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Resources to Help Kids Thrive

This newsletter contains a weekly update of content from featuring parenting advice, in-depth articles, and the latest thinking on children’s mental health and learning disorders.

Therapies to Help Anxious and Depressed Kids

November 7, 2023

We’re all concerned about the sharp rise in the number of children who are anxious or depressed. But the good news is that there are specialized therapies that can help kids who are struggling emotionally. They’re all based on cognitive behavior therapy, and while they present a confusing array of acronyms — ACT, DBT, SPACE, BA, MI, IPT — they’ve all been shown to be effective in combatting anxiety or depression. For a quick guide to all theses therapies and acronyms, click here.

This week we round up resources about these therapies, to help you understand the approaches a therapist may recommend for your child. ACT, for instance, helps teenagers accept negative feelings and commit to pursuing their goals despite them. BA is a technique that uses activity itself to fight depression, even when kids don’t feel like leaving their bedrooms. DBT helps kids manage overwhelming emotions. MI helps kids overcome resistance to making positive changes. And SPACE is a surprising new therapy that teaches parents how to help kids rein in their fears — the therapist never works directly with the child. All of them offer insights parents can use at home to help kids fight negative thoughts and feelings.

– Caroline Miller, Editorial Director | 

Related Resources

Behavioral Treatments at a Glance

An overview of behavioral treatments, how they work, and how they can help.


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Teens

ACT is a form of therapy for older kids with persistent anxiety and depression.


What Is Behavioral Activation?

A form of therapy that uses activity itself to fight depression.


Treating Anxious Kids by Working With Parents

In SPACE, the therapist never sees the child directly.


DBT: What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

A treatment for teenagers with serious trouble managing emotions.


What Is Motivational Interviewing?

A deep dive into a form of therapy that helps teens change unhealthy behaviors.


How to Change Negative Thinking Patterns

Recognizing unhealthy thinking errors called 'cognitive distortions.'


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