Therapy for children and young people

Psychotherapy can support your child, or one you care for, to heal from difficult experiences. From experiencing anxiety to dealing with a bereavement, there’s a wide range of reasons why children and young people might benefit from seeing a psychotherapist or psychotherapeutic counsellor.

It can be hard for them to open up, which is why psychotherapists qualified to work with children and young people use specialist techniques.

They enter the world of a child through activities which are meaningful to them, using everything from drama and dance, to creative writing and puppets.

Psychotherapy can help children and young people to make sense of what they are experiencing, feel less distressed, become more self-aware, heal and develop resilience.

How do I find a psychotherapist qualified to work with children and young people?

Working psychotherapeutically with children, young people and their families is not the same as therapy with adults. The work needs specialist skills and knowledge. This is why it’s important that if you are looking for a therapist for a child or young person, you search for someone that has received specialist training.

Our Find a Therapist directory contains hundreds of UKCP-registered psychotherapists who are qualified to work with children and young people or families. Find them by using the ‘works with children or young people’ or ‘works with families’ filter option when you search the directory.

Therapists who have completed specific specialist training and who work exclusively with children and adolescents are included on a specialist register. There are two titles associated with the child register:

  • Child Psychotherapist or Child Psychotherapeutic Counsellor – registrants with this title have completed a full child training or post qualifying diploma in child psychotherapy
  • Family and Systemic Psychotherapist or Family and Systemic Psychotherapeutic Counsellor – registrants with this title are members of our College of Family, Couple and Systemic Therapy and they are able to work with children, families, couples as well as adults.

Psychotherapists with UKCP's Child and Adolescent Proficiency Marker mainly work with adults but also, occasionally, with children and young people. The Proficiency Marker shows that they meet the standard of expertise the UKCP has set for working with under 18s.

Search for a UKCP psychotherapist qualified to work with children and young people

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