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Talk Therapy for Teen Depression Spreads

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NEW YORK, May 25, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Counselors and psychologists of teens in the United States have begun adapting a talk therapy normally reserved for adults to treat youth depression.

Cognitive behavioral therapy, once used mainly in adults to treat anxiety disorders, increasingly is being used to treat depression in kids, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Several studies show this short-term approach can be as effective as other forms of therapy, even the increasingly popular anti-depressant drugs.

CBT rests on an increasingly popular notion teens can be taught, much like with math and reading skills, to recognize and react to stresses in a positive, appropriate manner.

The aim is to teach adolescents in a four- to nine-month course of weekly discussion sessions how to alter their tendency to respond negatively to difficult experiences.

Proponents contend that certain emotionally vulnerable children develop a habit of viewing life through a dark filter.

CBT is not concerned with why these attitudes arise; it is concerned with getting teens to understand that they have control and enabling them to responding to otherwise debilitating mood disorders.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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