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Adaptations for working with 16-18 year olds

Dr Eleanor Leigh

Thursday, 13 March 2025


Many adult psychological services including Talking Therapies for anxiety and depression were first set up to provide psychological therapy to adults aged 18 years and over. In recognition that many young people aged 16 to 18 years may benefit from the psychological therapies , many psychological services are now widening their provision to include those in this age group. When working with younger people there is a need to consider the individual’s developmental context and how this relates to their presenting problems. The developmental context will span multiple domains, including biological, cognitive, emotional, social, and environmental. Furthermore, there are additional complexities to consider in terms of safeguarding, confidentiality, and the role of parents. 

The event will be equivalent to 2 hrs of CPD.


This webinar will give attendees an introduction to the skills they need to work with 16- to 18-year-olds. In particular it will:
• Provide a framework for understanding the developmental phase of adolescence
• Consider potential challenges around engagement and how to overcome these
• Understand the environmental context, including parents, school, peers/bullying, social media, and transitions
• Discuss adaptations to optimise delivery of psychological therapies (with a focus on CBT) for young people
• Review issues around confidentiality, risk, and safeguarding

Learning Objectives

You will be given an introduction into how to:
• Incorporate consideration of developmental phase into a psychological assessment
• Assess and manage risk and confidentiality with young people
• Build a good therapeutic relationship and overcome engagement issues
• Work with parents and other systems such as schools as needed
• Tailor therapy for young people

Training Modalities

Didactic content, Q&A.

Key References

Christie, D., & Viner, R. (2005). Adolescent development. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 330(7486), 301–304.

About the presenter

Eleanor is a senior clinical researcher at the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, Honorary Associate Professor at UCL, and Honorary Clinical Psychologist at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. Her work is focused on improving our understanding and treatment of adolescent anxiety disorders, and social anxiety disorder in particular. She co-developed an online cognitive therapy for adolescent social anxiety disorder (called OSCA) that was recently recommended by NICE in their early value assessment. She is the recipient of several research grants including personal awards from the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust, as well as project grants from the Wellcome Trust and NIHR. Previously she worked as a Clinical Psychologist at National & Specialist Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) at The Maudsley Hospital, London. She teaches and trains on numerous national training courses and she is on the advisory board of JCPP Advances and the Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry.

Who should attend

Practitioners delivering psychological approaches for working age adults who are also working with younger people.

Details coming soon

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