Can Psychoanalytic Treatment Help Children And Adolescents?
Psychoanalytic treatment can be effective with children and adolescents who are experiencing difficulties. Psychological problems in young people often are expressed through problems in school, moodiness, irritability, fears, bad dreams, trouble separating from parents, or difficulty concentrating. When these symptoms persist and seem to be interfering with the child’s relationships or with success in school, a consultation with a child and adolescent analyst may be helpful.

During a consultation, the analyst meets with the parents to thoroughly review their child’s development and meets with the child or adolescent several times as well. While teenagers are usually able to talk about their troubles, younger children often express their thoughts and feelings through playing and drawing with the therapist.

Psychological testing and information from school may also be gathered to create a complete picture of the child’s life.

When psychoanalysis or psychotherapy is recommended for a child or adolescent, parents are also involved in the treatment to provide information and to discuss how to help their child at home. The goal of treatment with young people is to relieve troubling symptoms and to remove psychological roadblocks that interfere with normal development.

What Types Of Problems In Children And Adolescents Can Be Helped By Psychoanalytic Treatment?

  • Anxiety
  • Obsessions and compulsions
  • Phobias
  • Persistent sleep problems or nightmares
  • Harming the self or others
  • Relationship problems with peers, siblings, or parents
  • Effects of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse
  • Concerns related to adoption
  • Attachment disorders
  • Grief and loss
  • Emotional reactions to trauma or crises
  • Family transitions – divorce, remarriage, moving, new sibling
  • Concerns about separation and autonomy
  • School difficulties
  • Learning inhibitions
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Oppositional behavior
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Depression