What are the treatment techniques used in paediatric mental health? 

Psychodynamic psychotherapy, Cognitive-behavioral therapy, and family-based interpersonal therapy are the most common methods used to treat childhood behavioural problems. Learn more about each of these techniques and what each can do for your child. These techniques are commonly used to help children addicted to psychoactive substances like alcohol or prescription drugs. These substances may also include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, amphetamines, etc.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy

Unlike other forms of therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy is not focused on the presenting symptom but rather on the source of a child’s problems. For example, Ali’s fears about losing her baby dolls may result from themes of fear and safety. By labelling the child’s emotions and creating a safe environment, a therapist can help Ali understand his feelings. The therapy may involve a series of weekly sessions, but children will benefit from a full year of treatment in most cases.

A range of assumptions about children’s mental functioning is the basis of psychodynamic psychotherapy for children. The theories of Sigmund Freud were modified and expanded to create a model for child therapy. Essentially, the presenting difficulties of a child are thoughts, feelings, and wishes. According to this model, mental disorders are specific organisations of the child’s unconscious and conscious mental states.

The basic principles of psychodynamic therapy are based on the theory that psychological distress is a reflection of internal psychic conflict. The dynamically oriented therapist identifies and accepts the patient’s feelings due to this internal conflict. It is possible that these emotions may be dangerous or overwhelming and need to be addressed. Through the help of paediatric specialists, psychodynamic therapy may help children develop a deeper understanding of their experiences and lead healthier lives.


Child psychoanalysis relies on the idea that children have three basic functions – id, ego, and superego. The id represents the individual’s basic instincts, such as aggressive tendencies. The ego regulates the id, while the superego represents external reality. In addition, the therapist often seeks to foster a close relationship between the patient and the psychoanalyst.

Despite its fading relevance in adult life, psychoanalysis remains a useful tool for treating children. During psychoanalysis, children are often sent to psychologists to analyse their drawings, play, and other activities.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy

This therapy aims to teach children to substitute negative behaviours with positive ones. Children who understand the reasons for their behaviours are quick to recognise alternatives. During treatment, therapists work with the child and family to develop strategies and alternatives. When a child learns to avoid or alter a behaviour, the behaviour will diminish, and they will also be able to deal with any repercussions of termination.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on teaching children to control problematic emotions and behaviours. This therapy can help children cope with physical and emotional symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, and other issues. In addition to individual sessions, cognitive-behavioural therapy can be used in group settings. In some cases, clinicians may work with parents as well.

Using this approach can help children develop these skills and learn new ways of thinking.

Children with ADHD may respond well to a combination of treatment approaches. Family-based behavioural treatment, for example, involves training parents on how to understand their child’s challenges better. 

Family-based interpersonal therapy

One of the most promising forms of psychosocial treatment for preadolescent depression is Family-based interpersonal therapy. This approach is conceptually based on the interpersonal model of depression and aims to address parent-child conflict and peer impairment issues. It also focuses on family relationships and is more effective than child-centred therapy. Although there are significant differences between these two approaches, they are both based on the same underlying theory. During treatment, the child and parent work together on problem-solving and communication skills. The approach consists of three phases, and these phases are:

The treatment program includes twelve weekly individual sessions. In addition to the primary problem-solving focus, the treatment focuses on the child’s specific interpersonal challenges. The parent-child relationship is also addressed. The young person and parents are encouraged to participate in additional sessions. The child will also be assessed at one week and three and six months after treatment. The treatment is usually ongoing, with the parents invited to attend three additional sessions.