Promoting Excellence In Psychological Health & Wellbeing

Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist (CAPT)

As a child and adolescent psychotherapist (CAPT) you will use specialist skills and knowledge to work with infants and children, young people up to age 25, and their families. Working as part of a multi-disciplinary team in a wide range of NHS mental health services, your training will enable you to contribute a psychoanalytic approach to team thinking, to assess and treat problems that can be severe or long-standing, and also to lead and supervise colleagues. As a CAPT you will seek to get to the core of difficulties which lie underneath worrying, confusing or even dangerous behaviours. You will adapt your approach to the individual child, and work in an age-appropriate way, assessing and supporting the child, their family or carers, through a combination of talking, playing and drawing.

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Required Training for this Role

As a child and adolescent psychotherapist (CAPT) in the NHS you will often be required to work with children and young people whose symptoms are severe and may have continued for a long time, or whose life circumstances are complex and impact on their recovery. Your training is consequently longer to enable a breadth and depth of skills and competencies to develop. In England, your training will be funded by Health Education England and include teaching, supervision, personal psychoanalysis and a four-year salaried training post. There are five training centres in the UK; two in London, one in Birmingham, one in Leeds and one in Glasgow. Clinical training placements are available across the UK.

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Entry Requirements to Train for this Role

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Child and adolescent psychotherapist is a graduate entry profession. You must have completed a recognised pre-clinical course which includes extended psychoanalytic infant and young-child observations, work discussion seminars, psychoanalytic theory and child development lectures. The courses are normally self-funded and offer an opportunity to decide whether psychotherapy with children and young people is the right profession for you and help the development of reflective practice, emotional availability and awareness of oneself.

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To train as a child and adolescent psychotherapist you must have experience of working with children and adolescents but this experience may be gained in a wide range of occupations across health, education, social care and other sectors. Prior experience of working in mental health services is not essential. Applications from those with lived experience and from a diverse range of backgrounds are encouraged.

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Salary Expectations

During the clinical training you will be paid on Agenda for Change Band 6. Child and adolescent psychotherapists (CAPTs) normally gain a substantive post on Band 7 after qualification. As CAPTs develop they may become highly specialist clinicians, consultants or take up teaching and management positions at Band 8a and above.

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Future Career Options

Child and adolescent psychotherapists (CAPTs) offer a range of help and support to children and their families from prevention and early intervention through to consultation, assessment and treatment for the most complex of needs. In addition to community child and adolescent mental health services, you could work in in-patient units, looked after children teams, hospital teams for children with physical illness and disability, eating disorder services, perinatal and parent-infant services, schools, learning disability teams and forensic services. As your career develops you may choose to specialise in one or more of these areas of work or to progress into service leadership, supervision and teaching roles.

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Registering or Accrediting Body

Child and adolescent psychotherapists must be registered with a register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). For those who have completed the Health Education England (HEE) funded training, the accredited register is held by the Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP).

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Professional Organisation

Child and adolescent psychotherapists are normally members of the Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP).