How can CAMHS help?

Everyone is different, so the help they need will be different too. At CAMHS, we will work together with you to decide what kind of help is right. Your first visit to see us will help us to learn what kind of support might help.

The length of time that you come to CAMHS can vary from weeks to months, but your CAMHS worker will always review your treatment with you and give you an opportunity to talk about whether you are finding it helpful.

These are some (but not all!) of the types of treatments offered at CAMHS (in alphabetical order):

Art therapy

Art therapy helps people to express what they are thinking and how they are feeling through the use of art. Art therapy may help you find out more about yourself, which can lead to positive changes. Also, you don’t need to be good at art to have art therapy!

Child and adolescent psychotherapy

Child and adolescent psychotherapy involves meeting with a specially trained therapist who is focused on children and young people. They have an in-depth understanding of how children develop and relate to their families. Seeing a child and adolescent psychotherapist individually can help people to think about their personal difficulties, by exploring how their feelings and thoughts are connected to their relationships and behaviour, and how past experiences can affect their current relationships.

Meetings can involve thinking and talking together. Child psychotherapists work with children and young people on an individual basis, usually in a weekly session, but they also do short-term work with parents or carers and their children together.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

CBT is a ‘talking therapy’ that focuses on the links between thoughts, feelings and behaviour. It aims to help you manage your feelings and change any thinking or behaviour patterns you have which might be unhelpful and making your problems worse.

In CBT, you are taught to question your thoughts rather than just assume they are true. You might need to do some experiments or investigate a bit to test the thoughts or find out if there are other ways of thinking. You’ll work with your therapist to try and change things for the better. Your therapist will help you to learn how to do the CBT techniques by yourself, and sometimes with the support of your family.

CBT can be quite short in comparison with other talking therapies. It’s likely you will go to one session per week for six sessions and then review to see if you and your therapist think more are necessary.

Family therapy

Family therapy involves working with you and the people who are important to you. In family therapy sessions, you and the people who come with you are encouraged to consider each other’s points of view, experiences and beliefs and find ways to make positive changes that work for everyone involved.

Medication

If CAMHS doctors (psychiatrists) think that you can be helped by medication they will discuss this with you and your parents or carers. They will explain why they think medication could help, any possible side-effects, and your other options.

The doctors will also tell you if there are any checks they need to do before you take or while you are taking the medication, how regularly they’ll need to see you at the clinic, and how long you’ll need to take the medication.

You will have the opportunity to ask the doctor any questions you have about taking medication.

Check out YoungMinds’ HeadMeds for more information about mental health medication.

More info

Choosing What’s Best For You explains things that scientists have found help some young people who are sad, worried or angry. It aims to help you make the best choices for you.