A Child is Not a Mini Adult
- 02 Sep 2014 11:33
- Written by Michèle Bartlett
Some things you should know if you are looking for therapeutic help for a child...
It is not sufficient for a therapist working with children to have only completed a psychotherapy training to work with adults. This is why the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) holds a specialist Child Psychotherapy register of those who are qualified to work with children and young people. This does not mean that anyone who has not completed a Child Psychotherapy training cannot work with children, but it does ensure that those working with children have undertaken additional specialist training to equip them with appropriate skills.
These are some of the aspects that require specialist knowledge:
- Issues concerning safeguarding and child protection
- An understanding of child development
- Knowledge of the latest research on neuroscience and the impact of abuse on the developing brain in children
- An understanding of how the experience of trauma or abuse can impact on childhood behaviours
- An understanding of attachment theory: this is not only relevant to children in the care system
- Confidentiality: the child is the client, but the therapeutic service is often paid for by someone else (parent/carer/local authority). The child still has a right for the content of the sessions to remain confidential, but this has to be managed within the context of information sharing with a wider network (family/school/social care)
- Practitioners working with children and young people should have an enhanced check from the Disclosure & Barring Service (formerly CRB check)