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Child and Family Consultations

As parents our greatest hope is that our children grow up remaining safe, happy and reach their full potential.

While growing up it is common for children to experience difficulties, face challenges and feel pain.  As young children they may experience stresses such as toilet training, establishing bed-time routines and attending school.  As they get older they may experience difficulties with peers, their schoolwork or with their parents, as they begin to establish their sense of identity.  At such times it is common for children to feel emotional changes, such as sadness, insecurity, anger and frustration, as well as changes in their behaviour and relationships with their family.  For most children such changes are temporary and do not greatly impact on their lives or goals.  Unfortunately, some children may attempt to deal with these challenges in ways that are actually damaging to their long-term well-being.  Often parents can see the changes in their child but feel unable to help him/her cope with life’s demands. 

 

Unfortunately all too often, despite our best efforts to protect them, our children may have experiences that leave them unhappy and distressed, such as accidents, illness or injury.   Sometimes parents are aware of such experiences, can recognise the impact they have had on the child but do not feel qualified to help their children.  Sometimes parents are unaware that anything has happened, they simply know that their child is unhappy and behaving differently.  Often these changes are also short-term and children learn to cope with life’s challenges.

How do I know if my child needs professional help?

Thankfully most children learn to cope with life’s challenges but as parents we still want to provide the very best help and support that we can for our children.  Below are some questions to help you decide if you should seek professional advice regarding your child’s difficulties.

  •  Are your child’s current difficulties disrupting daily functioning?   e.g. sleep, appetite, school attendance, friendships, relationships

  • Are your child’s current difficulties affecting normal developmental milestones?   e.g. toileting, school attendance, sleeping alone

  • Are your child’s symptoms severe?   e.g. depression, anxiety, paranoia about safety, hallucinations

  • Is your child trying to cope or behaving in ways that may be harmful to his/her/others’ well-being?   e.g. aggression, fire starting, self-harm, substance misuse or risk taking

At TMR Health Professionals we understand the feelings and anxieties that parents have about their children’s well-being.  We have a team of specialist psychologists and psychotherapists who can help your child and your family overcome their difficulties.  Our therapists can help you, and your child, understand better the nature of his/her difficulties and develop an individual treatment plan to meet your child’s and your family's needs. 

Often the first session with the therapist will be with only the parents.  The purpose of this session is to introduce each other and obtain detailed information about the child’s difficulties.  As well as information about current difficulties, information may also be obtained regarding the following:

*       The child’s development

*       The child’s behaviour

*       The child’s strengths, interests and relationships

*       Family stresses

*       Family relationships

*       Ways in which the family have coped to date

Children react to life stresses in many ways and often internalise beliefs about themselves.  Sometimes children feel that the world is no longer a safe place or that they may not deserve good things to happen to them.  Understanding these beliefs is another important part of assessing your child’s difficulties.  After completing the assessment your therapist will agree a treatment plan in partnership with yourselves and the child.  The actual treatment method will vary depending upon the nature of your child’s difficulties, as will the required length of treatment.  Most children are seen weekly or fortnightly for one-hour sessions.

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