Services for Young People and Families:
“The mental health of our children must be seen as every bit as important as their physical health.” Kate Middleton
Our small team have offered over 3000 appointments to children and their families since the start of 2020. Appointments were booked with our Practitioners for young people experiencing a wide variety of difficulties including anxiety, low mood, difficulties with eating, weight and shape concerns, self harm, grief and distressing physical difficulties. We offer young people and families support, understanding and expertise in managing difficulty.
Choosing the right Professional at the start:
Every young person and situation is unique. Decisions about an initial appointment are made in discussion with you. We listen carefully to your experience, find out your wishes and add our knowledge of what and who has been shown to work most effectively for specific difficulties or situations.
Depending on the person, their situation and their preferences, seeing a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist to explore triggers along with tools and coping strategies may be really helpful. Alternatively, a Clinical Psychologist who can consider the young person’s context, their personal and specific neurological strengths and differences (e.g. ASD/ADHD) offer a range of talking therapies or provide support for the network around the young person including families and schools might be the best start. Meeting a Psychiatrist may be important if there are perhaps physical health or developmental factors affecting how they are feeling or if medicine might be a helpful starting point. Our Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. El-khayat sees young people aged 16 and over. We can help you to consider the options and make a well thought out plan from the start.
Our team will work together in supporting a young person, if necessary joint working where needed, to offer multi layered support. We can liaise with parents or agencies such as school and college or the NHS services when helpful and with permission.
If your young person is attending a therapist – your rights as the parent or bill payer:
Seeking information about what has been discussed / clinical opinions;
A person of any age who attends a Psychological therapist or Psychiatrist is entitled to confidentiality. This means that therapists cannot routinely share clinical information with a parent, guardian or bill payer. If you are making an appointment for your child or young adult, please be aware that therapists and practitioners can only share information which the patient themselves has agreed that we can share with you. This can be frustrating for parents or bill payers but is done in the interests of ensuring a trusting and strong working relationship with the young person so that the most benefit can be achieved from the sessions. You are always entitled to ask us for clinical information but please be aware, any requests will be very carefully considered and discussed with the patient themselves prior to responding. Whilst many practitioners will want to encourage some sharing of information if it might be helpful to the young person, we may not always be able to meet requests fully if this is not something the young person is ready for. Whilst many people believe that if they are paying for sessions they should be entitled to a full understanding of what has been discussed, this is not the case. Our aim however is always to liaise helpfully where possible.
Any person seeking support with a therapist or practitioner is always entitled to share their own information with anyone they choose. You may wish to ask them directly for feedback. A young person can ask for copies of all the information we have about them, including clinical notes. Please see our ‘Making a Subject Access Request’ information leaflet.
What if my young person discloses risk?
If a therapist is concerned about the safety of a young person, either because they are deemed at risk from self harm or from others, they will always alert the most relevant people who can ensure safety. This is often the parent but may be other individuals or organisations. Whilst we hope that the young person will agree to share information about risk to self or others, only in this instance, their need for safety trumps their wish for confidentiality.
Seeking information about appointment times and invoices:
If you are paying the bill for a young person’s therapy, we are happy to routinely share with you information about appointment dates, times and invoices. If your young person wishes to be contacted themselves directly about this, you may need to ask them to share the information with you or you may wish to contact us to check (often so that you can support them in attending). We always want to do our best to support a young person in attending their appointment successfully. There are some occasions when a young person decides not to attend a session and the bill payer is still charged.