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Working with Complexity

Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists work with some of the most vulnerable and deeply troubled children and young people in society.

The areas where a specialist Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist is most needed include children and young people with complex and comorbid conditions and those suffering from developmental breakdown. This includes children who have been neglected, abused, those suffering with trauma, moderate to severe depression including suicidal thoughts, crippling anxiety, eating disorders, those with learning difficulties and communication disorders such as autism spectrum disorders.

Unlike some therapies offered to infants, children and young people, child and adolescent psychotherapy is not a single therapeutic modality, but rather a powerful combination of skills, knowledge and experience that can be applied to a wide range of patients, groups and work contexts. This equips Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists with the capacity to work with the most complex cases characterised by severity of disturbance, co-morbidity and, often, multi-agency involvement.

CAPT Testimonial from an 18 year old: 

“I was a drastic case and was seen urgently 2-3 weeks after being referred by my GP. Before psychotherapy I’d tried CBT and it didn’t work for me. During psychotherapy sessions I felt it was a talking session, where I could freely shout, cry, vent and there was nobody telling me I had to get through an exercise. 

“I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the psychotherapist1. I have more self worth. The psychotherapy allowed us together to see things from an outside perspective and highlighted it to me in a way that didn’t aggravate or upset me. I became less angry, happier, more independent. The psychotherapist made me realise that there were things in my life that were traumatic and upsetting and enabled me to understand it at my own pace. I have more confidence in relationships and friendships now - I have more self worth to say ‘I deserve this’.” 



The ACP has produced a report on Children and Young People's Mental Health: Specialist Provision for Complex Needs which is available below.