Children and adolescents with psychological and relationship problems are one of the segments of the population that can benefit the most from psychotherapy services. However, in order to be able to provide them with these tools, it is necessary to train a group of psychologists capable of tackling with guarantees the characteristic problems of minors in terms of forms of psychological distress and adaptation or learning problems.
In this article we will see what they are characteristics of the best training in pediatrics and youth therapy, And the way in which these are reflected in the way of learning the theory and the practice of this professional field.
How to choose the best therapy training for children and youth
The first years of our life are, in many ways, the most psychologically relevant. In them, not only does our personality begin to take shape from a mixture of environmental and genetic factors: in addition, the patterns of behavior and attitudes that we adopt at this vital stage tend to structure the way we live. life. .
On another side, childhood and early youth are moments of particular vulnerability. At this age, we do not have the material, behavioral and cognitive tools to deal with the problems that arise and parents and caregivers cannot guarantee complete protection against all kinds of woes.
Learning difficulties, traumatic experiences, socialization problems… These are situations that, as adults, we could handle relatively well on our own, but children and adolescents do not know how to handle.
This is why child and adolescent therapy is a very valuable tool for promoting mental health and adaptation to the environment in the part of the population made up of minors.
However … What are the characteristics of therapy training for children and young people to meet the basic requirements of a quality psychological intervention applied in a professional and therapeutic context? Let’s see below.
1. Help to understand the stages of psychological evolution
Each stage of childhood and adolescence occurs during the development of certain mental capacities, both cognitive and emotional. Children and adolescents are not just vessels in which to pour all kinds of skills; each moment of development requires the monitoring and empowerment of certain skills, No more no less.
So, for example, you need to consider what kind of mental operations can be expected in a seven-year-old boy or girl, and what kind of cognitive training should be postponed so as not to waste resources and generate frustration.
2. Train in analysis and environmental factors
Many times we tend to assume that the psychological is an individual thing of each person, which occurs in them without the contextual elements being able to intervene. However, atmosphere matters, and a lot.
For example, a very passive and submissive girl does not have to be described simply by the label of “shyness”; maybe their behavior is the result of a history of bullying at school.
3. It allows to study theory and practice
This characteristic is essential in the psychotherapy of children and adolescents, as well as in the learning of any other type of psychological intervention. After all, everything that is studied must be applied in real cases with real subjects, And none of these cases will perfectly match the descriptions and classification criteria that appear in the textbooks.
4. Teaches aspects of the relationship with clients and patients
In child and adolescent psychotherapy, there is a clear distinction between clients and patients. This makes it necessary to understand how to communicate progress and give feedback based on what has emerged in therapy sessions, for example.
The model of relationship with clients and patients is very characteristic, especially if we take into account that in the case of minors, special measures must be taken in the way we manage the information obtained without exposing it to vulnerabilities.
5. Provide an overview of the phases of therapy
All the knowledge gained in this type of training program should be the backbone from a basic diagram of the stages of child and adolescent psychotherapy. In this way, it is not only much easier to study these contents, but also allows you to fully understand the meaning of each of these steps.
Learning the loose brushstrokes of what this type of therapy is is of little use; it is essential to have a global and structured vision.
An example of a training program
Fortunately in Spain it is already possible to find very interesting specialization courses in therapy for children and adolescents. An example of this is the case of Practical course in child and adolescent psychology at the Mensalus Institute, In Barcelona.
It consists of a development of eight sessions of three hours each and a structured program of all the theoretical and practical elements that it is essential to know. It is particularly indicated for people who want to know from the hand of experts how it intervenes in these cases, all this in certain facilities in which the therapy is carried out daily.
- For more information about the course, you can access Mensalus contact details by clicking here.