Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Training of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists

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Training of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists


Child and adolescent psychotherapy is a graduate entry profession and applicants will already have substantial experience of working with children, adolescents or families. This experience may have been gained in a wide range of settings including health, education and social care.

Applicants are required to first complete the MA/PG Dip in Psychoanalytic Observational Studies, which includes two years of close observation of infants and young children and lays the foundations for clinical work.  This course provides a thorough grounding in the emotional development of children and adolescents.  It also provides an opportunity for assessment of personal suitability for working in psychotherapy with children and young people.

The rigorous clinical training includes teaching, supervision, personal psychoanalysis and, uniquely, a four-year full-time salaried trainee child and adolescent psychotherapy post in a CAMHS service.  This enables the trainees to develop skills in a multi-disciplinary setting from the outset. As well as the core study of individual psychoanalytic work with children and young people, work is undertaken with parents, groups, families, and consultation and supervision of other trainees and professionals.

The programme enables students to develop the clinical expertise and research skills needed to prepare them for practice as a professional Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, eligible for membership of the Association of Child Psychotherapists. 

The training at NSCAP and other centres provides an academic as well as a professional qualification with trainees registered for the Professional Doctorate in Child Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy.

The clinical training was recently re-accredited by its professional regulatory body, the Association of Child Psychotherapists. In their report, the visiting panel commented:

this is an excellent training, and could be seen as a model for child psychotherapy training in the twenty first century


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