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Is Oppositional Defiant Disorder A Progressive Problem & Alternative Treatments For It?

Usually, children from the age of two years up to their teenage years may defy the authority now and then. They can do so by arguing, disobeying or talking back to the authority, like teachers or their parents. This is quite normal. However, if this type of behavior lasts for more than six months and looks aggressive compared to what may be normal for a child’s age, it is termed as oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).(1,2)

Is Oppositional Defiant Disorder A Progressive Problem?

Oppositional defiant disorder if left untreated can cause a host of problems and can quickly turn into a progressive disorder. Treatment usually involves medications and other methods like psychotherapy, parental intervention, family therapy, etc.

Alternative Treatments For Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Along with the conventional methods of treatment, the oppositional defiant disorder can be treated by using some alternative methods of treatment as well. Behavior therapy is the most widely accepted and practiced method of therapy for ODD. A lot of psychotherapy and family training methods can be used to treat the oppositional defiant disorder and are generally prescribed along with medications. These may include-

Training For The Parents-Parenting skills that are less frustrating and more productive can be developed for you by your mental health professional who is an expert in oppositional defiant disorder. These skills can be beneficial for both you and your child. Your child may partake in some of the cases and thus, your family can develop shared goals for tackling the situation. Also, teachers, caretakers, etc. who are associated with your child on a routine basis, can take part in such training and can contribute to the wellness of your child.(3)

PCIT: Also known as parent-child interaction therapy, a therapist trains parents during the time that they interact with their child. The parents, as a result, learn different and more-effective parenting techniques, which results in an overall improved parent-child association and a decrease in problem behaviors. One approach to PCIT can be-You are interacting with your child in a setting. A therapist is sitting behind a one-way mirror and there is an audio bug in your ears. Your therapist can then guide you with strategies that can emphasize the positive behavior in your child. This, when practiced over time, can lead to an improved connection between your child and you and can result in an improved behavior on the child’s part.(3)

Individual And Family Therapy: For your child, individual therapy may help him in controlling his anger issues. It can also help him in communicating his feelings and emotions more healthily. For you, family therapy can help improve your communication and association with your child. Family therapy can also teach your family members how to work as a team.(3)

Cognitive Problem-Solving Training: This therapy will help your child to analyze and change the thoughts that lead to problem behaviors. A collective problem-solving wherein you work along with your child can help a lot in improving the problems related to oppositional defiant disorder.(3)

Training Related To Social Skills: A therapy that will target your child’s interaction with his peers. He will be gently taught to be more flexible and interact more positively with his partners.(3)

  • Parental training may also include giving clear and precise, easy to understand instructions to your child and also following through with suitable outcomes otherwise.
  • It may also involve recognizing, praising and rewarding your child’s good behavior suitably to encourage preferred behaviors.(3)

Persistence and perseverance are the keys when it comes to successfully treating oppositional defiant disorder. Most importantly, unconditional love and support are what goes a long way for both you and your child for a condition like oppositional defiant disorder.(3)


Oppositional defiant disorder can quickly become progressive and worse if left untreated. It is essential to seek professional help at the earliest.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 2, 2020

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