Psychotherapy for Children and Adolescents
What does Psychotherapy mean?
Before my psychotherapy training which I started after working many years as a social worker, supporting families struggling with different issues, I didn`t know much about psychotherapy.
While I was working with children, who were suffering from developmental disorders, showing symptoms of hyperactivity and focusing issues, academically low performance at school, oppositional behaviour, social anxieties etc., I wanted to know more about psychotherapeutic techniques. After studying Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), I got a deeper understanding of the broad spectrum of mental disorders, how to diagnose them and to work with bespoke treatments.
The integrative approach
Having worked many years in a professional team of family therapists, I was able to combine both therapy tools and approaches to fit the needs of parents and their children in the best way possible.
CBT is focusing on the theory that our thoughts, feelings, actions and sensations are all connected, and if we change one of these we can alter the others. Our life is shaped by positive and negative experiences, which cause either an increase or a decrease of a particular behaviour/thought/feeling or physiological reaction.
CBT is focusing in “Here and Now” and on increasing functional thoughts and behaviours.
Family therapy considers the family itself as the centre of any intervention. Any dysfunctional symptoms of a family member reflect underlying conflicts in the whole system and can only be resolved with each others support and respect.
A combination of both therapy approaches can help to activate the resources of a child and his parents and increase functional behaviour by focusing on reinforcement.
Before starting any therapy intervention, a holistic diagnostic is essential. Many parents and children feel a relief when the therapist is listening to their point of view without judging anybody. Especially youngsters come to the first session not always willingly but change their mind, if they feel an atmosphere of acceptance and respect. The therapist will ask many questions during the first sessions and give out questionnaires to the child, parents and teacher (if the school is involved) to get a better understanding of the family system and the struggle of the child involved. Although the psychotherapeutic interventions will usually start after a proper diagnostic, many times the child and the parents find it helpful to discuss the developmental model of the symptoms with the whole family. This can sometimes lead indirectly to a therapeutic process, due to a better understanding of potential influencing factors.
Psychotherapy practice in Aberdeen – A SAFE PLACE
In my practice in Aberdeen (Westend), I offer a broad range of diagnostic tools and bespoke treatments for many sorts of mental issues. All personal information will be kept confidential according to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
I am glad to share the practice with my colleague Gordon Charlton, who is a psychologist and specialised in working with adults.
Psychotherapy works well many times in combination with group classes, where children and adolescents can practice for example mindfulness and learn social skills. My colleague Jill Stallard provides Mindfulness classes which aim to cultivate gratitude, handle painful emotions and thoughts and finally develop kindness towards themselves and others. You can read more about the group classes in the next blog “Mindfulness Training Programm”.
Families who are not sure if psychotherapy might help them are welcome to try an introductory session. For further inquiries, please contact me via mail or call.
Published on 2018/12/15