Child & Adolescent Counselling
Q. Something seems not quite right. Should my child see a psychologist?
A. If you suspect that your child might have an emotional or behavioural problem or needs help coping with a difficult life event, it is important to trust your gut instinct and discuss your concerns with trusted friends, family and health care providers.
Just like adults, children and adolescents are affected by major life changes, events or incidents and the stress from those experiences might lead to problems with behaviour, mood, sleep, appetite, and academic or social functioning.
Your child or adolescent may benefit from seeing a psychologist if they have experienced or are experiencing any of the following (this is a guide only and a psychologist can help with many other issues):
- learning or attention problems
- behavioral problems (such as excessive anger, eating problems, sexualised behavior)
- sexual, physical, or emotional abuse or other traumatic events
- stress related to study or exams
- feeling stuck and unable to reach their potential
- the victim of bullying or the perpetrator of bullying
- grief from the loss of a family member or friend
- parent absence due to military service or adjustment when the veteran returns home
- serious, acute, or chronic illness
- sadness, tearfulness, or depressive periods
- social withdrawal
- mood swings
Q. how long will it take for my child/adolescent to start feeling better?
A. We all wish for the fastest way possible to happiness for our loved ones, but this really depends on many factors, many of which are unknown at the outset. Some problems resolve quickly in just a few sessions, whereas other problems require a longer approach. Most problems are somewhere in between and significant gains can often be made within 8 to12 sessions. For more complex issues the treatment may take much longer.
Q. it's been recommended that i medicate my child/adolescent, can counselling without medication really help?
A. The extensive research on psychological counselling shows significant improvements for children and adolescence across a range of emotional, mental and behavioural symptoms.
We appreciate that every individual is different and sometimes a collaborative approach combining medication and counselling may be required at specific times of crisis.
The benefits of a counseling approach include: gaining insight, building new coping, communication and social skills, developing confidence and resilience, with no dependence on medication and its associated side effects. One of the benefits of psychological therapy is that it involves learning new skills for self-management. Research shows that this often results in lower rates of relapse for psychological therapy compared with drug therapy alone.
We highly recommend that you discuss your specific concerns with our psychologists specialising in Child and Adolescent mental health as well as other health providers such as your GP.