The quality of parenting seems to be an important factor and the central focus of therapy with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is usually behavioural, implemented through a mix of parent training and child sessions. This is designed to help the parents better manage and interact with their child. It typically includes learning behavioural techniques that reinforce good behaviour and discourage bad behaviour.
This is the primary form of treatment and the research shows that is usually the most effective. Parent training can often be done in a group setting (to help reduce costs and increase social support), or privately.
Parents learn specific behavioural techniques which help increase the likelihood of maintaining control in the relationship with their child. Gradually shaping the child’s behaviour toward more age-appropriate or acceptable behaviours is accomplished through the implementation of a behavioural monitoring and reward program.
Mindworx Psychology offers parent training courses such as 1-2-3 Magic and Emotion Coaching and Engaging Your Adolescent.
Functional family therapy may also be helpful to teach all family members to communicate and problem-solve more effectively. Parents may find a parent training class to be more effective as well as less expensive; it therefore is typically tried first before family therapy.
Finally, consistency of care is important – meaning all carers of the child (including parents, grandparents, teachers, child care workers and so on) need to be consistent in the way they behave towards and manage the child.