Does mental health therapy affect children differently than adults?

Charles J. Sophy, MD
Adolescent Medicine

The effects of psychotherapy on the recipient depend on many different variables. 

Things such as age, emotional maturity, intelligence, focus of therapy are just a few.

However the techniques and methods used between adults and children do vary. Many times the approaches for a child must be done to provide much more emotional safety and security. 

In general the outcome in therapy is the same: To enable the patient to understand their thoughts and feelings by connecting their head and their heart. And in turn to develop the needed coping skills to problem solve, and ensure a more integrated and satisfying life. 

Children may require mental health therapy for various problems. If the problem is severe, it may require drug therapy. Antipsychotic and antianxiety drugs have several side effects such as poor coordination, involuntary eye movements, slurred speech, twitching, and memory loss. Second generation antipsychotics or atypical antipsychotic medication is usually prescribed for children because it has fewer side effects. In general, drug therapy will have side effects, and in children these might be more pronounced.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.