Child and Adolescent Private Psychology

If you’re reading this, chances are you are looking for a Psychologist to work with your child/children.  I have been working with young people aged 0-18 with a wide range of challenges, including providing assessments and reports, psychometric testing and neuropsychology, as well as delivering therapy for individuals and families.

As with looking for a suitable therapist for an adult, looking for a therapist for your child can be a daunting experience. However I have the experience and outgoing nature to help your child/teen to see a friendly and expert clinician who can help them.

Psychology is the study of the human mind – the way we think, act and behave. Child and adolescent Psychologists use different therapeutic methods to help young people overcome their problems, making life easier and getting things back on track.

Some of the services that I can offer your child/teen  include CBT, Psychotherapy, Psychometric Testing, Neuropsychology, Health and Educational Psychology.

Psychology and Psychotherapy can often be seen as interchangeable however, a Psychologists’ work is more involved with thought patterns and Psychotherapists often work with past feelings and emotions. You might not know who your child or teenager should see; you just know they need help. Don’t worry, I can help advise on what your options are and what might suit your child’s needs best.

What can Psychology help with?

Some of the common disorders that our Psychologists can help with include:

  • Anxiety, phobias and OCD
  • Addictions
  • Educational Assessments
  • Child ADHD
  • Autistic spectrum disorders
  • Bipolar affective disorder
  • Depression and Treatment Resistant Depression
  • Eating disorders and body image issues
  • Stress
  • Personality Disorders
  • Brain injuries

Autism and diagnosis: What you need to know

The world of being diagnosed with autism at any age can be a daunting prospect but also a relief. A full summary can be found here https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/diagnosis/dsm-5-diagnostic-criteria to understand the intricacies of the presentation.

While ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) is relatively rare compared to other developmental disorders, it is more common than previously thought and quite significant in terms of impact and resource needs.

There is a general consensus that appropriately targeted early intervention improves outcome for children with ASD. Increased diagnostic accuracy is therefore expected to have a greater impact on the success of individualized early intervention and education programs.

It is recommended that a diagnostic evaluation for ASD should include a formal multidisciplinary evaluation of social behaviour, language and nonverbal communication, adaptive behaviour, motor skills, atypical behaviours, and cognitive status by a team of professionals experienced with ASD. With regard to specific diagnostic information, it is recommended that the diagnostic process include measures of parental report, child observation and interaction, and the use of clinical judgment.

The large number of behaviours that define ASD and the variability seen between individual children, even within the same diagnostic category, increases the likelihood that inaccurate decisions about diagnosis and classification may be made by those with less training and experience.

The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)

is one of the few standardized diagnostic measures that involves scoring direct observations of the child’s interactions and that accounts for the developmental level and age of the child. The ADOS is recommended in several Best Practice Guidelines as an appropriate standardized diagnostic observation tool. It includes a standardized administration of interactive activities introduced by the examiner, designed to elicit social interactions, communication and repetitive behaviours for the purpose of diagnosing an ASD. The measure takes 30 to 60 minutes to administer. Activities vary based on the language level and chronological age of the child. For each task, a hierarchy of “presses” or social structures is provided. During the first administration of a task a child is able to take as much initiative as possible; if this does not occur, the examiner gradually makes the tasks more specific and increasingly structures the situation to observe the child’s response. The ADOS is standardized in terms of the materials used, the activities presented, the examiner’s introduction of activities, the hierarchical sequence of social presses provided by the examiner, and the way behaviours are coded or scored.

Due to the complexity of diagnosing individuals with autism, the ADOS is now considered the “gold standard” in being able to identify those individuals demonstrating ASD. In terms of diagnosis, the advice is the earlier the better.

Should you require any further information or would like to speak to me about a diagnosis please do not hesitate to get in touch as I’m fully trained in administering the ADOS.

What happens during therapy?

The therapeutic process varies depending on the orientation of the therapist. It also differs for each individual client depending on the client’s circumstances. However, there are some common aspects of therapy that you are likely to experience when you enter a therapeutic relationship.

To begin with, your first session with a therapist should be a consultation session. This consultation does not commit you to working with the therapist. The goals in the consultation are to find out whether therapy would be useful to you and whether this particular therapist is likely to be helpful. During this session, you may want to discuss with the therapist any values that are particularly important to you. If your therapist’s views are very different from yours, you may want to find a more compatible therapist.

The first session is a time for you to determine whether you will feel comfortable, confident, and motivated in working with this particular therapist. You should also feel that you can trust and respect your therapist and that your therapist is understanding of your situation.

This is also the time for the therapist to decide whether he or she is a good match for you. At times, a therapist may refer you to another therapist who may be able to work better with you.

After you’ve decided to work with a particular therapist, the next few sessions are usually devoted to talking about the circumstances that have brought you to therapy. Generally, during this time (assessment) your therapist will be asking quite specific questions about the concerns or challenges causing your distress and about when and where they occur.

Assessment also can be done through the use of questionnaires or tests. A therapist can use a variety of techniques in assessment. Initial assessments are used to get therapy started; however, a good therapist will continue to assess a client’s issues throughout therapy and change the direction of therapy, if needed.

After the initial assessment stage, the rest of therapy is devoted to helping you gain insight and solve current concerns and/or help you change the emotions, thoughts, and/or behaviours that you want to change. The goals you bring to therapy are the gist of the therapeutic process. How these goals are accomplished depends a great deal on both the orientation of the therapist and the techniques the therapist may use with you. Some therapists may require more activity during therapy than just talking with you about particular issues. These activities may include such things as role playing or homework assignments in which you practice some of the techniques introduced in therapy (like relaxation skills or communication methods).

Therapists also differ on how strongly they determine how therapy proceeds. Some therapists may take a more directive role, while others let the client direct the course of therapy. The amount of therapy you receive will also vary depending on the orientation of the therapist and/or the specific treatment plan used. Some therapies are relatively short, while others require a longer time commitment.

Each session of therapy lasts about 50 mins and you generally meet with your therapist once a week. However, such time schedules are rarely rigid and may be changed to fit the needs of you and/or your therapist. It is a good idea to ask your therapist about the general techniques he or she may use with you in therapy, as well as about the length and frequency of therapy you might expect.

Therapy can help you in many ways. Like most human endeavours, it needs time and motivation for the most successful outcomes.

Please contact me on 07958 283811 to discuss this further and to arrange a consultation.

Individual therapy fees

Fees in general will vary according to the individual practitioner. I base my fees on many factors, such as experience, level of professional training and demand for our expertise, as well as the estimated amount of sessions needed- all these factors can be discussed openly so that some arrangement can be reached so you do not feel burdened by the subject of money.

Please contact me on 07958 283811 to discuss this further and to arrange a consultation.
 

 

Clinical Supervision and Tutoring

Please note that I offer both clinical supervision and tutors for trainee therapists and students alike. 

Please contact me if you would like to know more.

I look forward to working with you.