What do we do?

The Association of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists (ACP) is the main professional body for psychoanalytic child and adolescent psychotherapists in the UK and is registered with the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). It was established in 1949 and has over 900 members working in the UK and abroad. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is internationally recognised and as strongly evidenced as many of the more common treatment models people may be more familiar with. ACP registered child psychotherapists have completed an NHS child mental health based training which lasts for at least four years and therefore experienced and able to work with some of the most complex difficulties and disorders. 

ACP members work with children, adolescents, parents and families, individually or in groups, with a range of complex psychological difficulties and disorders.

Our members have considerable experience of treating:

  • Anxiety
  • Attachment problems
  • Abuse
  • Self harm 
  • Eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Trauma
  • Looked after and adopted children and young people

They also provide consultation to professionals in education, social care and the voluntary sector.

Mission Statement/Aims:

The ACP is committed to:

Promoting and upholding high standards of child and adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapy in the NHS, community and private settings.

It aims to do this through:

  • Maintaining and monitoring ACP accredited trainings and the overarching continued professional development of our members.
  • Working in partnership with the public and a range of other groups including relevant professional bodies, to increase awareness and understanding of and the need for, psychoanalytic psychotherapy with children and young people.
  • Protecting the public from misconduct and unethical behaviour by its members in clinical practice. It implements this by providing an Ethics committee who oversee a Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics and which comprises of a majority of Lay members*.

* There is a Disciplinary Procedure to investigate any complaints made from any source about one of our members. There is also a publicly accessible register of accredited members on the ACP website as well as a list of members under sanction or who have been expelled from the ACP.