A child and adolescent psychiatrist is a specialist of the psychological discipline who works with teenagers and younger children. They work to diagnose patient psychological problems in order to help treat and manage them.

Getting to the brunt of patient mental problems will typically involve one-on-one counselling, but may also involve the help of the patient’s family. There are various methods through which a child and adolescent psychiatrist can help the patient, of which the choice will be down to the psychiatrist’s individual discretion.

Child psychological difficulties are on the rise, which is no surprise when you consider drug use is becoming more prevalent and widespread. This makes the job of a child and adolescent psychiatrist all the more important. A child and adolescent psychiatrist would work with a range of youngsters from differing backgrounds.

Work activities

Typical activities a child and adolescent psychiatrist would need to undertake include:

  • Meet with patients on a one-to-one basis to discuss the problems they are having.
  • Use your extensive knowledge of psychological topics to diagnose patients.
  • Decide upon the best treatment to help patients.
  • Make use of patient history, family upbringing and other important factors that may have had an affect on the mental stability of the patient.
  • Uphold a level of confidentiality with the patient.
  • Use a whole host of psychological treatments to help the patient, whether it involves therapy or self-help techniques.
  • Help patients to change any negative behaviour.
  • Treat patients with differing problems, whether it is anger issues or difficulty communicating with others.
  • Work over a long period of time with patients to help them.
  • Maintain patient records.
  • Work with children of varying backgrounds.
  • Work in hospitals, clinics or private psychotherapist residences.
  • May need to be on call for patient emergencies.

Essential skills

  • Aptitude for the psychological discipline.
  • Work well with children.
  • Able to build and maintain relationships with clients.
  • Work with patients and their families.
  • Able to work as part of a team of medical professionals.
  • Leadership qualities.
  • Confident manner.
  • Professional manner.
  • Deal with sometimes shocking topics.
  • A real desire to help patients overcome their mental problems.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Able to use your extensive knowledge of psychological issues to make the correct diagnosis and recommend the most suitable treatment.