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February 2021

This issue of The Bridge includes several articles which focus on child and adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapy. This therapy aims to help young people, their families, or their support networks to better understand each young person’s emotions, behaviour, and relationships, and to explore how difficulties might be better managed. Although psychoanalytic theory and practice has been developed and modernised for over a century, this therapy has been mostly used for adults and less is known about its use with children and adolescents.

In The Bridge this month, Professor Nick Midgley discusses the evidence on psychotherapy for children and young people. He highlights that while the current evidence base is limited, the quantity and quality of research is improving, which will helpfully inform future clinical practice. Additionally, Nick Waggett reviews policy relevant to child and adolescent psychotherapy research and practice. It’s crucial that policy is based on best evidence, so that resources are used efficiently to best help the population. Also in this issue, Rachel Abedi summarises a case study of psychoanalytic psychotherapy with a young person which considered cross-cultural influences on the therapeutic relationship. In-depth single case studies are commonly used in psychoanalytic research, and while findings may not generalise to other young people, they help us understand individual experiences and may inform the development of theories and hypotheses for future work. Finally, to provide further insight into the work of child and adolescent psychotherapists, Claire Hopkins reflects on the challenges and benefits of her work in schools supporting parents and teachers. These articles were organised in collaboration with the Association of Child Psychotherapists, a professional body which sets standards and regulates training and practice for child and adolescent psychotherapists in the UK.

In this issue of The Bridge, we also bring you several other articles which summarise the latest child and adolescent mental health research relevant for clinical practice, which was recently published in The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (JCPP) and Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH).

I hope you enjoy this issue of The Bridge!