child & adolescent counselling
Sometimes in life, children, adolescents and families may get overwhelmed – there might be difficulties with family relationships, difficulties at school and changes within the family environment. At these times, it can be helpful to have some extra help and support both for individual members of the family or the family as a whole. A psychologist is someone who can provide that additional guidance and support and help children, adolescents and families through a difficult period.
Why should my Child or Adolescent see a Psychologist?
Sometimes children or adolescents, like adults, can benefit from some extra help or support during different times in their lives. Seeing a psychologist offers an opportunity for an objective perspective and a chance to understand how different things affect your child or adolescent and also it can teach parents or guardians how to manage different behaviours or emotions. Sometimes children or adolescents may need to see a psychologist only a few times and other times they may seem them for a bit longer. Psychologists can help children, adolescents and families cope with stress and a variety of emotional and behavioural issues including: school stress, bullying, peer pressure, anxiety or family issues, particularly if there’s a major transition such as a divorce, move or a death of a family member.
Significant life events affect children and adolescents differently to adults and can cause stress that might lead to problems with behaviour, mood, sleep, appetite, and academic or social functioning. Children and adolescents often process information differently to adults and their emotional responses may manifest in behavioural or physical changes. In some cases, it’s not as clear what’s caused your child or adolescent to suddenly seem withdrawn, anxious or display significant changes in behaviour. But if you feel your child or adolescent might have an emotional or behavioral problem or needs help coping with a difficult life event, trust your instincts and seek help.
Changes in your child or adolescent that may mean they could benefit from seeing a psychologist include:
- developmental delay in speech, language, or toilet training
- learning or attention problems (such as ADHD)
- behavioural problems (such as excessive anger, acting out, bedwetting or eating disorders)
- a significant change in academic performance in school
- episodes of sadness, tearfulness, or depression
- social withdrawal or isolation
- being the victim of bullying or bullying other children
- decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities
- overly aggressive behavior (such as biting, kicking, or hitting)
- sudden changes in appetite (particularly in adolescents)
- insomnia or increased sleepiness
- signs of alcohol, drug, or other substance use
- a recent traumatic event
What’s involved when my child or adolescent sees a psychologist?
After you have rung to make an appointment….
Generally we will call you to remind you about your appointment and check to see if you have any questions or concerns prior to your first appointment.
When you walk in the front door….
When you arrive for your appointment, we will provide you with a client information form, and ask you to carefully read and sign a consent form. This form explains confidentiality, session length, fees and our cancellation policy. As registered Psychologists, we are bound by a Code of Ethics that requires you are informed about, and understand what will happen in your treatment with us. This also reassures you that therapy occurs in a confidential, respectful and mindful manner.
If you have been referred by your GP or another doctor, or a third-party such as a Government agency or school we will also discuss with you our communications process with them.
When we work with children and adolescents we work collaboratively with parents at the same time. At YLO Psychology Clinic we do not see children in isolation whereby a child attends a 50 minute session with minimal interaction with parents/guardians. Within the parameters of privacy and confidentiality that have been established in the initial appointment parents and children may be given in-between session tasks to complete. Parents/Guardians are seen as important factors in treatment success when a child/adolescent sees a psychologist at YLO Psychology Clinic.
Our Treatment Approaches
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
- Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (TF-CBT)
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
- Solution Focused (Brief) Therapy (SFBT)
- Narrative Therapy
- Interpersonal Therapy
- Family Therapy
- Play Based Therapies
As it can be difficult to understand the underlying rationale to each form of therapy, YLO Psychology Clinic ensures that all clients receiving intervention are aware of what type of therapy they are receiving and the reason why this was chosen by their treating psychologist. Also, when a particular type of therapy is delivered it is often modified and tailored to meet the individual needs of the child, adolescent or family unit.