Psychology of adolescence

Specialty of Psychology

Child and adolescent psychology refers to mental health treatments offered to patients below the age of 18 years old. There is a particular focus on issues and influences that an adolescent may experience at different stages of their development into adulthood. Adolescence is generally regarded as being between the ages of 12 to 18, and can be particularly difficult time for children. They may experience such problems as behavioural problems, problems with concentration, depression, drug abuse and issues with sexuality.

Why would you see a child and adolescent psychologist?

Child and adolescent services can be offered for a wide range of reasons, and treatment will be created to suit the individual’s needs. Some of the conditions that are often referred to a child and adolescent psychologist include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Self-esteem problems
  • Behavioural problems
  • Communication difficulties
  • Food aversion
  • Eating difficulties
  • Toilet difficulties
  • Coping with traumatic events
  • Bereavement therapy
  • Coping with a medical diagnosis and medical treatment

What will happen during a child and adolescent psychology treatment?

If a child or adolescent presents with any psychological problems, a comprehensive assessment will be made by the doctor before deciding the best course of treatment depending on the assessment.

Treating depression as an adolescent

Studies show that up to one in four people may suffer with depression before the age of 19. Adolescent services are targeted towards a younger demographic, understanding that the causes of depression may differ from with adults. The child may be suffering with depression due to bullying, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, or due to mental health problems.


Any form of depression will be taken seriously by the doctor and the adolescent psychology team, ensuring they get the level of care you would expect as an adult. The child will be encouraged to trust the doctor so that they are able to talk about the problems that they are suffering with.