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You might be surprised to know that your foster teen receiving cognitive behavioral therapy and similar treatments sometimes feels worse before they feel better. CBT is still one of the most effective treatments for depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Here are a few words about what foster parents can expect and how to cope during your foster teen’s first sessions.

Why Does CBT Sometimes Make You Feel Worse Temporarily?

Before starting therapy, a foster teen may not be used to looking at their feelings and talking about them. That can be especially true for children and teens in foster care due to their age and circumstances. CBT can make them more aware of subjects that they have been trying to avoid for a long time. Keep in mind that this doesn’t have to mean that anything is going wrong. This could be a natural development, and your foster child may still benefit from CBT. In addition, if your foster child is prescribed medications like antidepressants, these require time to start working too. It will usually take about 4 to 6 weeks before there are any visible results.

What Can Foster Parents Do to Help During Your Teen’s First CBT Sessions?

Your first reaction may be to wonder if you’ve made some mistake if your teen seems upset or seems to be doing worse after starting CBT.  However, it’s usually best to talk with your therapist about your concerns and be patient. You may see progress soon or your therapist may recommend other actions in case there are additional issues to address.

Contact us at Pathway Family Services if you’re looking to become a foster parent in Kansas or are interested in making a donation to help kids looking for a home. Learn more about our resources, including our specialized foster care services, independent living program, and residential psychiatric center.