One of the most common treatments for aggression is behavior therapy. Behavior therapy is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on changing the individual’s behavior by identifying and modifying the antecedents and consequences of their aggressive behavior. This can include techniques such as positive reinforcement, which rewards appropriate behavior, and punishment in some cases, which reduces the likelihood of aggressive behavior.
Another type of behavior therapy that is often used to treat aggression for children is parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT). PCIT is a type of therapy that helps parents to improve their relationship with their child and to develop effective parenting skills. This can include teaching parents how to set appropriate boundaries, how to provide positive reinforcement, and how to respond to their child's aggressive behavior in a constructive way.
Medication can also be used to treat aggression. Antidepressant medication, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), can help to regulate the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, which can help to reduce aggressive behavior. Additionally, antipsychotic medication can also be used to treat aggression in children and adolescents with certain mental health conditions, such as oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) or conduct disorder (CD).
Another treatment option for aggression is social skills training. Social skills training teaches how to interact appropriately with others and how to manage their emotions and impulses. This can include teaching them how to communicate effectively, how to solve problems, and how to manage their anger.
It's important to note that the treatment for aggression will vary depending on each person’s specific needs. Data shows that these techniques do help and they do create positive changes in the brain. Finding a healthcare professional that resonates with you or your family member is key to identifying the right combination of solutions that will work.