Are you concerned about the emotional or psychological well-being of a child, teenager or young person? Do you worry that they may be anxious or depressed, or struggling with relationships? Is behaviour beginning to feel out of control? Have you noticed that something is not right for them, is causing deep unhappiness, but nobody seems able to work out the problem?
I am a child and adolescent psychotherapist, with over ten years’ experience of working within NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS*). I am experienced in providing therapy and support services for children, young people and families. I know how highly distressing emotional and psychological difficulties can be for children and families. Accessing the right help at the earliest possible stage can make a long-term difference for everyone.
Many children and young people suffer with anxiety and depression which feels out of control and affects their ordinary development: it lowers their self-esteem; making friendships and relationships very difficult to manage. It can be very hard to ask for help. School and college work, and the pressures of social interaction, can leave some teenagers exhausted and children unpredictable and sometimes volatile.
Pre-school children can also struggle with anxieties which overwhelm them. Parents often describe ‘melt-downs’. It is often signs of unusual or challenging behaviours, or unexpected changes in mood, that alert parents and caring adults to the message that help is needed. Many children experience attachment difficulties and childhood trauma which can cause a life-long difficulties if untreated.
Finding the right help at an early stage can begin the process of making things better. An initial appointment, or a short therapeutic assessment, can help to identify the difficulties and the help which is needed. Child and adolescent psychotherapy can help to understand and transform worrying behaviours. It can reduce suffering and stresses within individuals and families. Through sensitive, specialist approaches, children and young people who are suffering with emotional difficulties can be helped to understand, and over-come, many of their difficulties. With developmental therapy, they can: increase self-confidence, reduce negative behaviours, form happier, healthier relationships, achieve at school and become increasingly independent.
*CAMHS is known as CYPS in some areas (Children and Young People’s Services)