The Anna Freud Centre’s online research library contains a collection of evidence-based material on children and young people’s mental health, written and co-written by our team. The research explores factors relating to: 

anxiety | behavioural difficulties | depression | digital mental health | empowering young people and families | early years | evaluation | fostering and adoption | intervention | maltreatment and abuse | measures | mentalization | methodology | neurodiversity | parents and carers| prevalence and trends | prevention | psychological therapies | resources | risk and resilience | social care | trauma | wellbeing

The library is managed by our team of evidence experts. It is updated on a regular basis and currently consists of research published between 2018 and 2023. 

Please be aware that links to our open-access papers lead to external sites and that the management, data handling and administration of these external sites is not the Anna Freud Centre’s responsibility. 


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  • The therapeutic process in psychodynamic therapy with children with different capacities for mentalizing

    The aim of this study was to explore the therapeutic process in psychodynamic therapy with school-age children with different kinds of difficulties and mentalizing profiles. 

    Authors: Ramires, V., Carvalho, C., Goodman, G., Midgley, N. & Polli. R. (2020).

    Read the abstract

  • A comprehensive mapping of outcomes following psychotherapy for adolescent depression: the perspectives of young people, their parents and therapists

    This study mapped the types of change described by three key stakeholder groups following psychotherapy for depression, and compared the salience of these outcomes with the frequency of their measurement in recent quantitative treatment effectiveness studies for adolescent depression.

    Authors: Krause, K., Midgley, N., Edbrooke-Childs, J., & Wolpert, M. (2020).

    Download the open access paper

  • Teenage boys in therapy: a qualitative study of male adolescents’ experiences of short-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy

    This qualitative study aimed to explore the therapeutic experiences of five male adolescents (aged 16 to 18 years) with moderate to severe depression, who engaged in short-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy as part of a randomised controlled trial.

    Authors: Marotti, J., Thackeray, L. & Midgley, N. (2020).

    Read the abstract

  • Exploring silence in short term psychoanalytic psychotherapy with adolescents with depression

    This study aims to explore silence in adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapy, by studying the emergence of silence in therapy sessions. 

    Authors: Acheson, R., Verdenhalven, N., Avdi, E., & Midgley, N. (2020).

    Read the abstract

  • The building of epistemic trust: an adoptive family’s experience of mentalization based therapy

    This study aims to investigate how epistemic mistrust is addressed and how epistemic trust is established within the mentalization based therapy framework. 

    Authors: Jaffrani, A., Sunley, T., & Midgley, N. (2020).

    Read the abstract

  • The child psychotherapists’ role in consultation work with the professional network around looked after children

    The aim of this study was to gain an understanding of child psychotherapists’ work with the network around looked after children, and what they see as specific to the psychoanalytic approach. 

    Authors: Robinson, F., Luyten, P., & Midgley, N. (2020).

    Read the abstract

  • Affect-focused psychodynamic Internet-based therapy for adolescent depression: a randomised controlled trial

    This trial examines whether affect-focused internet-based psychodynamic therapy (IPDT) with therapist support is more effective than an internet-based supportive control condition on reducing depression in adolescents.

    Authors: Lindqvist, K., Mechler, J., Lilliengren, P., Falkenström, F., Andersson, G., Topooco, N., Johansson, R., Midgley, N., Edbrooke-Childs, J., Dahl, H-S., Sandell, R., Thorén, A., Ulberg, R., Bergsten, K., & Philips, B. (2020).

    Download the open access paper

  • Toward precision therapeutics: general and specific factors differentiate symptom change in depressed adolescents

    The longitudinal course of multiple symptom domains in adolescents treated for major depression is not known.  This study aims to reveal the temporal course of general and specific psychopathology factors, including potential differences between psychotherapies, which may aid therapeutic decision-making.

    Authors: Aitken, M., Haltigan, J., Szatmari, P., Dubicka, B., Fonagy, P., Kelvin, R., Midgley, N., Reynolds, S., Wilkinson, P. & Goodyer, I. (2020).

    Download the open access paper

  • Psychodynamic therapy with children and adolescents

    We review the history of psychodynamic approaches to therapy with children and adolescents. Next, we review key elements of a psychodynamic framework in child and adolescent therapy. Finally, we provide examples of contemporary evidence-based psychodynamic treatments for infants and toddlers, school-age children, and adolescents with a range of presenting problems. 

    Authors: Kufferath-Lina, T., Prout, T., Midgley, N., Hepworth, M., & Fonagy, P. (2020).

    Read the abstract

  • The clinical challenge of mentalization-based therapy with children who are in ‘pretend mode’

    This paper suggests that the pretend mode is a valuable clinical concept for therapists working with school-age children, but that its use in this context needs some clarification.

    Authors: Muller, N., Midgley, N. (2020).

    Read the abstract

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