What is it?
Psychotherapy is a way of helping people deal with their emotional and behavioural problems. There are different kinds of psychotherapists. Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists approach their work with a particular understanding of how the inner worlds of children and of how early childhood exerience influences everyday life. They work with children, teenagers and parents.
Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists work in a variety of places. Frequently they work in CAMHS units and in hospital outpatient clinics. They may also work in health centres and GP's surgeries, hospital wards, student health services and walk-in centres for adolescents. They also practise privately.
What can Psychotherapy help with?
Problems can affect the feelings and behaviour of children and adults of all ages. Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists (sometimes working with other mental health professionals) in CAMHS help with a wide variety of difficulties. Some children are very fearful and withdrawn. Some are very angry and hit out. Others feel overwhelmed and are sad. Children may be very anxiouis and tense; they may not want to go to school. Perhaps they are afraid of being bullied, or have become regular truants.
Maybe they are not sleeping well, having nightmares or wetting the bed. They might find it difficult to accept authority at school, get into fights or be in trouble with the police.
Other children may be suffering the effects of a crisis or a catastrophe in the family. Some may be constantly moody and have no interest in making friends, or in learning.
How does Psychotherapy work?
Talking to children and playin gwith them can help psychotherapists to understand how they are feeling.
Child Psychotherapists mostly work with children individually, although some may work with groups of children and families. They usually see the child one a week, but in some cases it may be more frequent. Some children will only need a few sessions; others may need to continue seeing the psychotherapist for a longer time.
A Child Psychotherapist observes and tries to understand the way a child behaves and relates to others. This helps to make sense of, and sort out, the child's various feelings and thoughts about his or her life.
Child Psychotherapists are knowledgeable about child development and skilled at interacting with children. This may be through talking or any other way the child chooses to communicate through, such as play.
The aim of the work is to help children develop emotionally and learn more about themselves and their relationships.