My aim is to assist children to develop new skills
to adjust to difficult situations so they may feel safe,
confident and optimistic in their daily lives.
Working with children and families
Children express their feelings through their behaviour and may react to major changes by becoming withdrawn, angry and depressed. They may need help to discuss their feelings, particularly if there’s a major transition, such as a divorce, move, or serious illness. They may also have problems at school as well as in their relationships. My aim is to assist children to develop new skills to adjust to difficult situations and to resolve any mental distress, so they may feel safe, confident and optimistic in their daily lives.
I am concerned with helping young people and their families develop healthy relationships and improve their quality of life and experiences at home, in school, and in social situations.
What I can offer you:
- Individual therapy for your child with the initial session for you, the parents. Parents are provided with an opportunity to discuss concerns that have prompted them to seek help for their child. This information will inform the treatment process and parents will have additional sessions to evaluate treatment progress and an opportunity to discuss strategies to use at home.
- Family therapy can be helpful particularly when family members: aren’t getting along, disagree or argue often, or when your child is experiencing behavioural problems. Family therapy involves counselling with some, or all, family members: the goal is to help improve communication skills and the focus is on problem-solving techniques.
- Child-centred or non-directive play therapy is aimed at maximising your child’s exploration of concerns through a trusted relationship and creative play. This type of therapy respects the child’s ability to solve problems and make decisions, giving them a choice about what, how, when and whether to express their worries and wishes. It is a respectful method optimally suited to 3-10-year old children. Play therapy may not be suitable for all children or all presenting issues. A thorough assessment with parents prior to commencing play therapy is essential to determine how best to work with your child.
Preparing for the first visit:
- Preparing your child for what to expect before the first appointment can help set the tone. It will prevent your child from feeling singled out or isolated. Explaining to your child that the psychologist will be assisting the whole family in working together on the problem may provide your child with reassurance that the issue involves the whole family not just one person.
- You may be concerned that your child will become upset when told of an upcoming appointment. Although this can occur on occasion, it is essential to be honest about the session and why your child (or family) will be attending. The issue will be addressed during the session anyway, so it is important for you to prepare your child for it.
- Your teen or young adult may be reassured in knowing that what they say to the psychologist is confidential and cannot be shared with anyone else, including parents or other doctors, without their permission. The exception is if they indicate that they’re having thoughts of suicide or hurting themselves or others.