The Clinical Psychology Centre provides specialist psychological treatments for children, adolescents and their families. The range of different evidence-based therapy models employed in this practice allows for thoughtful consideration of what approach would be the best fit depending on the nature of presenting concerns.
Adolescence can often be a turbulent time in families for several reasons: Firstly, in terms of brain development, adolescence is the time where an individual’s “emotion centre” of the brain is rapidly emerging (which can often lead to the feeling that you are “walking on eggshells” around your child). Additionally, adolescence is often a time where family members are navigating changing roles in the family structure. While it is completely normal for adolescents to yearn for a level of autonomy and shift the majority of their focus toward their peers, it can often be difficult to balance this with trust.
These changing roles and relationships often create dynamics in the treatment which benefit from a family systems approach initially. At the Clinical Psychology Centre, we find it most helpful to invite parents and the children to separate assessment sessions. We then typically continue with parent sessions in parallel with child sessions. We refer to this as a ‘train the trainer’ approach, where the psychologist trains the parents in how to coach their child to use skills to help them manage their emotions, behaviours and relationships. The rationale for this is that we recognise parents as child’s most valuable resource, and we see that by teaching parents the same skills that their child is learning in individual therapy the parents can then support their child to practice these skills outside the therapy room.
We practice open confidentiality when working with families in this practice. This means that we encourage any information shared with the psychologist by one member of a family to be shared with all family members. In this way the psychologist doesn’t take on a role of holding secrets but instead encourages family members to develop skills to communicate openly with each other.
Our clinicians are able to assist your child with difficulties such as generalised anxiety, OCD, performance anxiety, separation anxiety, social anxiety and perfectionism, low mood and depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and school stress.