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Although such interventions share some approaches, treatment methods can be quite different from each other. Terms describing child treatments may vary from one part of the world to another, with particular differences in the use of the terms " psychotherapy " and " psychoanalysis ".

For these reasons, readers should take special care to consider definitions of terms in this article. There are many therapeutic beginnings to address mental health concerns among children and adolescents.

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Psychotherapy for Children and Adolescents: Evidence-Based Treatments and Case Examples

Some of these approaches are backed by strong scientific evidence, and some are not. If the normal course of secure attachment between parent and infant is disrupted, parent—infant psychotherapy is a catch-all term to describe psychotherapies that either aim to restore this bond or to work with vulnerable parents to prevent disruption in the first instance. Examples of this kind of therapy include, "Watch, Wait, Wonder," and psychoanalytic parent-infant psychotherapy. Many of these techniques require a three-way relationship between the parent, child, and therapist.

During the therapy sessions, the parent expresses his or her thoughts and feelings which are based on a combination of factors including:. The therapist's role is as an observer and an interpreter of the interaction between the infant and the parent. He might share some of his thoughts about the behavior of the child with the parent and by doing so offering the parent an alternative way of experiencing the child.

This technique helps the parent to resolve issues with his or her own infancy-experiences in order to restore secure attachment with the infant. And it helps lower the risk for psychopathological developments of the child in the future. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy with infants, children and adolescents is usually delivered by either someone qualified specifically in psychoanalytic child psychotherapy, or a psychoanalyst who has also undertaken an additional child-focused training.

Recent evidence [5] , covering 34 research papers nine of which were randomized controlled trials showed psychoanalytic psychotherapy to be particularly effective for children with the following conditions:. Furthermore, follow-up research [6] shows that in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, therapeutic improvements continue well beyond the termination of the therapy itself.

Psychotherapy for Children and Adolescents: Different Types

This has been termed a, "sleeper effect. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.


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Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. London: [Karnac]. Development and Psychopathology.

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Some children have difficulties that benefit from more intensive treatment, three times per week. Individual therapy sessions with a child last for 50 minutes. Family meetings are 1 to 1. Children are usually seen on their own in sessions. Older children are usually able to talk about their difficulties, whilst younger children can play or draw in sessions.

Sometimes children find it hard to communicate through words or play. Our child psychotherapists watch how they react to the session and the way the child relates to them to understand what their behaviour means. Child psychotherapists try to see children at the same time and in the same room every week. A predictable routine supports the work. Psychotherapy sometimes makes a difference very quickly, even with the most troubling symptoms. However, the treatment is not just about getting rid of unwanted symptoms.

It aims to help the individual make better use of future opportunities and relationships. Research shows that psychotherapy is particularly effective in the treatment of depression, anxiety or behaviour disorders, and developmental disorders.

There is evidence of good outcomes for sexually abused girls and children who have suffered deprivation and neglect. In any psychological treatment there is a risk of feeling worse before you feel better. Behaviour can become worse in the short term, before it improves. This can happen for a number of reasons.

Children sometimes find their sessions stir up unwelcome feelings, thoughts and memories. This can make them dismissive, critical of their therapist or even not want to attend therapy sessions. Children often work hard during treatment and this can take a lot of emotional energy.

Child Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Most children, including those who are negative about therapy, become attached to the work and find holiday breaks or cancelled sessions difficult. Child psychotherapy is not for everyone. There is a range of alternative treatments that your therapist will talk to you about during assessment. In some cases children are helped by medication which can be prescribed by a doctor and on rare occasions by our staff. Patients may choose not to take up any form of professional help for their issue and manage the problem themself.

Child psychotherapists seeing young children meet with parents for feedback sessions once each school term.


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If your child is seeing a child psychotherapist, another clinician meets you on a regular basis for parent support sessions every week, fortnight or month. This is the person to contact if you have worries about the treatment plan. If you would like to discuss any concerns with someone independent of your therapy please contact our patient advice and liaison service.