Psychological Therapy for Children and Young People

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
Walt Disney

What is psychological therapy?

Psychological therapy provides therapeutic support to bring about significant change in people’s lives and the relationships they have with others. By creating a safe and supportive environment the psychological therapist will help children and young people discuss the thoughts and feelings they have about their difficulties. After the first few sessions the therapist and the child or young person will use this information to develop a collaborative plan for therapy. Psychological therapy does not have a magic wand and relies on the child or young person and their families actively engaging. The children and young people will be encouraged to develop goals and to undertake tasks outside of the therapy sessions. The overall aim is to empower the child or young person to understand and manage their own difficulties. In doing so they have the opportunity to achieve personal goals and reach their full potential.

Psychological Therapy for Children and Young People
Psychological Therapy for Children and Young People

How Long Does it Take?

The number of sessions will depend on the complexity of the difficulties. The therapist will be transparent and honest about this with each individual case.

How Much Does it Cost?

The cost for psychological therapy is £55 per session which last approximately 50 minutes. A free telephone consultation and follow up meeting are available before consenting to engage in psychological therapy.

What approaches are used?

Developmental, systemic and cognitive behavioural theories are used to understand the factors influencing and maintaining difficulties.

Developmental psychology provides an understanding of the difficulties in context, compared to the normal expectations for a child of that age. A systemic approach is used to understand the many systems (for example, family, school, cultural values) that influence the child or young person’s life and vice versa. Cognitive Behavioural approaches are used to help the child or young person recognise the thoughts and feelings that contribute to their difficulties. They are then taught strategies for challenging ‘distorted’ thoughts and to recognise and manage the difficult feelings associated with their difficulties.

Using these approaches to understand the difficulties helps inform the treatment plan, which aims to bring about positive behavioural change.

Where suitable ISM Psychological Services can also provide therapeutic group work for young people who have similar difficulties.

Our Therapists

Psychological Therapists are general members of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and are registered Clinical Associates in Applied Psychology (CAAP) in Scotland. As defined by the British Psychological Society Guidelines for best practice psychological therapists receive regular clinical supervision.

Therapy for Children and Young People

What are Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD)?

It is generally thought that SEBD will have an effect on a child or young person’s functioning (for example having positive relationships with peers and adults, attending school and other activities). However, the impact on functioning will depend on the nature, frequency, persistence and severity of the behaviour, in context, compared to the normal expectations for a child of that age.

SEBD manifest in different ways and can be evident at a personal level (for example through negative self-image, anxiety, depression or withdrawal or through resentment, vindictiveness and defiance); at the verbal level (for example the child may threaten, or interrupt, argue or swear or even be silent); at the non-verbal level (for example through risk taking behaviour, truancy, failure to observe rules, disruptiveness, destructiveness, aggression or violence); or at the work skills level (for example through an inability or unwillingness to work without direct supervision, to concentrate, to complete tasks or to follow instructions).

SEBD are caused by many interacting factors. There is no automatic link between SEBD and any one social factor, but research shows that the prevalence of such difficulties varies according to sex, age, health and living arrangements. Rates are likely to be greater in inner cities; socially deprived families; boys rather than girls, children with other learning, health or developmental difficulties; adolescents as opposed to younger children; and, amongst young children, those with delayed language development (Cole, 2012). Many children cope well with adverse circumstances and events. Research indicates that early intervention, either by way of intervening in early years or early in the problem cycle can have best outcomes.

Common labels given for SEBD that would be suitable for psychological therapy are Anxiety, Low Mood, Low Self-Esteem, Self-harming, Phobias, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Conduct Disorder (CD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

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