Parent Child therapy to Help Children Fight Depression

Clinical depression is prevalent in India and even in kids as young as three. Childhood depression can take a toll on their adulthood as well. Even in India today there is less awareness around this subject and behavioral treatments are sparse, to say the least. Even parents face issues of lack of awareness about childhood depression. This study about Childhood depression published recently in The American Journal of Psychiatry says that there is 1% to 2% possibility of children going into depression at such a tender age. But, there is hope and Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis has carried out a new research which tells that interactive therapy that involves parents along with their depressed kid can help reduce the severity of the symptoms and even rates of depression.

Parent Child therapy

The findings of the study have found place in this year’s June edition of the Journal. The therapy adapted by the team is known as Parent-child interaction therapy introduced in the 1970s for correcting the disruptive behavior in Children of preschool. The adaptation was made up of a series of sessions that primarily focused on emotions. Luby and team felt that depression was only an impairment around the ability to regulate and experience emotions. The program was spread across 18 weeks and was made up of 20 sessions. The program started using a truncated version of the traditional PCIT on around 229 parent-child pairs. The Children were in the age group of 3 – 7 years. Half of the children received the adapted therapy.


The study also found that the children who received earlier intervention as compared to those children who were wait-listed had a lower rate of depression after 18 weeks of therapy and even less impairment. They also found that even if depression persisted it was less severe as compared to kids who did not undergo therapy.

The study showed that even without targeting a depressed parent directly, the symptoms improve after treating the child’s depression and vice versa. As per Luby, the therapy could be used widely as it is short span therapy of only 18 weeks duration and it does not require a psychologist or psychiatrist. Even cost wise also it is an affordable treatment.

*Sourced From the Internet

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