Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for Children and Teens

Children can experience difficulties in much the same way as adults, dealing with the pressures of school, meeting expectations in exams, exploring sexuality, developing relationships and adjusting to family life. With our support, we can help children move forward with their lives and feel happier, more confident and more comfortable within themselves and when communicating with their peers or others around them.

Mental Well-being and children: how CBT for children can help

Mental Health can be referred to as the overall wellness of how you think, how you control your feelings, and how you behave in different situations or contexts. A mental illness, also known as a mental health disorder, is defined as patterns or changes in an individual’s thinking, feeling, or behaviour that cause distress or interferes with one’s ability to function.

Children’s mental health disorders are often characterised as delays or disturbances in the development of thinking, acting, socialising, or emotion management in accordance with age. Children can become overwhelmed and distressed by these difficulties, which interfere with their capacity to perform effectively at school and cope with functioning at home, or in various other social settings.

Signs and symptoms of mental illness in children and young people

Mental challenges in a child can present differently from symptoms experienced by adults. This can make it even more difficult for parents and caregivers to identify and as a result, many children who could benefit from treatment do not receive it. If you are concerned that your child may be experiencing a mental health condition or specific difficulties, then please contact us to find out more about how we can support you and your child.

Learn how to spot warning signs of mental illness in children and how to help your child with the support they need.

signs a child may have a mental health disorder that can be helped with CBT

How is mental illness diagnosed in children and young people?

Children’s mental health disorders are identified and managed based on their signs and symptoms as well as how this affects or impacts their daily lives. Our objective is to help children to identify the difficulties that they are experiencing, how this makes them feel and what they can do to change it, either themselves or with the support of their friends and family.

Oxford CBT has a wealth of experience in treating children and young people struggling with mental health with our team of accredited therapists and psychologists. Our clinicians will carry out detailed assessments and subsequent counselling sessions for children or young person experiencing a wide range of difficulties. This support may take the form of Child Psychology, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Occupational Therapy, depending on the specific condition or difficulty. However, all decisions regarding treatment options will be made with the full consent of both the young person and caregivers.

CBT for Children, image of children playing in a river

is CBT most effective for children with a mental illness?

In most instances, our initial assessments will dictate that we recommend children undertake a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). These sessions will help them learn strategies that will enable them to cope in situations which trigger anxiety and overcome their difficulties.

Alternatively, we may conclude that the specific difficulty they are experiencing may benefit from additional Psychological, Clinical or Occupational Therapy. Should this be the case, we will discuss our suggestions with the child’s parent/guardian and will not commence any therapy until they are comfortable with the decision. 

Whichever therapy we provide, there is no doubt that it can be very helpful for children to talk to a professional who can understand their difficulties and can support them appropriately, allowing them to be more open and honest about their thoughts and feelings and learn how to overcome their difficulties.

This is a kind reminder to check-in with yourself and recognise that parenting or caring for a child or young person can be challenging and In trying times, it’s quite normal to feel anxious, worried, or powerless. It is just as important that you take care of your own mental wellbeing so that you can maintain your own wellness and continue to support your loved ones. Contact us to learn more about the support available to you.

CBT for Children. Child playing with stones on the beach

Begin your
wellness journey

Get in touch with us and we will assess your needs and expertly pair you with the right clinician and services to get you on the path to embracing life.

Already have an idea of your condition? Take a self-assessment screening for our clinicians to further evaluate.

Clinicians who specialize in treating Children

What Our Patients Have To Say

15:37 01 Sep 23
Highly recommend Oxford CBT. Deepika was incredibly helpful when it came to invoices for insurance, and changing between in-person and online sessions. My weekly sessions with Ellie were always positive, she always validated my feelings and provided me with techniques to reach my therapy goals. She is brilliant, and I would recommend her to anyone who is looking for help.
Imogen GrahamImogen Graham
14:10 08 Jun 23
Can't speak highly enough of Oxford CBT. The booking/rearrangement process has been updated to be really easy, and the flexibility to be online or in-person is invaluable. I worked on my struggles with depression and anxiety with Ellen and then more extensively with Ellie and she helped me so much, even just session-to-session she's so friendly and warm and validating, I could laugh with her just as often as I could cry. When I started CBT I wasn't convinced that it would work but with the patience of Ellen and Ellie, I'm doing so much better. Thank you so much to them and to Oxford CBT.
Gemma LandersGemma Landers
14:03 20 May 22
It was very easy to book sessions. Jennifer was a great therapist, every session with her was great and really helped me. She was kind and caring and knowledgeable. All the things she gave me to help, worked, and I still use them now when I need to. CBT really helped me and I would highly recommend Oxford CBT.
James WestgateJames Westgate
11:10 27 Sep 21
Karen IsonKaren Ison
15:52 14 Sep 21
I have just completed a final phase of therapy. It has been hard work but so beneficial. The schema therapy knowledge that Tom used has given me a much better insight into how my childhood has impacted me as an adult and given me freedom from the past and the ability to move on. Tom's unfailing encouragement and empathy kept me going on the difficult journey. I would recommend to anyone.
Elizabeth RoweElizabeth Rowe
16:39 03 Mar 21
I started doing weekly CBT sessions with Ellie in September 2020 at a time when I was suffering badly from insomnia and was looking for help dealing with anxiety and racing thoughts at night. Although we never met in person but only over Zoom, I felt as though Ellie and I had some really good conversations. She's an immensely sympathetic and caring person and she also has a good sense of humour. She really tried hard to help me talk through my problems and to give me CBT-based strategies for dealing with stress. I'd recommend her to anyone.
12:20 07 Jul 20
I had my therapy sessions with Adam Lacey. He is just amazing. He has empowered me to be more in touch with myself and more true to my values. He has helped me to understand the matrix through which I see the world, in order to change it accordingly to what I really believe in and to what I find more useful in this moment of my life. He has helped to develop my compassionate side both towards myself and towards others. We’ve worked together on self criticism and self confidence. I felt Adam kept adapting the sessions according to my needs, mixing up different styles and supporting me holistically. I also brought to him themes that might be less common for therapists (such as polyamory) and he has made me feel welcomed, safe and supported.Skype sessions worked perfectly fine. Adam has been able to create a connection and make me feel completely comfortable with the online sessions.

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