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Psychoanalytic psychotherapy

What is psychoanalytic psychotherapy for?

Sometimes people can feel overwhelmed by their emotions and this can cause problems with things like relationships and staying healthy. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy can help young people when this happens to them. A psychotherapist can help with understanding the nature of your concerns because your emotions can be are so deep-rooted, complex, and powerful.

Why have I been referred for a psychoanalytic psychotherapy assessment?

People are referred for many reasons:

  • Some people have emotions that they do not understand or cannot find a way to tell other people about or feel as though they do not have any emotions at all.
  • Sometimes people stop enjoying doing things they used to enjoy
  • At times some people can feel very angry and want to shout and scream, break something or hurt themselves or others
  • Sometimes people stop being able to talk to important people in their lives, like parents, carers, friends and teachers
  • Some people have strange thoughts and act in ways they would not usually

These experiences sometimes cause physical symptoms, like bad headaches or stomach aches, that are not related to an illness or injury

What is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist?

A psychotherapist is someone who is interested in you and how you see the world. They think a lot about relationships, anxiety and meaning. They will work with you through play and listening and close observation.

Together you and your psychotherapist can form a therapeutic relationship which helps to shed light on other relationships in your present or past life. A psychotherapist can notice patterns in your thoughts that you might not even be consciously aware of, and which may be contributing to the problems you are having.

What happens in psychoanalytic psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy gives you a regular space and someone to accompany you as you think about things that might be difficult or uncomfortable. You will work together with the psychotherapist to learn more about yourself, your relationships, and your emotions.

  • At first you will meet with the psychotherapist for 3 or 4 assessment sessions to see if you can get on with this way of working.
  • The rules of the sessions are simple. You bring whatever you would like to talk about, just say what is on your mind.
  • There are some art materials for you to use if talking feels too difficult.
  • Sessions are confidential (unless there is something other people need to know in order to keep you or someone else safe). Sometimes we will offer some supportive work to your parents or carers alongside your sessions.

Sessions last for 50 minutes, weekly or perhaps more frequently if this seems helpful.

What happens after the assessment?

At the end of the assessment sessions, the therapist will meet you along with a parents or carers, to offer thoughts and recommendations about what might be helpful for you either while you are getting help in CAMHS or in the future.

You will meet with the psychotherapist to think about the assessment sessions and the report. You can decide if you agree with what the report says and who you want to read it.

You might be offered psychotherapy or another therapy within CAMHS, or there might be some more appropriate help available from other services in Sheffield. This will be discussed with you to make sure that what is offered is something you think you would find helpful.

Psychotherapy may need to be a longer-term treatment, which gives you and your therapist plenty of time to get to know each other. You will also begin to understand the conscious and unconscious feelings that are communicated in the therapy room.

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: MH27

Resource Type: Article

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