What Is Child Psychotherapy?

Child Psychotherapy is an effective method of treatment for mental health difficulty in children and adolescents. It is helpful for a wide range of difficulties, from emotional and behavioural problems in young children, to depression and anxiety in adolescents and young adults.

“Child and adolescent psychotherapy is a core NHS profession with rigorously regulated standards and training, approved by the Department of Health and recognised as an important component of comprehensive Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).  Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists work in community services, hospitals, early years centres, schools, social services and the youth justice system” SOURCE: childpsychotherapy.org

At the point of qualification, child psychotherapists will have met the standards detailed in the link below, and membership of the Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP) is awarded.

 An ACP registered Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist will have completed a minimum of 5 years post graduate education, including a four year, full-time clinical placement, usually within an NHS CAMHS team. During their training, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists treat a wide range of mental health difficulties and will also gain significant experience of working in specialist fields which may include work with Looked-After Children, work with those on the autistic spectrum, or those with longstanding and severe depression, amongst other things.

“Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists are dedicated to understanding the complex emotional lives of infants, children, young people, families and carers in depth. This is a psychoanalytic approach which seeks to look beneath the surface of problematic emotions, behaviours or relationships and to help children and adolescents, and their families, to understand themselves and their difficulties.” – from childpsychotherapy.org

Unfortunately, the term “Child Psychotherapist” is not currently protected under law, and as such it can be difficult for families to ascertain the level of competence and professional training obtained by those offering psychotherapy for children and young people. Members of the Association of Child Psychotherapists will have completed the above mentioned training, and have demonstrated competencies in the skills shown in the link below. At the Anchor Practice we recommend that families enquire as to the professional accreditation of any professional they engage – reputable professionals will welcome enquiries about their training.

A link to the competences framework for qualified child and adolescent psychotherapists can be found here.

About us

The Anchor Practice is a specialist clinic established to provide psychotherapy and clinical psychology for children, adolescents, young adults and families.