Biddy Youell

Consultant Child Psychotherapist and Trust wide Head of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy

Biddy Youell B.Ed. M.A. M.Psych worked for many years as a teacher in mainstream schools and in special educational settings. After the break-up of ILEA (Inner London Education Authority) she trained as a child psychotherapist and has worked in generic CAMHS clinics and in specialist teams in the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. (Adoption, Fostering and Kinship care and Refugee Team) She has extensive experience of being an expert witness in the family courts.

Biddy has always maintained a particular interest in teaching and training. She has taught on a wide range of courses at the Tavistock and abroad. Between 2003 and 2008 she was Head of Training at the Northern School of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy (NSCAP). NSCAP was set up in Leeds to offer training across the North of England. 

Whilst being committed to Child and Adolescent psychotherapy as a model of treatment, Biddy has always been particularly interested in the application of psychoanalytic thinking to work in non-clinical settings and many of her publications reflect this.



July 1996. Child Psychotherapy. Article published Young Minds Magazine.

1997.  Psychodynamic Psychotherapy in Depression in Children and Adolescents. Ed. Kedar Nath Dwivedi and Ved Varma. Whurr Publishers London.

1999.  Contributory chapter. From numbers to numeracy. From knowledge to knowing.Psychotherapy with a ten year old boy diagnosed as Aspergers.  in  Autism and Personality. Eds. Anne Alvarez and Susan Reid. London.Routledge.

1999.  From Observation to Working with a Child.  International Journal of Infant Observation and its applications.  Vol 2. No 2 February.

1999.  Joint paper with Hamish Canham and Ann McFadyen. Rating Infant it possible?    International Journal of Infant Observation and its applications.     Vol. 2. No 3. June.

1999. Contributory chapter.  Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. in Coping with children with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties.  Ed.  Paul Cooper.   Jessica Kingsley.

1999. Co-written contributory chapter with Hamish Canham. The Developmental and Educational Context: The Emotional Experience of Learning. in  Clinical Counselling in Schools.   Ed. Nick Barwick.  Routledge.

2000.   Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy with Children with EBD. AWCEBD. Vol5. No. 1pp.13-14.

2001. Recovery from Trauma: Identification with the ‘Octor Monter’  (doctor monster). A description of psychotherapy with a 3 ½ year old boy who had come close to death at 10 days old.  Journal of Child Psychotherapy  Vol 27 No 3. Also published in Germany.

2001. Contributory chapter Missing Fathers:Hope and Disappointment.  in  The Importance of Fathers. Eds. J.Trowell and  A. Etchegoyen. Routledge. Also published in Germany.

2002. Contributory Chapter. The relevance of infant and young child observation in multi-disciplinary assessments for the family courts.  In Surviving Space. Ed Andrew Briggs. Karnac.

2002.  The child psychotherapist and multi-disciplinary assessments for the family courts.Journal of Child Psychotherapy      Vol 28. No 2.

2004.  Co-written contributory chapter with Jeanne Magagna. Osservazione psicoanalitica ed handicap: incrementare il ruolo dell insegnante di sostegno.  Difficolta di Apprendimento:Una Prospettiva Psicoanalitica  Irre. Toscana 

2005.  Observation in Social Work Practice. In Thinking Under Fire. A handbook for social workers.  Ed. Marion Bower.  Routledge.

2006.    The learning relationship. Psychoanalytic thinking in education.   Karnac. Tavistock Series Also in French and Japanese.

2008.   The importance of Play and Playfulness.  European Journal of Psychotherapy and  Counselling. Vol 10. No 2. 121-129

2008. Understanding Your Eight to Nine Year Old. Tavistock Clinic/ Jessica Kingsley. Also in Italian, Arabic and Spanish.

2010. Clinical Commentary. Journal of Child Psychotherapy, Volume 36 Issue 3, 301.

2011   Emotional abuse and the assessment of parenting. Hellenic Association of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy. 

2012  The expressed wishes and feelings of children in Waiting to be found. Papers on Children in Care. Ed Andrew Briggs. Karnac. Tavistock series..

2013  The impact of parental addiction on the lives of children.  In Addictive States of Mind. Eds Bower,M. Hale.R and Wood H. Karnac Tavistock Series

2014  Separation Difficulties or Transition? The value of observation in work with very young children and their parents. International Journal of Infant Observation and its Applications. Vol. 17 Number 2. 

2015 The impact of the global financial crisis on children and families as seen through infant observation. The role of education in containing anxiety and holding on to hope and hopefulness. International Journal of Infant Observation. In press.

Biddy Youell