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The Association of Child Psychotherapy (ACP) is the professional body for psychoanalytic Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists in the UK. It is registered with the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) and is responsible for regulating the training and practice standards of child and adolescent psychotherapy across the public and private sectors. It was established in 1949 and has over 900 members working in the UK and abroad. Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists who have qualified at one of the ACP recognised training schools are eligible for full membership of the ACP, which enables them to work with children, parents and families in a range of settings.

In becoming members of the ACP, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists commit to maintaining the highest professional and ethical standards in the conduct of their work. Our primary role as a professional body under the PSA is to ensure these standards continue to be met and to take appropriate action if they are not. This is our protecting the public function.  We are also concerned to ensure everyone who requires the highly skilled care provided by Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists can access this when and where needed.  This is our promoting the profession function.  By meeting these two functions the ACP works to ensure that the highest quality services are provided to the infants, children, young people and families who need it most.


The ACP is committed to promoting and upholding the highest standards of psychoanalytic child and adolescent psychotherapy in the NHS, community and private settings. It does this through:

  • Maintaining and monitoring ACP accredited trainings and the continuous professional development of our members.
  • Protecting the public from misconduct and unethical behaviour by its members in clinical practice. It implements this by providing an ethical practice group, which is a sub-group of the Professional Standards Committee and has responsibility for overseeing the code of professional conduct and ethics and managing complaints. The Ethical Practice Group has a balanced number of lay members and child psychotherapists.
  • Working in partnership with the public, government, service commissioners and providers to increase access to psychoanalytic child and adolescent psychotherapy for infants, children, young people and families.

Please follow these links for further information about:

How the ACP is organised and governed

How Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists are trained

How Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists are regulated

How to make a complaint

What is Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy?

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