CHILD & ADOLESCENT PSYCHOLOGY
Assessments and therapy for children, teenagers and their families
Child Psychologists help children, adolescents and their families who may be experiencing behavioural, emotional or learning problems at home or at school.
At Questa we recognise that childhood and adolescence is not always easy for young people or their families. This is particularly the case if a child has difficulties with learning, socialising or communication or has experienced traumatic events such as bullying, bereavement or family upheaval. This can lead to increasing isolation and distress; loss of self esteem and emotional and behavioural problems that in turn impact the whole family.
When difficulties do arise it may be that they, and you, need a little help from a professional to get through. If your child or teenager’s difficulties start interfering with their ability to cope with their life, or with family life, professional help can make all the difference.
Our specialist child Clinical and Educational Psychologists provide diagnostic assessment, counselling and therapy services to assist in easing psychological distress and promoting emotional well-being in children ranging from preschool to late teens/young adult and their families. We work in a collaborative manner, working with the child and family to gain a full understanding of the difficulties and determine the most effective way forward.
What kinds of difficulties can we help with?
Our therapists are experienced in working with a very wide range of issues and problems, including:
Anxiety (fears, phobias, worries, obsessions, OCD)
Depression, low mood, suicidal thoughts
Trauma and abuse
Self Harming behaviours
Anger & aggression
Attention and concentration problems
Low self esteem
Preschool difficulties (eating, sleeping, toileting, tantrums)
Adjustment to traumatic life events (divorce, changing schools, bereavement)
Bullying & peer relationships
Before the appointment
It may be helpful to bring any previous reports or communications relating to assessments or treatments to the appointment with you, as well as a list of any medications. Many parents or young people like to make some notes beforehand to help them to communicate or to make sure they cover everything in the appointment.
First Step - the assessment.
This initial session is really important for us to gather a full picture of the history and current difficulties. It’s an assessment of current needs and we need this to give recommendations for future assessment or treatment.
Why is an initial assessment necessary?
We are often asked why it is necessary, if you have been advised that your child needs an assessment or if you have noticed traits that lead you to suspect that your child may have a particular condition why you cannot just go straight to the testing procedure. To receive a diagnosis, for example for autism, is for life, so we need to be sure that there is sufficient evidence for it as certain symptoms can have multiple causes. We also need to discuss the implications of a diagnosis with you and the post diagnostic support and adjustment that may be needed.
The initial consultation lasts 1.5 hours and will focus on areas you identify as being of concern but generally will cover:
1. Identification and evidence for any further assessments which may be indicated such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, attention and concentration problems /ADHD, dyslexia, cognitive and learning difficulties, organisation problems, memory problems or behavioural/functional analysis for challenging or difficult behaviours.
2. History, exploration of current difficulties and Risk assessment for mental health.
3. History of Trauma - many events in a child’s life can trigger or compound difficulties such as abuse, bullying, isolation and separation or loss of loved ones. A young person already struggling may be subject to mocking or abusive interactions from their peers, particularly in adolescence which may give rise to symptoms of post traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, isolation, self harm or aggression and suicidal thoughts or impulses.
4. Family/parental relationships and support - if identified, our behavioural and parenting specialist can conduct a specialist assessment and provide guidance and a programme of help for managing challenging or difficult behaviours.
After your appointment
Following the assessment a brief report summarising your discussion and the assessment will be written including any treatment plan or suggestions. With your consent, this will be sent to your GP and you will be provided with a copy.
If you wish to book further assessment, testing or therapy you will be referred back to our central administration team to arrange these appointments with the most appropriate member of our team.
Our aim is to support and help you through the process - we care about your wellbeing and will endeavour to treat you and your family with sensitivity and respect at all times.
If you have feedback about our services we really would like to hear from you, or if there are areas you think could be improved.
The consultation, as with any doctor or health professional, is confidential. There are certain situations where information may need to be shared without your consent, for example, if we are concerned that you or someone else’s life is at risk; these situations are rare and every attempt will be made to abide by your wishes with regards to confidentiality.