Childhood Depression

by Martha C. Tompson

Series: Advances in Psychotherapy – Evidence-Based Practice - Volume 54

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Childhood Depression (PDF)
ISBN: 9781616765187
2024, viii/116 pages
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Childhood Depression
ISBN: 9780889375185
2024, viii/116 pages

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An evidence-based guide to the assessment and treatment of childhood depression with a focus on a family-based approach

  • Up-to-date overview of the evidence-base
  • Step-by-step guidance of a family-focused treatment
  • Downloadable handouts for clinical practice

This volume in the Advances in Psychotherapy series provides the reader with an up-to-date, evidence-based introduction to the assessment and treatment of childhood depression, including major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, disruptive mood dysregulation, and adjustment disorders. After exploring the latest knowledge on the diagnosis, course, theories, and contributing factors of childhood depression, the author presents a step-by-step description of family-focused treatment for childhood depression (FFT-CD), which integrates CBT and family therapy goals.

Treatments for depression that work well for adolescents and adults cannot simply be extended to children as their cognitive capabilities are not as fully developed nor stable. FFT-CD focuses on positive and supportive parent–child interactions that support the development of a positive self, helping parents provide the child with additional positive feedback on their developmentally appropriate achievements, and enhancing child and family coping. Downloadable resources include numerous FFT-CD handouts for children and parents. This text should be particularly useful to child or school psychologists, marriage and family therapists, child psychiatrists and anyone working with depressed youth and their families.

Praise for the book

“The bad news is that childhood depression is on the rise. The good news is that Dr. Tompson has built upon her expertise as a childhood depression researcher, clinician, and educator to create an invaluable resource for clinicians. I highly recommend this book to all therapists who work with depressed children!”
Mary A. Fristad, PhD, ABPP, Director, Academic Affairs and Research Development at Nationwide Children's Hospital Big Lots Behavioral Health Services, Columbus, OH; Emerita Professor, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

“This book is an extremely timely and state-of-the-art resource for any clinician seeking a comprehensive and user-friendly guide to the nature, assessment, and treatment of childhood depression. Written by one of the world’s premier experts in childhood depression, this text helps readers understand why a developmentally informed, evidence-based, family-focused treatment approach is an indispensable tool for strengthening and supporting children with depression and their families. The inclusion of step-by-step descriptions of how to implement the treatment intervention, combined with illustrative case examples, will equip clinicians with powerful tools for helping youth return to healthier functioning during a critical period of development. The additional resources, games, and therapy handouts make this much more than a book – it is an essential tool for anyone working with depressed children and their families, and I highly recommend it!”
Donna B. Pincus, PhD, CAS Feld Family Professor of Teaching Excellence, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Boston University, MA

“This thoughtful volume describes an excellent empirically validated, family-centered approach to treating depression in school-aged children developed by the author and her colleagues and outlines how to carry out therapy, session by session. It also presents the theoretical framework guiding the work and describes the impressive empirical research on which it is based. It is rich in clinical wisdom and insight and will provide excellent guidance to those wanting to use this approach. More generally it provides a valuable resource for those interested in depression in children and how to treat it.”
William R. Beardslee, MD, Director, Baer Prevention Initiatives, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA

“Dr. Tompson, an experienced clinician and nationally known researcher, provides in this book an up-to-date look at family-focused treatment for childhood depression (FFT-CD). She is the ideal person to do so given that she had a pivotal role in the development and formal testing of FFT-CD! A family-focused treatment approach is particularly appropriate when the patients are young school-aged children. But how will FFT-CD enable the clinician to resolve the complaints of depressed children and the accompanying family dysfunction? Dr. Tompson explains that skill building or skill enhancement (e. g., improving parent–child communication, developing more efficient problem-solving approaches) is the path to recovery. Thus, FFT-CD emphasizes functioning and uses modules to organize skill-focused tasks for the child and the family. For example, various skills come into play when the goal is to interrupt the “downward negative spiral” of depression that results from the interactions of the depressed child and family members. Another defining feature of FFT-CD is the flexible application of treatment components. The clinician has considerable leeway in which order and how the modules are implemented, the number of child-only vs. parents-only vs. family sessions, and how the recommended 12 to 15 sessions are distributed across treatment modules.
Case vignettes bring alive the process of implementing FFT-CD and document the flexibility of this intervention in the face of divergent patient needs and variable resources. Clinicians will especially appreciate the examples of how to define problematic concepts and the many “potential conversations,” which illustrate how a therapist can engage a patient to implement new directions and tasks. As further aids, at the end of the book, readers will find downloadable tools such as hand-outs, illustrations, and games. For readers who wish to know more about childhood depression, the book reviews diagnostic criteria and up-to-date information about its key features such as course and outcome, presumed risk factors, and conceptual and treatment models. All-in-all, this book is a practical, useful, and accessible guide for therapists who seek to help depressed young school-age children and their families via a family-focused treatment approach.”

Maria Kovacs PhD, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA

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