Treatment for children and young people is mainly psychological intervention, with medication being used occasionally. As psychiatrists, we have a wide range of treatments to choose from, including CBT, family therapy, liaising with school and prescribing medication.
therapy & Counselling
Therapy may be through play and drawing with an individual child, exploring feelings and wishes that can't always be put into words. It may be with a child and parent together or with other family members. The family dynamics and systems the child is part of, such as school, are considered.
Working with parents, without the child present, can also be very productive. It allow parents space to reflect upon the situation, consider the influence of their own experiences and background on their parenting and recognise their sensitivities - what makes us react rather than respond thoughtfully.
We are skilled in a variety of therapies, including play-based, creative, psycho-dynamic, cognitive behavioural (CBT) and systemic family therapies. We often incorporate mindfulness-based interventions for self-calming and regulating emotions and support developing mindfulness as a life skill. We may recommend Apps or other digital resources and may suggest activities to practice between meetings.
Whatever type of therapy is used it is crucial that there is trust and engagement with our client(s) so they feel safe to explore their feelings and are able to consider other perspectives.
Medication may be used in the treatment of children and young people yet this is not nearly as common as in adults with mental health issues.
Sometimes, medication is part of treating young people with e.g. ADHD, OCD, severe anxiety and mood disorders, when symptoms are sufficiently severe and have not responded to psychological therapy. Medication is given in the context of treating the whole person holistically. It is regularly reviewed and only continued if beneficial.
We can prescribe privately or recommend that your GP prescribes certain medication. It is good practice to let the GP know of any medication we prescribe and will be unable to prescribe without this agreement. If we recommend medication for those under 18 years, we usually have to remain involved in treatment, reviewing this regularly, even if it is prescribed by the GP.
How long does treatment last?
This is hugely variable, from a couple of meetings to over a year. However, it is usually months rather than weeks.