Therapy for children and adolescents
Child and adolescent therapy is similar to therapy for adults in that it offers a safe space for children to express and make sense of challenging thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
Just like adults, major life changes (like divorce, changing school, losing a loved one) can trigger emotional difficulties for children. Sometimes these difficulties naturally resolve in their own time. But in some cases, they don’t. If you suspect this is the case for your child, it’s important to seek qualified help so your child is able to get the support they need.
As children, we often don’t have the words – or life experience – to express how we’re truly feeling. For this reason, it’s up to the adults in a child’s life to notice that something’s “up” and to take action.
What kind of issues can a child psychologist help with?
We offer support to children, young people and their families for a range of difficulties including:
- Low mood
- Anxiety and Panic
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Behavioural difficulties
- Medically unexplained symptoms
- Difficulties relating to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Difficulties relating to Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Family and relationship difficulties
Visiting a child psychologist - what to expect
When you reach out to us, we will arrange an initial 20 minute consultation call to see if this is the right service for you and your child.
Following this, there will be two assessment appointments. Depending on the age of your child, these assessments will include time with you, any wider family members, and if age appropriate, time with your child by themselves too. In these sessions, your psychologist will work to understand the problem, what might be contributing to the difficulties and consider the most appropriate package of support. This support may involve individual sessions with your child, sessions with the whole family, and/or working in collaboration with schools and other services in your child’s network.
As part of a larger assessment process, our psychologists can also provide school observations, home visits and specialist cognitive assessments. Our child psychologists draw on different approaches to therapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), narrative therapy, systemic therapy and psychodynamic therapy – whilst incorporating creativity in the therapeutic process – depending on what they believe will be most beneficial for your child.
Frequently asked questions
How old does my child need to be in order to receive therapy?
Most of the time in the clinic, we work with children who are verbal and therefore over the age of 5. However, we also offer play therapy which is a type of therapy that lends itself to working with children who are younger than this. If you would like your child to be seen for therapy and they are below the age of 5, please contact our team directly who will be able to let you know whether there is a suitable therapist for them, depending on the nature of their difficulties.
How involved will I be in my child’s therapy?
When working with children and adolescents, parents are often very involved in the therapy process. The level of involvement tends to be greater the younger the child is. When working with children, our initial assessment involves two parts: first, meeting the parents in order to understand the nature of the difficulties, and the second, meeting the child.
Depending on the outcome of the assessment, we will make a clinical judgement on whether the focus of the work will be on working one-on-one with the child or with the parents to help them manage the difficulties of the child more effectively. When working with adolescents, this process may be different due to their developmental stage. There is often a greater need for some degree of separation and privacy of the therapy space when it comes to young people.