HB Psychology is able to offer appointments to children and their families with our specialist Child Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Katie Niemz. More information about Katie can be found here.
The initial assessment appointment is usually attended by the child and one or both parents. Children are not seen without their parents at their initial assessment appointment. Frequently, an assessment appointment may be offered to the parent(s), unaccompanied by their children. Some families choose to include other family members, especially if they are closely involved in the child’s life.
Within the first two appointments, Katie will ask many questions, allowing for a thorough assessment that takes into account home and family circumstances, developmental history, school and educational factors. Katie will ask about the current presenting problems and what led you to seek out a psychologist.
The purpose of this initial assessment is to reach an understanding of the difficulties you are experiencing and to develop a plan to resolve these. Your plan will include the number of appointments and the form of treatment that will be offered. Sometimes it is possible to reach this point at the end of the initial assessment appointment but with some children and families, further assessment appointments may be required. These subsequent appointments last for one hour and may include an individual assessment with the child or adolescent concerned.
Based on a thorough assessment of your child’s difficulties, Katie will discuss with you which type of psychological intervention is likely to effect change and improvement for you and your child as swiftly and effectively as possible. This discussion will include the type of therapy being recommended and whether this will be offered on an individual, parental or family basis, and an estimate of the number, frequency and regularity of appointments.
Katie is qualified to offer a range of interventions to children and their families including:
• Behaviour Therapy / Behavioural Parenting Interventions
Behavioural approaches seek to change and shape a child’s behaviour in order to effect improvement. With young children, for example, behavioural approaches are often used to target non-compliance, tantrums, sleep problems, toileting difficulties, etc.. Behavioural approaches are also often used for anxiety difficulties.
• Cognitive-Behaviour therapy (CBT) seeks to effect improvement by changing the ways in which we think and behave, gradually replacing unhelpful thoughts and behaviours with adaptive alternatives. This type of therapy can be effective for a range of difficulties including anxiety, depression, low mood, school-based problems, low self-esteem, etc.
• Attachment-Focused Interventions are aimed at facilitating attachment and improving the relationship between the child and parent or caregiver. This type of intervention may involve joint play-based sessions with the parent and child, or individual parenting sessions to develop an understanding of a child’s attachment style, and develop parenting approaches to improve the attachment relationship.