HomeHealthMental HealthEric Heinbach Discusses the Importance of Behavior Therapy for Struggling Adolescents

Eric Heinbach Discusses the Importance of Behavior Therapy for Struggling Adolescents

Eric HeinbachPhiladelphia

Eric Heinbach of Philadelphia is a behavioral therapist who works with children and adolescents in the home, school, and community. In the following article, Eric Heinbach discusses the importance of behavioral therapy, why this modality is so effective, and the problems this therapy can help treat.

It’s never easy being a teenager.

It is a time of great changes and upheavals in both physical and emotional development. There are plenty of social changes and challenges. Access to alcohol and drugs is increasing. Sexual relationships can also play a role in everyday life. Life generally becomes more stressful.

Eric Heinbach says it’s no wonder that mental health and other behavioral problems can develop during adolescence. An estimated 1 in 4 teens in America has a mental disorder.

Untreated behavioral problems and disorders have consequences. Anxiety disorders, depression, and eating disorders are among the most common mental health conditions faced by American teens.

Many are caused by behavioral problems fueled by changing hormones, peer pressure, or emotional and physical abuse. Eric Heinbach of Philadelphia says adolescent lives are at stake. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of teen suicides increased by 70% between 2006 and 2016.

There is always hope. Behavioral therapy is a popular and effective approach to getting adolescents back on track in life.

What is Behavioral Therapy

Eric Heinbach of Philadelphia reports that negative thoughts are normal, but consistent harmful thought patterns and resulting actions are not.

Behavioral therapy focuses on such thoughts and troubling actions by looking closely at thought patterns, pinpointing exactly why they are unhealthy, and taking actionable steps to ensure they don’t lead to distress.

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This includes refining social skills and healthy forms of communication, both personal and professional. Behavioral therapy can dive deep into independence and punctuality, self-esteem, and triggers for emotional stress, explains Eric Heinbach.

The goal is not just to eliminate unhealthy behaviors, but to create lasting beneficial behaviors and instill positive self-esteem.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques have long been integrated into treatment plans for adolescents. It’s not a panacea; is not an individual treatment method. But CBT can change the lives of millions of teens.

Part of the power of CBT is the wide range of negative behavioral signs and symptoms of mental health problems it can address. It goes beyond moody behavior and attitudes.

Eric Heinbach explains that CBT can address feelings of hopelessness, lack of self-confidence, an increase in anger, excessive worry, and withdrawal from friends and family.

Benefits of CBT

Behavioral therapy addresses a wide range of emotional and mental disorders that have been shown to potentially lead to long-term well-being. The CDC describes therapy as a key approach to improve the mental health of young people.

CBT, which emerged in the 1960s, can also improve common conditions that emerged in childhood, including ADHD, PTSD, and anxiety. The CDC says that CBT and other forms of behavioral therapy are solid approaches to reducing the symptoms of behavioral disorders.

There appear to be benefits for different age groups. Eric Heinbach explains that young children who have a variety of defiance issues may respond well to CBT’s self-reflective approaches and behavioral strategy options that are both positive and practical.

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Children battling anxiety can find realistic coping skills with CBT, which has been found to reduce the frequency of panic attacks. Those with attention problems can learn techniques that help control not only actions, but reactions as well.

A central feature of CBT and other types of talk therapy are direct and honest discussions about emotions and behaviors. CBT helps teens recognize the exact feelings that lead to certain behaviors and offers the power to shift thoughts into positive territory.

Eric HeinbachPhiladelphiaHow CBT works

A big part of what makes CBT important is how it can be adapted to any type of emotional struggle.

It all depends on the individual circumstance. Interventional approaches may include thought reframing, or what is formally known as cognitive reconstruction.

With this approach, Eric Heinbach explains that therapists help adolescents identify exact thought patterns that are negative and work with them to “reframe” them into positive. Cognitive diaries encourage children and teens to face problems by writing down negative thoughts, setting goals, and tracking progress.

Patients can record certain triggers that lead to certain behaviors, log the corresponding intensity of moods and emotions for each, and note the physical consequences of certain thoughts and actions that may harm or help the situation.

It is this kind of involvement that makes CBT popular with adolescents who are hampered by behavioral problems.

Eric Heinbach of Philadelphia explains that over time, CBT leads to consistent patterns of healthy stress resolution, the development of skillful interactions and management of social situations, and the ability to talk certain fears and anxieties out on their own.

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