One of the most successful types of behavioral therapies used today in the treatment of young children and adolescents who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In some studies, older children, teens and even young adults who suffer from ASD have benefited from the treatment provided through CBT.
The therapies that are traditionally used for autism spectrum disorder are based upon the science of behavior. Many of these have been successful for clients of all ages and can be applied to many different unique disorders. However, studies have revealed that cognitive behavioral therapy, which takes into account the thoughts that people have about things and the feelings that those thoughts elicit, have been more promising.
How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?
The core of CBT is that it can become a challenge to a person’s belief system. It helps people to change the way that they interpret various situations and how they feel about them. Eventually it can even change the way that they respond to them. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a very powerful type of intervention. It has been proven to be very successful in helping a number of conditions in adult, child and adolescent therapy, including depression, anxiety, panic disorder and post traumatic stress disorder.
There are a variety of approaches to using CBT as part of autism therapy in Massachusetts. Each approach shares some common elements, such as having a goal-oriented approach that is structured and time-limited with an end-date for sessions. Because a specific plan is enacted to reach a certain goal, the success of the therapy and its effects on autism spectrum disorder are measurable because there is a structured plan, goal and time limit.
In cognitive behavioral therapy, the individual is encouraged by the therapist to challenge his or her beliefs and thoughts using a variety of different techniques. Practicing or rehearsing actions in a particular situation, such as meeting a new person, standing in the lunch line at school or playing on the playground during recess, can also be very helpful. The therapist works to replace the negative thoughts and concerns with a more positive feeling that can help in future situations. Other steps can be included, such as deep breathing, relaxation techniques and listening to your own positive internal dialogue. Skill-building is part of CBT for child and adolescent therapy with regard to autism spectrum disorder.
Learning How to Apply CBT to ASD Therapies
At Transitions Counseling, every single therapist on staff at our private practice is certified in cognitive behavioral therapy. The reason for this is that it is very useful in a number of different situations, disorders and issues. Autism therapy in Massachusetts has begun to apply the various therapies, approaches and skills gained through CBT to treatment for autism spectrum disorder. It has been found to be successful in child and adolescent therapy, as well as in therapy for young adults with ASD.
So far the best results have come with ASD individuals who are also diagnosed with anxiety related disorders. The majority of children who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder have the required skills necessary to distinguish their feelings, thoughts and behaviors regarding their disorder so they can learn how to alter their thoughts along the lines of cognitive behavioral therapy applications. Learning how to recognize emotion in this regard was the only area of difficulty reported for individuals diagnosed with ASD.
Some of the requirements for successful cognitive behavioral therapy include the ability to have strong linguistic and abstract thinking abilities. This can be a challenge for those who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. As a result, modifications have been made to traditional CBT in order to make it more beneficial to autism therapy in Massachusetts and beyond. Therapists have made CBT for ASD more repetitive and visual instead of introspective and emotion-based, and are getting great results.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Franklin, MA
If you have a child who has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and you are looking for qualified personnel to provide treatment and autism therapy in Massachusetts, look no further than Transitions Counseling. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be provided in a number of settings for child and adolescent therapy, including individuals, families, groups and combinations of families and groups, depending on the needs of the individual. The personal and social support that can come from CBT sessions can be extremely beneficial. If you are interested in child and adolescent therapy for autism spectrum disorder, contact Transitions Counseling at 781-742-4515 to request an appointment or to learn more about our program.