Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What are the Qualifications of Psychologists at YLO Psychology Clinic?
All psychologists at YLO Psychology Clinic hold full registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. All of our psychologists have extensive experience working with children and young people and have undertaken advanced training in one or more areas of clinical, educational & developmental and counselling psychology. All psychologists at YLO Psychology Clinic are committed to on-going professional development to ensure they are up-to-date with empirical studies to provide a gold-standard practice to our clients and their families.
What is the Treatment Approach used at YLO Psychology Clinic?
All psychologists are trained in what’s called the scientist-practitioner approach. This means we take a scientific approach to treating children by: only using approaches that have research support for the child’s problems, monitoring the child’s progress in treatment and making adjustments to our approach. We also believe VERY strongly in working with parents/carers to give them the skills to manage their child’s problems also. This ensures that should the problem come back, the parents/carers will know how to handle it again. All the research suggests that this is the best approach to helping children and adolescents. In our sessions we do not spend time exclusively with the child, but also will set aside time to talk with the parents.
YLO Psychology Clinic creatively respond to clients in a way to optimise engagement. Simply, “talking” with clients does not always work, and as such our clinicians have developed a number of strategies and ways to implement therapeutic content with children and young people.
All treatment and intervention provided by psychologists at YLO Psychology Clinic is based on research for what works best for children, adolescents and families based an what the identified issue is.
What is a Cognitive Assessment?
When a child is evaluated for learning problems the goal is to find out if they have a formal learning disorder. The psychologist will use a range of tests to find out where the problem is and what can be done to help the child. These tests are called “cognitive tests” but are also commonly called “IQ tests”. Psychologists are less interested in the “IQ” score and more interested in the child’s overall neurological functioning. The psychologist will also want to collect information about the child’s development as an infant, birth history and so on as these provide clues about the causes of learning problems. This is called a clinical interview and will be conducted prior to any formal testing. A cognitive assessment comprises the clinical interview, cognitive testing and a discussion of the report with parents/carers to make recommendations to support the child both in the home and school environment.
What is a Psychological Assessment?
This is a formal evaluation of emotional and/or behavioural problems such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder and useful where learning difficulties do not exist but the possibility of ascertainment/verification does. It comprises a clinical psychological assessment, clinical child interview, cognitive testing, and other psychological assessment tools. A feedback session is also provided with a discussion of the report with the parents/carers and recommendations about management of the child in the school and general environment are made.
How do I know my Child/Adolescent is Getting Better?
All children progress in therapy differently. You may have known someone whose child got better in a few weeks while your child seems to be progressing only slowly. This is often seen in treatment and does not mean something is wrong with your child or that treatment isn’t working. Children (and adults) tend to improve in therapy between sessions not when they’re in sessions. This is because they get to process information provided during therapy sessions and get to practice the skills they have been taught. For some children or adolescents progress is slow with improvements seen over months, rather than weeks. At YLO Psychology Clinic we use standardised outcome measures completed at the end of each session to track client progress and therefore, adapt our approach where necessary to optimise client outcomes.
Can you Guarantee my Child/Adolescent will get Better?
Unfortunately we cannot, or any other self -respecting psychologist, make this guarantee. This is because treatment of emotional and behavioural problems is complex and depends on a number of other factors such as parent/carer involvement, the child’s motivation and so on. However, we can assure you that the strategies used to assist you and your child are based on sound research that we call “evidence-based practice” and are considered the best approach to helping your child or adolescent.
What if My Child/Adolescent is Anxious about seeing a Psychologist?
If you find that after explaining to your child or adolescent that you have made an appointment for them see a psychologist, that they become anxious or anxiety becomes more apparent closer to the appointment time, it is important that we help to alleviate their worries or concerns.
It is important to explain to your child or adolescent what a psychologist is. A psychologist is a professional that helps with thoughts and feelings and it is their job to listen and help them feel better. Just like going to the doctor when part of your body hurts!
It also helps for your child or adolescent to understand that they are not the only one to see a psychologist, that lots of people have appointments with psychologists. Provide your child or adolescent some examples of why people see a psychologist such as when they are feeling sad, worried, angry or upset. That other children and adolescents see a psychologist when they may be having problems at school or at home.
How do I Prepare my Child/Adolescent to see a Psychologist?
Seeing a psychologist can be a bit of a daunting experience for children and adolescents, and the parent for that matter. This is normal as it is something new. The best way for a parent to prepare their child or adolescent for the first appointment at YLO Psychology Clinic is to have a conversation with them when you book the appointment. Be aware to make sure the reason for booking the appointment is done so in a way that is considerate of the child/adolescents developmental level.
Reassure your child/adolescent that you will be attending with them.
It is important that you answer questions that your child/adolescent may have. If you are unsure please contact us so we can assist you with this process. For adolescents, you may prompt them to write down their questions so they can ask the psychologist directly at the first appointment.
Remind your child about confidentiality, and that what is talked about during the appointment will be kept between them and the psychologist (unless exceptional circumstances apply, such as risk to themself or others). Also let them know that they don’t need to tell anyone that they are seeing a psychologist. Sometimes your child or adolescent may feel like something is wrong with them if they need to see a psychologist. reassure them that this is not the case, that many people visit psychologist to talk through their issues.
At YLO Psychology Clinic we are aware of a child or adolescent being anxious during their first visit, or maybe even subsequent visits. Due to our experience and skills we can structure the visit and content and our interaction styles to help them feel more at ease.