Child Psychotherapist

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    Child psychotherapists use language and play to observe, assess, help and treat children and young people who are experiencing behavioural, emotional, social and psychological difficulties that include:

    • depression;
    • anxiety;
    • development delay;
    • phobias;
    • aggression;
    • gender dysphoria;
    • consequences of child abuse;
    • self-harming;
    • learning difficulties and disabilities;
    • eating disorders;
    • psychosomatic disorders.

     

    Employers of Child Psychotherapists

    • Hospitals
    • Mental health services
    • Primary and secondary schools
    • Social services

     

    Duties

    • providing assessment and treatment of children and adolescents as individuals or in a group;
    • providing short-term and long-term interventions with children, young people and/or parents, from a few sessions to regular appointments over several years;
    • working alongside other professionals in planning how best to help a child and the child’s family, for example in schools, hospitals, children’s services and child protection agencies;
    • working as part of multidisciplinary teams comprising psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, paediatric nurses, special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs), family therapists and community psychiatric nurses, most commonly in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS);
    • supervising trainee child psychotherapists and other therapists;
    • offering training, consultation and supervision to other professionals who work with children and families in the community, including health visitors, social workers, teachers, midwives and nurses;
    • planning service delivery in conjunction with commissioners and developing new services;
    • keeping abreast of developments in theory and research and undertaking continuing professional development (CPD).

     

    Qualifications

    Child psychotherapy is a second career for many people, with entrants coming from:

    • medicine;
    • nursing;
    • psychiatry;
    • psychology;
    • social work;
    • teaching.

     

    Skills

    • Listening skills
    • Observation
    • Sensitivity and empathy
    • Sincerity
    • Discretion
    • Ability to build rapport
    • Positive outlook
    • Excellent communication skills

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