THE TRAINING OF CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHOTHERAPISTS
To take view on whether your child would benefit from Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy it can help to learn about the kind of clinical and pre-clinical training and work placements that Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists undertake.
Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists are mental health professionals who train rigorously in observational skills, infant mental health, child development and child psychotherapy to become skilled in understanding the emotional complexity and needs behind an infant/baby, child or young person's problematic emotions, physical symptoms, behaviours and responses.
The clinical training includes supervised pre-clinical studies such as the Mother and Baby and the Toddler Observation Studies which are carried out weekly for the period of the first 18-24 months of a baby's life (the Mother and Infant observation studies) and for a period of 6 to 9 months (the Toddler in Nursery observation studies.)
Apart from this extensive training in and knowledge of Infant Mental Health and Parent-Infant Relationships, during their studies trainees undertake extensive clinical placements delivering psychotherapy and counselling to small children (under 5s), primary school aged children and adolescents. They also undertake Adult Psychotherapy and Parent Psychotherapy and counselling clinical training and placements.
Also, Child Mental Health training and a Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Placement are completed during their studies to learn about childhood anxiety and affective disorders, developmental delay, childhood depression and low mood, self-harming, psychosomatic symptoms, childhood phobias, neurodevelopmental diversity and other important mental health concerns.
As children express their feelings, concerns and wishes through their play, projections, fantasies and imagination child psychotherapists train in and use a range of psychological, symbolic, creative and play interventions to make sense of and respond to what children are communicating in sessions. This helps younger and older children and adolescents make sense of their thoughts, emotions and feelings, assisting emotional and psychological release.
Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy also involves working closely with parents and carers, providing confidential, open-minded and non-judgemental spaces for reflective thinking that will support their child's mental and emotional needs and their therapy.
When appropriate and helpful Child Psychotherapists work closely with educators, schools, preschools and other professional practitioners involved in supporting a particular family.
Overall Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy studies take 5 or more years to complete, providing child psychotherapists with specialist knowledge and skills that enable them to form and maintain positive and supportive relationships with babies and infants, toddlers, children, young people and their families.
CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHOTHERAPY SERVICES
If your child's behaviour, emotional expressions and self-esteem have been concerning you for some time it is probable that Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy (a long-term and in-depth psychological intervention) will best support their emotional and mental health in the long run.
I can help with the following matters:
difficulties managing emotions
anxiety, OCD, intrusive thoughts
racism, colourism/shadism, racial trauma
medically unexplained symptoms (e.g. wetting, soiling, aches)
a history of multiple losses
relational trauma and/or difficulties (attachment)
adoption (read more in the Contact section)
making sense of medical, mental health and/or neurodevelopmental diagnoses
neurodiversity and developmental needs
mixed heritage, multiculturalism and identity
childhood abuse/trauma and post-traumatic stress
parent-infant relationship difficulties