OCD Treatments for kids

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OCD Treatments for kids

We've learned a lot about how to treat obsessive compulsive disorder over the years. Generally, we try to use a behavioral approach to doing that. For example, if a child or an adult found that they needed to line things up by their bedside table, that's part of a ritual that the child is creating, in order for them to feel relaxed enough to go to bed. One of the treatments that we use now is, we number one, teach the child about what an obsessive compulsive thought is. We teach the child to be able to say, "Okay. I'm having an OCD thought." We name it and claim it. They now understand what it is. We then try to teach the child about something that we call, symptom prevention. How can you stop yourself from doing that? One of the greatest advancement in therapy in the last 20 years is the knowledge that feelings follow actions. We act differently, then we begin to feel differently. We know that not doing the behaviors is going to make the child feel more anxious. We have to help them with the knowledge that they are going to feel more anxious. Eventually, anxiety will leave. Anxiety cannot stay forever. I always tell children, feelings are like waiting on the corner for a bus. When it comes, it stays for a minute, and then it goes.

See Alan Yellin, PhD's video on OCD Treatments for kids...


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Alan Yellin, PhD


Dr. Alan Yellin is a licensed psychologist as well as licensed marriage and family therapist.  He has been in practice for over 30 years working with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Yellin did his post-doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. In his practice, he sees children with learning problems, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, fears and social skills issues. Additionally, he has a sub-specialty in working with children from divorced families as well as helping parents deal more effectively with their divorce. Dr. Yellin’s practice also includes working with adolescents and adults with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive issues as well as issues around life passages. Dr. Yellin believes that therapy works best when the client and therapist have a collaborative relationship as they explore thoughts and feelings and work towards solutions, and uses a combination of scientific data along with humor to help people achieve change. He is in a long-term happy marriage and has two grown children.

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