CHILDREN & OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is not a great term for a diagnosis because it's not necessarily something that is within the child; but it is a great diagnosis because it describes an entrenched pattern of interactions. Kids that fall into the Oppositional category are different from your average child. Parents can often feel overwhelmed and get burnt out because their child can be so difficult, and some feel hopeless. What we know is that the usual parenting tactics don't work, and can even make things worse, so it has nothing to do with the parenting, but instead learning a new system for managing an oppositional child.
My colleague, James Keim, LCSW and I have been working together regarding Oppositional Defiant Disorder since 2009. Prior to that, I worked with children and adolescents with difficulties in teen shelters, residential treatment, a wilderness program, schools, community clinics, and a drug and alcohol outpatient program. Jim and I have worked together to expand his four stage approach for working with ODD, which we call Evolving Structural Strategic Family Therapy (ESSFT). It is an integration of evidence based treatments, and has been helped many families. We also began the Oppositional and Conduct Disorder Clinic through my Institute for the Advancement of Psychotherapy.
Oppositional Defiance Disorder
Symptoms May Include :
*Often Loses Temper
*Argues with Adults
*Defies or Refuses to Comply with Adults
*Deliberately Annoys People
*Blames Others for His or Her Mistakes
*Acts Angry and Resentful
*Behaves Spitefully or Vindictively
Symptoms May Include :
*Behaves Aggressively to People or Animals
*Acts Deceitful or Steals
*Commits Serious Rule Violations (e.g., running away, skipping school)
Kids that are oppositional can be very difficult, and in the worse cases, a family may experience little change in the child's behavior, but through our work together can feel more in control and manage the chaotic behavior so that the family can live their life, rather than be under the weight of the oppositional behavior. The majority of the families we work with are able to make significant change, and learn the tools to both create a new system for supporting and managing their oppositional child, as well as help their child to make significant, internal changes, learning to regulate their emotions, not see themselves in battle with the world, talk about how they're feeling rather than acting it out, and have a closer connection with parents and siblings.