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Evidence-based Approaches

Mental Health Information Based on the Best Available Science

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When to Seek Help for Your Child

As a parent, it can be hard to know when your child’s behavior is just a part of growing up or a sign of a bigger issue. There are several things a child and adolescent mental health professional will look at to determine if a child or teen’s behaviors are problematic:

• Is the behavior more intense than it should be?
• Does the duration of the behavior continue after the situation has passed?
• Is the behavior typical for his/her age level?
• Is the behavior upsetting to your child or other family members?
• Does the behavior prevent your child from interacting with friends or performing well in school?
• Is the behavior inappropriate to the situation?
• Does the behavior happen for no obvious reason?
• Does your child avoid important social, school or family activities because of the behavior?

All children are different, and even the most typical child or teen may engage in “problematic” behaviors from time to time, especially when they are tired, stressed or sick. However, if your child or teen repeatedly engages in inappropriate or unwanted behaviors, consider meeting with a mental health professional.

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Featured Content

What is Family Therapy? Family therapy is a form of treatment that views psychological problems and their treatment in terms of the interactions among family members. Families ar [...]

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Therapy or medication? In both children and adults, evidence-based psychosocial therapies have been shown to work for a broad range of mental health disorders, as well as for many [...]

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Happy child

What is CBT? Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for children and adolescents usually are short-term treatments (i.e., often between six and 20 sessions) that focus on teaching you [...]

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Find a clinical child and adolescent psychologist in your area.


Advice for Selecting a Psychologist

Finding a therapist for your child can be confusing. We offer advice on how to find a therapist who is dedicated to using evidence-based therapy that will work for your child



Recent Questions

Recent Answers


Should I be directly involved in my child’s therapy sessions?


Created on August 5, 2017. Last updated on March 31st, 2017 at 07:56 pm

How best to participate in a child’s therapy depends primarily on the child’s age, the nature of the problem, and whether research supports parental involvement in the type of treatment your child is receiving.  CLICK HERE to read more.


What happens in therapy sessions?


Created on August 5, 2017. Last updated on March 31st, 2017 at 07:41 pm

What happens in a therapy session depends on the type of evidence-based therapy that the provider practices. Evidence-based therapies include non-drug treatments that have been proven through research to work effectively. CLICK HERE to read more.

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SCCAP Effective Child Therapy
SCCAP Effective Child TherapyJune 15, 2020
In this time of recognition and outrage over the pandemic of racism and police violence in our country, the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (SCCAP) adds its voice to those deploring the shameful legacy of such actions. We condemn the most recent instances of racial injustice in our nation, including the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. Because SCCAP’s mission is to encourage science and evidence-based practice while remaining “… fully committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” we (a) assert that psychological science must offer alternatives to instances of police abuse and (b) re-affirm our commitment to support a healthy future for children and adolescents through the following: empowering parents and schools to provide optimal, anti-racist socialization practices; assessing the full range of traumatic experiences (including police brutality) in clinical evaluations; and renewing our commitment to providing optimal clinical and preventive services, research, teaching and mentoring, and policy-related work for children and families, especially those from under-represented and diverse communities. The time is now to understand the full impact of discrimination and racism on child development and well-being and to foster work in the service of change.

SCCAP has an active Diversity Committee and Diversity Member-at-Large, with increased funding for Diversity Awards and the creation of the Leadership Education to Advance Diversity Institue (LEAD). We plan on greater public outreach on related issues via our webinar series. We urge members to become involved and consider applying for Child Mental Health in Action funds regarding these themes (see SCCAP website for details).


Steve Hinshaw

SCCAP 2020, President
SCCAP Effective Child Therapy
SCCAP Effective Child TherapyJune 11, 2020
Here is another important article by the APA that highlights tips and important things for parents to tell children when discussing racial discrimination
SCCAP Effective Child Therapy
SCCAP Effective Child TherapyJune 11, 2020
"Aha! Parenting" also has a note and some advice about how to start approaching the race conversation with children.
SCCAP Effective Child Therapy
SCCAP Effective Child TherapyJune 10, 2020
Another resource that can help parents approach the topic of police violence and race is the APA's RESilience program, designed to bring a conversation about race to children.
SCCAP Effective Child Therapy
SCCAP Effective Child TherapyJune 10, 2020
Over the next 2 days, this account will share some resources on talking to children about race and police violence. First, some have found that has been a great landing page with many tools for parents!
SCCAP Effective Child Therapy
SCCAP Effective Child TherapyMay 27, 2020
Congrats to the recipients of our 2020 Student Achievement Awards!

Undergraduate - Katherine Venturo-Conerly from Harvard University; Research Title: "School-based, lay-provider-delivered single-session interventions reduced anxiety in Kenyan adolescents: Outcomes from a randomized controlled trial"

Early Stage Graduate - Violeta Rodriguez from University of Georgia; Research Title: "Identification of differential item functioning by race and ethnicity in the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire"

Late Stage Graduate - Bridget Makol from University of Maryland at College Park; Research Title: "Integrating multiple informants’ reports: How conceptual and measurement models may address long-standing problems in clinical decision-making"

Late Stage Graduate - Will Pelham from Arizona State University; Research Title: "Depression in mothers and behavior problems in children: an attempt to go beyond association"

The Student Achievement Award in Clinical Practice recognizes a graduate student who demonstrates innovative clinical service, clinical supervision, clinical skills, and commitment to evidence-based practice. The winner is:

Clinical Practice - Lea Taylor from Syracuse University

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Let us know if we have missed any treatments on our list or if any treatments should not be included. Please send professional research citations to justify your suggestions. is for informational purposes only. If you feel you need immediate intervention please dial 911, or call your local mental health center or mental health provider.

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Evidence-based Services Committee of Hawaii