What does a Clinical Psychologist do?
Child clinical psychologists have an understanding of childhood and adolescent problems. We are trained to work with both adults and children, and have specialized knowledge of child development and about the challenges in life that can impact on children, adolescents, and their families. Clinical Psychologists in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services ( CAMHS) use their specialised knowledge and experience to assess and treat mental health problems, and to promote good mental health and general well-being.
Clinical psychologists are trained in particular to understand the links between thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. We are also trained in understanding relationships. We use our knowledge of how children and adolescents develop to help them tackle problems with how they feel, what they think, and what they do. We may also help with relationships in the family where this seems important, or work with parents to provide support and advice as to how they can best meet their child's needs.
Who comes to see a Clinical Psychologist?
Mental health is about how we feel inside, how in control we feel, and how able to cope we are. We all have ups and downs in life, but sometimes the ups and downs can go too far, last for too long, and start to affect our lives - and we need a helping hand to get back on track. Here in Lucena Clinic, we see children and adolescents between the ages of two and 18, where it is thought clinical psychology would offer the best “fit” to meet a particular child's needs.
What kind of problems does a Clinical Psychologist try to help with?
People come to see us for all sorts of different reasons. For example, we see children and teenagers who have problems with:
- feeling sad or down
- feeling worried, scared, or nervous
- feeling angry or aggressive
- getting on with their family, with their friends, or with other people
- behaviour: doing something too often or not doing something important
- coping with loss or with a stressful/upsetting situation
- thinking problems, or problems with paying attention
- health worries
- getting on in school
- developmental problems
We also see children/teenagers who are experiencing more unusual types of problems such as seeing or hearing things, or having extreme swings in their mood. We might also work with parents to give them support and/or training in learning to manage their child’s/teenager’s problems.
How do Clinical Psychologists in Lucena Clinic work?
Clinical Psychologists may work with children or young people individually or in groups, or we may work with parents or families. Most often we find that problems can get better by using at least one kind of “talk therapy,” although we have a variety of other treatment approaches we can use as part of our “toolbox.” For younger children we may use art or play to help them express themselves. There are times we give questionnaires or other kinds of tests to help us understand what is happening for the child or young person better. We may also work with other team members (of other disciplines) where this is helpful, or we may sometimes link in with other important people to the child/young person eg a GP, teacher etc.
Here in Lucena Clinic there is a Clinical Psychologist attached to each multidisciplinary team. You may meet one of us when you first come to the clinic, or we may be asked to work with you later on, by another team member, who has met with you and thinks we can help.
Principal Clinical Psychologist