How to Become a Child Therapist?

What is a Child Therapist?

Children and teens face emotional problems specific to their age group.Child Therapist strive to help overcome these issues. These therapists help children along with their patients with these particular issues. Experimentation with medicines and alcohol, depression and anxiety, schoolwork and self-discipline, time management issues, and family crises such as divorce or death all affect children differently than adults. Child therapists spend their time assessing the depth of these problems with their patients. They work with them to develop coping skills and solutions.

Working Life of a Child Therapist

As a child and adolescent therapist, you must:

  • Carefully observe the children and young people
  • Respond to what they may communicate through behaviour and play with them.
  • Assessment and treatment and care of children and adolescents as individuals or in groups.
  • Tailor your approach to individual children
  • Work in an age-appropriate manner. They also use a play or drawing techniques with young children, but talk about feelings with teenagers.
  • Provide short-term and long-term sessions with children, young people and parents, from a few sessions for regular appointments for many years.
  • Working with other professionals and therapists in planning how best to help the child and the child’s family. For example, in schools, hospitals, child care and child protection agencies.
  • Work as part of a multidisciplinary team consisting of a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, pediatric nurses, special education needs coordinator (SENCOs), family therapist and community psychiatric nurses, most often in CAMHS.


Entry Requirements to become Child Therapist

Child psychotherapist supervise trainees and other therapists. Planning services in conjunction with the commissioner and develop new services. Keep up to date with the development of theory and research and undertake professional development (CPD).
Training is offered at schools accredited by the Association of Child psychotherapist (ACP). You will need an honours degree (or equivalent) and a great experience working with children and adolescents to get a spot. This experience can be from a variety of settings, including social care, health and education.

Before starting the clinical training, you will conduct pre-clinical studies. Complete courses in psychoanalytic observational studies in the graduate diploma, masters or equivalent level. It usually takes about two to three years.

You will then complete a four-year clinical training scheme, which covers the theory, techniques and clinical practice under supervision. For clinical work, you will be based at the NHS CAMHS teams or other appropriate arrangements.

Areas covered include:

Long and short-term psychoanalytic work with children, adolescents. Elderly assessment and working with groups and families consultation with other professionals.

Degree for Child Therapist

Getting a master’s degree helps you acquire the skills and knowledge required to become a licensed therapist. As part of this therapy program, you can work under a psychologist’s supervision to gain experience. Continuing education is as essential as it can expand your knowledge. Keep you abreast of child therapy’s latest trends and developments.

Students who complete it can work as a registered play therapist. This certification program lasts 24 months and includes 22 programs on law and ethics issues in child care, toys and uses them, play cognitive-behavioral therapy, play therapy, and integrative.

Licensing in Child Therapy

Formal education and child therapist courses prepare you for the job. But you need a license to work in this field. Like most professions, licensing requires depending on the country. In general, most states require at least evidence of education and supervised clinical experience. You may also need to complete a certain number of hours of continuing education to maintain your license.

The Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and therapists, for example, requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited program and 2,400 hours of supervised counseling. Prospective therapists must also pass a competency exam. Such as the National Counselor Examination (NCE) and Oregon law and regulations exam. Licenses must be renewed every year.

Key skills and ability

Not everyone has what it takes to work with children. This profession requires special skills and abilities, as well as a passion for helping others. An enthusiastic, caring individual with strong communication skills is often the best therapist. Ideally, it would help if you had a genuine interest in dealing with children’s emotional and behavioural problems, critical thinking, and active listening. Other essential skills and qualities of a good therapist can include:

  • Empathy
  • Flexibility
  • Conditional positive thing
  • Patience
  • Resilience
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Ability interpersonal
  • Self-reflection
  • The ability to cope with strong emotions
  • Depth knowledge and understanding of the behaviour of children
  • A sense of humour
  • Strong code of ethics

Most of these skills can be learned through practice and experience. If you are the type of person expecting quick results, you may be disheartened to find this.Therapy often takes years to work. Patience is essential. You have to build a strong relationship with your clients. Need to gain their trust, and understand the root cause of their problem. This process requires mental strength, empathy and openness.

Career Outlook towards Child Therapy

Child and adolescent therapy is a small and specialised profession. Hence, the chances for progress will vary depending on your region or interest, experience and willingness to relocate.

If you are working in the NHS for the CAMHS team or other relevant arrangements, there are opportunities to develop a specialization in areas such as:

  • Forensic
  • Inability to learn
  • Looked-after children
  • Neonatal work
  • Parent groups.

There are more opportunities to take on managerial responsibilities in NHS mental health services, or you can do a lecture, research or clinical teaching at universities or training institutes.

If you are in private practice, your success depends on building a reputation and network of contacts. You will need a good head for business, as well as administrative and marketing skills.


  • NHS salary scale applicable to the majority of children and adolescent psychotherapist who works in the NHS CAMHS or other mental health services. Trainee psychotherapists can earn £ 30 401 to £ 37 267 (Band 6).
  • Qualified child and adolescent psychotherapists can expect a salary in the region of £ 37 570 to £ 43 772.
  • The psychotherapist principal will be paid pay scale, starting at £ 44 606 and go up to £ 86 687 for the most senior posts.