Child and adolescent psychiatry and psychotherapy is a branch of medicine that addresses psychological, psychosomatic and developmental illnesses and dysfunctions among children and adolescents, as well as psychological or socially abnormal behaviour among children and adolescents.
Doctors with specialist qualifications in this area deal specifically with people’s psychological, somatic and social development from birth through childhood and adolescence, all the way to adulthood. They treat children and adolescents with brain diseases, brain injuries, psychoses, psychological illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and neuroses. The diagnosis and treatment of disorders related to social behaviour, addictive behaviour, situations involving dependency or abuse, as well as learning disorders, learning disabilities or intellectual disability in children and adolescents is also included in this medical specialty.
Child and adolescent psychiatrists frequently work together with doctors from other medical specialties and other professionals such as teachers, remedial teachers or social workers, and take the child or adolescent’s environment (family, parents, siblings) into consideration when providing care and treatment.
Psychotherapy plays a key role among the various treatment options offered by child and adolescent psychiatry. Doctors who have gained a specialist qualification in this area therefore have in-depth training in psychotherapy. This includes the proven psychotherapeutic concepts of psychoanalysis, systemic therapy and behavioural therapy.