Teen Therapy for Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Conduct Disorder (CD)

Avery’s House is an inpatient child and teen mental health therapy center in Arizona. We offer therapy for teens with ODD and CD. We help families in Arizona and all over the United States. Our focus is on children and teens aged 11 to 18.

Our treatment plans are put together specifically for each individual. No two teens are exactly alike. Their treatment plans should reflect that.

What is Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

It is common for most children and teens to have moments of defiance. This is especially true in stressful situations. Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is different. It is a behavioral disorder.

ODD goes beyond normal childhood/teen misbehavior. It is a pattern of disobedient, defiant behavior toward authority figures. The behavior can also be hostile. It lasts for 6 months or longer.

Symptoms of ODD

The symptoms of ODD significantly interfere with a child’s or teen’s day-to-day functioning. The symptoms are different from the behavior of children or teens of the same age and developmental levels.

The symptoms of ODD can include:

  • Negative attitude
  • Irritability
  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Often questioning rules
  • Often swearing or saying obscene things
  • Argues excessively with parents and other authority figures
  • Refusing to follow the rules/defiant behavior
  • Short-tempered
  • Easily annoyed by others
  • Purposely attempts to annoy or upset people
  • Blaming other people for their mistakes and behavior
  • Makes hurtful and hateful remarks when upset
  • Seeks revenge
  • Causes chaos
  • Often mean, spiteful or vindictive

These symptoms are most often seen at home or school. This can happen in other situations or locations. When the symptoms happen in multiple settings, the disorder is likely severe.

Sometimes the symptoms may start only at home but then expand to other settings.

Causes of ODD

There is no distinct cause of ODD. There are multiple risk factors connected to the development of ODD. The risk factors fall into three categories, biological, social, and psychological.

Biological Factors

This can be a genetic risk factor. It could be something that has affected a person’s physical body or brain. For ODD, this can include:

  • Poor nutrition
  • Exposure to toxins
  • A brain chemical imbalance
  • A problem in the part of the brain that controls judgment, reasoning, and impulse control
  • A parent with a mood disorder, such as bipolar disorder or depression
  • A parent with a substance use disorder (drugs or alcohol)
  • A parent with a history of ADHD, ODD, or CD
  • A mother who smoked while pregnant

Social Factors

Social factors are things that affect a person’s lifestyle and how they relate to others. For ODD social risk factors include:

  • Inconsistent discipline
  • Overly harsh discipline
  • Lack of supervision
  • Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Poverty
  • Chaotic environment
  • Uninvolved parents
  • Family instability, such as moving often or divorce
  • Lack of structure
  • Peer rejection
  • Community violence

Psychological Factors

Psychological factors are things in the mind that affect the development of someone’s personality.

  • Inability or difficulty forming social relationships
  • Difficulty processing social cues
  • Poor relationship with one or more parent
  • Unresponsive parents
  • Insecure attachments

The Effects of ODD on Teens

The first signs of ODD often show up in early childhood. Children who do not outgrow the symptoms or receive treatment are at risk for more seriously disruptive behaviors later.

Sometimes the symptoms of ODD start later in childhood or early teen years. It is important to get help as soon as possible. Having a teen with ODD can make family life hard. ODD can also lead to:

  • Struggling to make or keep friends.
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Poor school or work performance
  • Impulse control problems
  • Trouble with the law
  • Dropping out of school
  • Substance use disorder
  • Suicide

Helpful Information for Parents of Teens With ODD

Many teens with ODD have an undiagnosed co-occurring disorder. The most common is ADHD. Learning disabilities and mood disorders could also be co-occurring disorders. The best option is to treat the co-occurring disorder at the same time as ODD.

Learning more about ODD will help parents be better equipped to help their teens. Some other things that can be helpful include:

  • Setting clear expectations and rules and enforcing them consistently.
  • Creating a routine and sticking to it as much as possible.
  • Parents and caregivers work together to have consistent parenting.
  • Choose your battles carefully. Engaging in power struggles will reinforce negative behavior and damage relationships.

Treatment for ODD

Teens with a history of ODD have a higher risk of developing mood disorders or mental health issues as adults. It is important to seek treatment as soon as possible for ODD.

Medication is not recommended for a teen with only an ODD diagnosis. Medications can help treat co-occurring disorders such as anxiety, depression, or ADHD.

Therapy Options

Therapy options are the most effective way to help teens with ODD. If symptoms are noticed in early childhood, the focus is mostly on parent training. Family therapy and individual therapy become the focus when symptoms continue into the teen years.

Parent Management Training

Parent Management Training helps parents learn the necessary skills to manage and guide behavior in a healthy way. This includes learning to parent in positive, consistent ways. Effective discipline methods are included in the training.

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy

This style of therapy has a skilled therapist observe the parents and children interacting. The therapist can coach parents through an earpiece during the session. The therapists help parents by encouraging positive behaviors. They also teach ways to reduce unwanted behaviors. The parent and child relationship improves, and parents learn effective parenting techniques.

Individual Therapy

Teens attending individual therapy can learn important life management skills. This includes learning positive ways to deal with anger and stress. They will also learn how to manage their emotions and express feelings healthily.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is focused on recognizing and changing thought patterns. A person’s internal thoughts affect their feelings and then their behavior. Learning how to recognize false harmful thoughts and change them helps teens change their behavior patterns.

