Have they proven that youth counseling actually helps?

A study(1) published this year in the American Psychologist journal brought together five decades of research on psychological therapies for youth internalizing (anxiety, depression) and externalizing (misconduct, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder) disorders and problems. Hundreds of randomized trials were analyzed.

The overall conclusion was that “The findings underscore the benefits of psychological treatments”. It was interesting that “only youth-focused behavioral therapies (including cognitive-behavioral therapy) showed similar and robust effects across youth, parent, and teacher reports”. The best results were obtained for therapy that aimed to reduce anxiety.

References:

1. What five decades of research tells us about the effects of youth psychological therapy: A multilevel meta-analysis and implications for science and practice. http://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fa0040360

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