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Children and Adolescents
Each developmental stage brings new challenges to children and adolescents, as they are expected to learn and master new tasks in multiple settings (family, school or peer group).
Referral might regard one or more problem area; difficulties can typically be due to the interplay of various factors:
- predisposing factors (what made the individual vulnerable to the situation)
- precipitating factors (what triggered the problem now)
- maintaining factors (what is still happening that prevents the individual from getting better)
- protective factors (what resources are present and accessible to the individual)
Understanding this interplay is key to tailoring a successful therapeutic intervention.
In the presence of an underlying neuro-psychological condition (i.e. a specific learning difficulty, ADD, ADHD or social communication difficulties) a further specialist assessment is recommended.
Children might experience:
- Anxiety and worries
- Depression and low mood
- Confidence and self-esteem
- Identity (including sexual)
- Emotional regulation
- Family difficulties
- Parents’ separation and divorce
- Friends and peer group
- Substance misuse
- Trauma and abuse
- Difficulties at school
- Learning difficulties
How does an intervention look like:
Mental Health Assessments are conducted at intake and provide a clinical formulation of the problem and relevant recommendations based on the information gathered in an in-depth clinical interview covering developmental, family, social, school and medical history, as well as a mental state assessment to ascertain mood, emotions, speech, affect and risk.
Therapy options and interventions are discussed with the individual and their family.One to one therapy or family therapy might be offered alongside systemic psychological interventions, as explained below.
Psychological Interventions consist in the provision of strategies and support to school staff and families, as well as relevant evidence-based, solution-focused and time-limited therapy. Therapy models offered include Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Systemic (Family work), Psychodynamic, EMDR and KIDNET, in line with the NICE guidelines.
Consultation and supervision can be offered to school staff (SENCOs and learning assistants) to help them implement the relevant strategies and understand any mental health issues that arises.