Fassbinder, who died in 1982 at the age of 37). Disorders concerning falling asleep and sleeping through the night can be caused by a condition, but very commonly are psychosomatic. Sleep disorders as well as chronic short of sleep can constitute a health risk, they significantly increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, depression and anxiety can develop in the long run. Sleep disorders can be treated effectively in therapy. Help should be sought after before falling into the vicious circle of a sleep disorder (fear of sleeplessness).
  • Attention disorders (POS[1] resp. ADD/ADHD): Attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) is a mental disorder that starts in childhood, primarily distinguished by easily being distracted and lack of stamina, a short-tempered personality with a tendency to act without thinking, often in combination with hyperactivity (ADHD). About 3-10% of all children express symptoms that can be associated with ADHS. Boys are diagnosed at a significantly higher rate than girls. The symptoms may persist into adulthood, with varying severity.Attention deficit disorder is a multi-factor condition, including a genetic predisposition which enhances the expression of the disorder. In terms of neurobiology it is called a striato-frontal dysfunction. Natural history and individual presentation are dependent on psycho-social as well as environmental factors. Untreated persons and their families are often under a lot of pressure. Failure at school or at work and further mental disturbances occur often. Behavioral therapy (possibly in combination with a stimulant therapy) has a high rate of success.
  • Sexual disorders
  • Eating disorder
  • Problems at school
  • Functional disorders in relationships (see also ‘therapy for couples’)