Objectives: First, to outline the paradigm change of the past 20 years that has transformed the theory and practice of child and adolescent psychodynamic psychotherapy; second, to update aspects of the current Practice Parameters for Psychodynamic Psychotherapy with Children to align with the paradigm change driven by the principles of regulation theory, relational trauma and repair, and the critical need for clinicians’ self-care in trauma informed psychotherapy. Conclusion: The emerging neuroscience-driven paradigm of psychotherapy poses challenges for the child and adolescent psychotherapist: to embrace the new conceptual reference points as organising principles leads to an urgent need to rethink traditional diagnostic formulations and time-honoured techniques for intervention. Our child patients and their families are entitled to benefit from the translation of the new research evidence from attachment regulation theory to clinical psychotherapy. Our clinical psychotherapy should sustain the ‘best-interest- of-the-child’ standards for well-being while also heeding Frances Tustin’s warning for therapists to avoid the ‘perpetuation of an error’ by overlooking recent developments from allied fields in developmental psychology and the neurosciences.
- Child and adolescent psychotherapy
- Paradigm change
- Relational trauma and repair