Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP) is a sub-specialty in Psychiatry and deals with the diagnosis and management of psychiatric disorders from infancy to mid-teens. The approaches to treatment, besides psychopharmacological interventions, are many and varied: from psychodynamic psychotherapy to family therapy. Trainees will also receive experience in the diagnosis of developmental disorders in children and a variety of psychotherapeutic interventions. The work emphasises a multi-disciplinary approach and leadership skills.
CAP is a developing field: mental health problems in children show an increasing trend. The Government has acknowledged the importance of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and there have been a number of initiatives.
The range of settings where CAP is carried out varies from paediatric liaison to forensic adolescent psychiatry and inpatient adolescent settings. In the course of the training, one would be expected to undertake courses in family therapy, individual psychodynamic psychotherapy, and cognitive and behavioural therapy. On-call duties are not onerous, particularly in community based units.
Personal qualities should include:
- Ability to engage families and children
- Professional attributes necessary to work as part of a team
- Provide leadership and develop services.
- Must enjoy psychotherapy, biological psychiatry or service management - or all three