Child Psychotherapy

What is Child Psychotherapy?
Child psychotherapy is a assessment and treatment approach that works with children and adolescents who experience difficulties in their emotional, social and behavioural development. A child psychotherapeutic focus is on children’s inner feelings and understandings and how they see and experience their environment. Through careful observation and direct respectful dialogue with the child, patterns that are interfering with healthy development are identified. The underlying meanings of these patterns of behaviour are sought and clarified and new responses  developed  furthering the childs ability in their world.

The work of child psychotherapy occurs within the context of the family and the wider environment.

The aim of child psychotherapy is to develop the child’s capacity for growth and development by establishing more appropriate ways of coping within their environment and florishing within their family and peers.

Child Psychotherapists
Colin has a  psychodynamic, psychodramatic and family therapy based training. Colin's knowledge and skills in working with children and families who are experiencing difficulties in everyday life is intuative, creative and he is then structured in his interventions with the child or family .

Colin will use a variety of approaches in working with whole families, groups or individuals of any age.

Who do Child Psychotherapists Work With?
Colin will  work with emotionally distressed children, adolescents and their families. 

• developmental delay due to social and emotional factors   • the effects of physical differences
• effects of physical, sexual and emotional abuse   • child-parent problems
• attachment problems   • mental health problems
• problems of aggression and violence   • family dysfunction
• childhood depression   • emotional/social skill deficits
• suicide threats and attempts   • environmental pressures
• withdrawal and neurosis   • self image
• psychosis   • identity
• children with chronic illness and dying children   • aspects of spirituality
• enuresis and encopresis   • adjustment problems
• effects of trauma   • effects of loss and grief

How do Child Psychotherapists work?
Child psychotherapy offers children a safe and trusting environment within which they are able to explore strong feelings such as fear, sadness, hurt, anger, anxiety or confusion about themselves, their family or other aspects of their lives.  

Children use play as well as language to communicate heir thoughts and feelings so as to enable understanding and growth. The therapeutic work takes place in a space well equipped for this purpose. In order to facilitate this experience the therapist, the room and its contents remain consistent. In work with adolescents where language plays a larger part in communication, the environment is structured towards this difference.

Psychotherapeutic work with parents is aimed at supporting their developing understandings of family and child interactions and the need for change.

A Child Psychotherapist may work with:

  • a child or adolescent individually
  • with children and adolescents in group therapy
  • with the parents
  • with the family
  • with school and other community agencies to assist them to understand more clearly the needs, feelings and conflicts within children

Colin can provide a consultative or supervisory role to primary care workers, both paid and voluntary, working therapeutically with children in various community settings.

Individual Work
In individual work a secure, trusting relationship is established where confidences are respected. In this situation young people can gain understanding of their feelings and relationships and work towards personal change.  

Whereas adults find relief in talking over problems, children often cannot express their thoughts and feelings in words, so play and art forms are used.

As children become secure in the use of the playroom through their special relationship with the therapist, they gradually share their good and bad feelings through play, and come to understand their difficulties

Family Work
In family work families are helped to understand their difficulties so that they can make the changes which they see as important and possible for them.

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