This type of therapy refers to a variety of methods used to help children and adolescents who are experiencing difficulties with their emotions and behaviour. Usually the therapist will meet the parents as part of the initial assessment, and then meet the child / teenager. Information on the presenting symptom, the child’s stage of development, ability to co-operate with treatment, and parents support for treatment will determine the next stage of treatment offered.

Different types of therapy can be offered which can involve the individual child, the family, multiple families or parental support. Children and teenagers’ playing, drawing, painting, as well as talking, are important ways of sharing feelings and resolving problems.

The relationship that develops between the child/teenager and therapist is very important one and they must feel safe and understood for this to happen. They then can feel free to express their thoughts and feelings and so can use the therapy in a helpful way. The length of the therapy depends on the complexity and severity of the problems.

Generally, the therapist will have regular reviews with the parents, being mindful all the time for the need for confidentiality between the child and therapist.