What if my child does not want to be seen ?

This sometimes happens. Sometimes children and young people think they are going to be told off. It can be scary or worrying to see someone and think about problems. It is important that your child can tell you as parents or if your child can tell me about how they are feeling about coming to see me. I promise I will not be cross and I really want to understand. Having said that, most children and young people like to see a child psychologist.


Your child or you may have questions before the first appointment and if so you are welcome to call or email me.  If there is something that they are really unhappy about it is important they tell the person they trust the most about the problem. If it is possible it would be great if then both feel that you could talk to me about it, or write it down for me to read. I promise to take it seriously and try and work out a way to make it better.


I could meet with you as parents without your child present for the initial assessment. It would be really helpful if your child was aware of our meeting and gave consent for this.


How long will it take to be seen ?

I recognise that when you seek help, you don’t want to wait and I am committed to providing a responsive service that is flexible to your needs and life. I will contact you to arrange a time for a free 15 minute phone consultation within three working days. If you wish to have an initial first appointment then we can discuss a time that suits us both.


What should I expect in the first appointment ?

The first appointment is a thorough assessment usually lasts up to 90 minutes which usually involves the parents and the young person to work out together what the underlying concerns are, how best to approach them and discuss recommendations for treatment. As part of this, I would like to talk to the child or young person being assessed to get an idea of what they find easy or difficult, their perception of themselves, and their strengths as well as a detailed understanding of their emotional and perceived social functioning or difficulties. This type of assessment provides a greater shared understanding of factors that may be contributing to uncontrollable emotions or challenging behaviour. This is called a formulation. This will facilitate an individualised treatment plan in collaboration with the client and the family.


What should I expect in subsequent appointments ?

A number of sessions will then be offered (each lasting an hour), drawing on evidence based psychological models, protocols and techniques.  There will be regular reviews, evaluation of progress, and feedback, to ensure that the treatment plan is meeting the needs of the client.  


How many therapeutic session will we need ?

Clinical psychologists offer an individualised approach tailored to meet the unique needs of your young person and family. We do not provide a one size fits all therapy. Therefore it is hard to predict how many sessions your family will need. The ending of therapy is negotiated carefully with all parties.


Is this service confidential ?

As a charted clinical psychologist I am bound by the British Psychological Society’s code of ethics. I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office which ensures those registered uphold the rules about the data Protection Act. I will only share information with your permission, except where the client or another individual is believed to be at risk of harm. Should this be the case, I will always endeavour to discuss my concerns with you prior to sharing information with third parties. I am obliged to inform relevant authorities of this concern. This is explained in more detail in the Privacy section on this website.


What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist ?

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialise in mental health and can prescribe medication, such as antidepressants. Sometimes psychiatrists use the same types of therapy as clinical psychologists so there is a certain amount of overlap between the two. Psychologists have had postgraduate training in seeking to understand people by using theories to help people cope with and overcome mental health, emotional, social and behavioural difficulties. They are trained to work using a variety of approaches with individuals, parents and families. They are trained to deliver assessments, therapeutic interventions, consultations, training, supervision and research.


Who is the service for ?

-Children and young people who are experiencing emotional or behavioural difficulties, or psychological problems such as anxiety, low mood, obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias, bereavement, difficulties in relationships, self-harm, and depression.

-Children and young people experiencing psychological or emotional difficulties relating to transitions, life adjustments or disabilities.

-Support for parents in their capacity as parents. Parental involvement in their child’s psychological therapy is agreed on an individual basis, and some joint or separate parent sessions are often recommended. I do not offer therapeutic work for individual adults in their own right as I have to maintain a clear focus on who the client is ie the child.


When would this service not be appropriate ?

-Where a young person’s difficulties require a psychiatric assessment or a multi-professional approach (although sometimes I can work jointly with other services providing support).

-Where there is a high level of risk which needs to be managed by a service providing outreach or crisis care.

-Where a court report or expert witness is required.

I am happy to discuss any referral to assess suitability.

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