'A light to help you on your journey of health' Directors: Drs Martin & Sue Allbright
01684-893393 Complementary Health Centre

What is Child and Adolescent Psychodynamic Psychotherapy?

This is a method of psychoanalytic treatment for children, young people and their families and carers.

What is Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy contd. Psychodynamic therapist training Child & Adolescent Psychotherapist Ways of working

What is Child and Adolescent Psychodynamic Psychotherapy ? contd.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapists are especially trained to carefully observe children & young people and understand what they might be communicating through their behaviour and play. Very often children and young people show that they are struggling with emotional and psychological issues through behavioural symptoms, how they view themselves, or the way they relate to others.

Ways of working

Psychodynamic-trained therapists are one of the very few professionals who are trained to understand not only verbal communication but also non verbal communication, expressed through play. They are very skilled in understanding and putting into words the difficult feelings that the child or young person is struggling with. These feelings impact on their behaviour, how they view themselves and their relationships with friends and family. This method of treatment is very helpful when children struggle to verbalize their feelings. For example, children with selective mutism, Autistic Spectrum Disorders, learning disabilities, or those who have suffered early trauma.

The therapist will provide toys and drawing or art materials for younger children.  Adolescents and young adults might prefer to talk.

Sessions last 50 minutes and take place weekly, often at a set day and time.

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Child and Adolescent Psychodynamic training.

Child and Adolescent psychotherapy is a graduate-entry profession. As well as an undergraduate degree the candidates need to have substantial experience working with babies, children across ages and their families, prior to being accepted for the pre-clinical course.

The training takes a minimum of 6 years postgraduate training and involves two stages.

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Stage 2 Clinical Training

Once students have successfully completed their pre-clinical training they continue with a four year clinical doctorate level based fulltime in a multidisciplinary setting, often based in NHS in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

Clinical training includes long term and short term individual psychoanalytic treatment for children and young people, parents, as well as assessments, group work and providing consultations to other professionals. A core feature of the clinical training is that all trainees are required to undergo their own individual therapy. This lasts for the whole duration of the clinical training, attending a minimum of three times a week. This enables the therapist to have a deeper understanding of themselves as well as having first-hand experience of being in a therapeutic relationship.

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Code of Ethics and Regulation

Child and Adolescents Psychotherapists are regulated by the Association of Child Psychotherapists and bound by their code of ethics.

For further information about psychotherapy please visit:


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Stage 1 Pre-Clinical training

This is a two year postgraduate course in infant observation, which alongside theory, involves close weekly observations of babies and young children in order to get a first hand understanding of child development and attachment theory.

Confidentiality - Privacy

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Major update 2012 All rights reserved

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this site is accurate. It is not the intention to mislead or misinform anyone.

Continued Professional Development

All qualified Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists are required to maintain their CPD through training and receiving constant supervision of their work.

The Association of Child Psychotherapists is the only accrediting organization recognized by the NHS for Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists.


Child & Adolescent Psychotherapist

Eva Shehu-Whitefield

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Fees Code of Ethics & Regulation Continual Professional Development