Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This expert-backed advice will make the search for therapy less overwhelming.
You don't need to have a specific diagnosis to benefit from a therapist.
We should be talking about brain health the same way we do, say, heart health. In school, we're taught about heart disease and stroke, and how healthy eating and exercise can help us combat and prevent these diseases. And that's very important, but we should be doing the same when it comes to mental health.
The child with ASD must learn to identify a broad range of emotions and corresponding facial and body expressions, then encouraged to tune into their bodies and rate the intensity of their emotion using a "feelings thermometer." We feel what we feel. Although our emotions are always valid, our thoughts about a given situation are often skewed and in need of revision.
A child who is afraid of germs, a common type of OCD, makes herself drink from a public drinking fountain which she believes is full of deadly germs. As she drinks, the anxiety level initially spikes, but gradually decreases as she realizes nothing catastrophic occurred. She's habituating herself to the anxiety, literally re-circuiting her brain. The next time, she can try doing it longer.
It's actually not that uncommon.
I sat in a therapist's office two weeks ago. "I think I'm having a nervous breakdown," I told her. Summer ended. My relationship fell apart. Then, it just disappeared. Then, I wondered if I'd made it all up. I felt like my friends didn't like me anymore. There's been a lot said about the quarter-life crisis. Is that why a lot of my friends and I needed help?