Some benefits of cognitive-behavioral therapy for children and teens include:

  • Recognizing and interrupting negative thoughts and behaviors
  • Reduce and eliminate fears and phobias
  • Create positive responses to stress
  • Improve communication with others
  • Improve self-esteem

Family Therapy

This therapy brings multiple family members together for the therapy session. It can help family members improve communication with one another. It also improves relationships in the family.

During the sessions, family members can talk about roles and behavior patterns. This can help identify issues that may cause conflict and how to fix them together. Families can also identify the strengths and weaknesses they need to work on.

What is Conduct Disorder?

Conduct Disorder is another behavioral disorder that can affect children and teens. Children and teens with conduct disorder have difficulty following rules. They do not respect the rights of others. They also have difficulty showing empathy and may have violent behavior problems.

Symptoms of Conduct Disorder

Conduct disorder can be mild, moderate, or severe. These symptoms are in four different categories and some general symptoms.

Violation of Rules

This is serious rule-breaking, not running in the hallway. The rule-breaking goes against accepted social behavior. It could also be behavior that is not appropriate for the teens’ age group. This can include:

  • Skipping school before the age of 13
  • Running away from home
  • Staying out way past curfew at a young age
  • Trespassing
  • Using tobacco, alcohol, or drugs at a young age
  • Being sexually active at a young age

Destructive Behavior

This includes intentionally vandalizing someone else’s property. Sometimes they will deliberately set fires to cause damage.

Deceitful Behavior

  • Repeated lying to get stuff or favors or to avoid things they are supposed to do
  • Shoplifting
  • Breaking into homes or cars
  • Manipulating others

Aggressive Behavior

  • Bullying
  • Threatening and intimidating others
  • Enjoys being cruel to other people
  • Is physically cruel to other people and animals
  • Using weapons
  • Starting fights
  • Stealing from a victim while hurting them
  • No remorse for hurting someone
  • No attempt to hide aggressive behavior

General Symptoms

  • Irritability
  • Lack of empathy toward others
  • Trouble showing emotions to others
  • Disobeying parents or authority figures
  • Learning difficulties
  • Low self-esteem
  • Blaming others for poor performance at school

Causes of Conduct Disorder

Similar to ODD, the cause of conduct disorder is not always known. There are many different risk factors associated with conduct disorder, including:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Childhood or adolescent trauma
  • Subjected to physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
  • Lack of adult supervision
  • Exposure to violence
  • Poor parenting, lack of parent involvement, neglect
  • Living in poverty
  • Poor nutrition
  • Biological parent with substance use disorders, ADHD, depression, or bipolar disorder
  • Parents involved in criminal activities

Effects of Conduct Disorder on Teens

If conduct disorder goes untreated, teens will face many possible problems in adulthood. Conduct disorder can develop into an antisocial personality disorder.

Other long-term effects can be:

  • Increased academic failure
  • Substance use disorders
  • Poor relationships with others
  • Self-harming behaviors
  • Legal problems, possibly jail time
  • Additional mental health disorders

Helpful Information for Parents of Teens With Conduct Disorder

Parenting a child with conduct disorder can be overwhelming, especially if they face a co-occurring disorder like ADHD or anxiety. The first thing to do is learn as much as possible about conduct disorder and treatment options.

Create a set of realistic house rules and address some of the child’s/teen’s behavior problems. Keep the list short and post them somewhere in the house.

Being consistent with the rules and consequences is extremely important. When parents give in, it sends the message that rules are optional.

Consider taking parent management training to help build new skills.

Remember that changing behavior patterns will take time.

Treatment for Conduct Disorder

Medication is not often used to treat conduct disorder. If the child or teen is facing a co-occurring disorder, medication may be used to treat the other disorder while getting therapy for conduct disorder.

Therapy Options for Conduct Disorder

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Parent Management Training, as described above, are good therapy options for conduct disorder. Multiple therapy options might be needed depending on the severity of the case.

Functional family therapy is a specific type of therapy recommended for conduct disorder. The priorities in this therapy are:

  • Reducing negativity inside of the home
  • Improving communication skills between family members
  • Increasing support skills between family members

Multisystemic therapy is an intensive form of therapy. This includes family members and the community. This is directed toward youth with behavior problems and criminal offenses. The family has a specific therapist available all the time to help with issues.

The therapist can use multiple therapy options to help the teen with their behavior issues. Therapists also help empower the parents and help them find their strengths. They can help the family develop community support systems.

Avery’s House Can Help Your Teen

Mental health issues are hard for adults to work through. It can be even harder on children and teens. At Avery’s House, we provide help specifically for children and teens from 11 to 18 years old.

We offer a variety of therapy types and will put together a plan to meet the individual needs of your child/teen. In our non-judgemental program, teens can learn life skills to improve emotional, communication, and empathy skills.

We offer family therapy and other programs to keep you involved and supported. We have family support groups. Family members can also visit the facility once each week.

Anyone attending our residential program will also keep up with their academic studies. They will not fall behind in school.

Avery’s House accepts most insurance plans. We can verify your coverage for you.

No one should face mental health issues alone, especially children and teens. We will support the whole family while helping your teen. Please contact us today.

We Accept Most Insurance Plans

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Address 2416 North 113th Street Apache Junction, AZ, 85120

Phone (855) 506-1906

Email info@averyshouse.com


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