Child and adolescent psychiatry

What do child psychiatrists do?

Child psychiatrists are qualified doctors who specialise in the mental health of children and young people. They work with children and teenagers – and their families – who are struggling with mental, emotional and behavioural difficulties.


As qualified doctors, our child psychiatrists are able to prescribe medication, as well as delivering therapy.


Private child psychiatrist - what can they help with?

If you have concerns about your son or daughter, our team of child and adolescent psychiatrists can provide a comprehensive assessment in order to get a better understanding of their difficulties and develop a plan for treatment.


We assess and treat a wide range of difficulties, depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and psychosis. Our child and adolescent psychiatrists can also carry out screening assessments for neurodevelopment conditions such as ADHD and ASD.


Your child psychiatrist will also work closely alongside the child psychology team to ensure that all aspects of your child’s wellbeing are taken into consideration.


The first step will involve an in-depth assessment where your psychiatrist will gather as much information as possible around your child’s developmental and physical health history whilst also getting a better understanding of the difficulties they are currently facing.


From here, we will develop a plan for treatment which may include medication and/or talking therapy, depending on your child’s needs.

Frequently asked questions

Many of the more common emotional difficulties that children and adolescents face can be effectively treated by a child psychologist e.g. anxiety, depression, emotional instability, difficulties with friends and peers etc. Your child is likely to see a child psychiatrist if they are suffering from more severe difficulties, particularly if there is a concern about them being a risk to themselves or their ability to attend school. But ultimately, if you are unsure about whether your child needs to see a psychologist or a psychiatrist, our clinical triage team will be able to advise which specialist they should see.

Medication doesn’t tend to be the first course of action, especially when working with children and young people. Our child psychiatrists will usually focus on the psychological management of the child first and foremost before considering medication.


However, if your child is struggling with a particular condition that requires medication – such as ADHD – our psychiatrist will carry out a thorough assessment and prescribe medication as needed. It will also depend on the age of the child and how we formulate their difficulties so that we can offer the most appropriate treatment package for them.

Our consultant psychiatrists are likely to involve you in this process as you will have important information that can help us understand the difficulties of your child. The younger your child is, the more likely you are to make up a core part of their treatment. When children become older, the less appropriate it tends to be for parents to be involved in their sessions.

Start your journey


Dr Elena Touroni

Dr Elena Touroni is a skilled and experienced consultant psychologist with a track record of delivering high-quality services for individuals with all common emotional difficulties and those with a diagnosis of personality disorder. She is experienced in service design and delivery, the management of multi-disciplinary teams, organisational consultancy, and development and delivery of both national and bespoke training to providers in the statutory and non-statutory sector.

Having obtained a first degree in Psychology (BSc) at the American College of Greece, she completed her doctoral training at the University of Surrey. Dr Touroni is highly experienced in the assessment and treatment of depression, anxiety, substance misuse, personality disorder, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, adjustment disorder and relationship difficulties. She works with both individuals and couples and can offer therapy in English and Greek.

Dr Touroni has held a variety of clinical and managerial positions including as Head of Service in the NHS. Further she has held academic positions for the University of Surrey and the Institute of Mental Health lecturing on specialist postgraduate Masters and Doctorate programmes.

She is trained in several specialist therapeutic approaches such as schema therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based approaches and Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT). As well as holding a variety of NHS positions, Dr. Touroni is the co-founder of a private practice in Central London that has been a provider of psychological therapy for all common emotional difficulties including personality disorder since 2002. She is the founder and one of two directors of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic.