Child Psychotherapists have an in-depth training spanning 5-7years. This provides them with a significant background in child development and childhood disorders. They work with a range of approaches, from talking therapy to creative approaches. Child psychotherapists are trained to carefully observe a child or young person and respond to what they might be communicating through their body language, behaviour or play.
They have particular skill in understanding, managing and working with complex and troubled feelings and situations. It is not necessary for children to talk in their sessions, child psychotherapists are trained to work with children through art and play if this is easier for a child or adolescent.
Child psychotherapy deals with a wide-range of issues from minor anxiety or social relationship difficulties to serious mental health problems such as depression, anxiety or schizophrenia or childhood disorders such as ASD and ADHD. We would thoroughly recommend that any child taking medication is also assessed for whether child psychotherapy would also be appropriate.
Child psychotherapists are also skilled at working with parents and carers and this will often form part of the work. Parents are helped to understand their child’s behaviour as a communication and relationships are strengthened and understood. Therapists may also work with parents to help them understand a child’s particular needs and provide an environment adapted to the needs of the child as are understood through the therapeutic work.
All work will start with an assessment, after which a full treatment plan will be discussed with the family. Assessments usually take the form of a meeting with the parents, three meetings with the child and then a review with the parents to disucss findings and agree a way forward.
In some complex cases child psychotherapists with also join with a Child Psychiatrist and provide and in-depth report of the child which will cover everything from diagnostic issues to a state of mind assessment of the child.