Skip to main content

Child psychotherapy is a form of psychiatric treatment that can be effective in treating a wide range of issues from emotional and behavioral problems in young children, to mental health ailments in adolescents and young adults. Clinicians often include the parent and/ or caregivers in treatment for young children, whereas older children may require less parental involvement. Depending on the needs of the child and the circumstances, some therapists may request to work with the whole family or other important adults in the child’s life. Psychological therapy with children may include talking, playing, or other activities to help the child express feelings and thoughts. Child psychotherapy aims to help children learn an array of skills and strategies needed to effectively manage their emotions and navigate stressful situations. It can help families understand and resolve problems and modify dysfunctional behaviors. Child psychotherapy promotes a higher level of self-esteem and self-confidence, can improve social skills, and works to ease the transition between stages of life.

What Is A Good Therapeutic Relationship?

Born from his theorization of transference, in 1913, Sigmund Freud hypothesized that the relationship between the therapist and patient was a key component of effective treatment. Research has since proven that the quality of this relationship, also referred to as therapeutic alliance, is the strongest predictor of whether therapy, including child psychotherapy, is successful. Dr. Edward Bordin, a pioneering expert in the field of psychology, defined a good therapeutic relationship as “consisting of three essential qualities: an emotional bond of trust, caring, and respect; agreement on the goals of therapy; and treatment collaboration.” This remains true for child psychotherapy, as Development and Psychopathology explains that the quality of a child’s affective relationship with his or her clinician is associated with collaboration on therapy tasks. One study that explored the therapeutic relationship as a change facilitator in different moments of psychotherapy, concluded that a positive therapeutic relationship facilitates early changes in the motivation of children and parents, and provides them with a healing, relational experience as it develops. Still, despite substantial and recurrent findings that indicate a clear link between treatment collaboration and treatment outcome, additional research on specific factors that influence children’s ability to form meaningful therapeutic relationships is required. 

Further Information and Support

For most of us, life can be very stressful, leading us to feel emotionally charged, which can cause anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and getting stuck in a cycle of being burdened with negative thoughts. Navigating through the challenges and emotional turmoil of life can be overwhelming, but you do not have to go through it alone. Engage Treatment is a Joint Commission Accredited professional psychological practice. We specialize in treating children, teens, and young adults struggling with depression and anxiety through community-focused treatment plans that incorporate a carefully selected combination of therapeutic interventions. Our compassionate, multidisciplinary practitioners are devoted to providing the highest quality of care that helps ignite positive change and enables clients to reach optimal health and well-being. Please do not hesitate to reach out for guidance. We are happy to answer questions and provide you with any additional information. Feel free to call us at 805-497-0605 or email us at [email protected]. You are also welcomed to get in touch by filling out our contact form. We look forward to connecting and having the opportunity to discuss how we might best be able to support you.

Leave a Reply

Back to top