Mental health interventions for children (also known as child/ teenagers psychotherapy) vary with respect to the problem being addressed and to the age and other individual characteristics of the child. Although such interventions share some approaches, treatment methods can be quite different from each other. Child counseling treats individual children and young people with a wide variety of difficulties. These include family breakdown, abuse, behavioral disorders, and communication disorders such as Autism, bed wetting, refusal to go to school, eating difficulties, developmental problems and depression.
Left untreated children and young people may respond to people and situations in ways they do not understand and cannot control. They may also develop more serious mental illnesses in adulthood.
Adolescent counseling/psychotherapy can be very useful in helping to understand and support the experiences of adolescence and early adulthood. During this developmental phase earlier difficulties and traumas can be unexpectedly stirred up. Providing a framework for understanding these deeper levels of anxiety, can support the processes of individuation and personal growth.
An independent Systematic Review of research into the effectiveness of psychoanalytic psychotherapy for children and young people was carried out in 2004. It found that child psychotherapy was effective in treating children and young people with issues such as:
- Anxiety or behavior disorders
- Personality disorders
- Learning difficulties
- Eating disorders
- Developmental issues, etc
In sum, Child and Adolescents’ Counseling helps children and adolescents in a variety of ways. They receive emotional support, resolve conflicts with people, understand feelings and problems, and try out new solutions to old problems. Goals for therapy may be specific (change in behavior, improved relations with friends or family), or more general (less anxiety, better self- esteem). The length of psychotherapy depends on the complexity and severity of problems.