Prior to treatment, a clinical assessment is conducted in order to identify the suitability of treatment, or recommendation for an alternative approach. This consists of four appointments; the first to take a full case history, the second and third to see and assess the child or adolescent, and the fourth to offer a clinical opinion and recommendation. Details of this process can be downloaded as a PDF (need to point here which page the PDF is located or link).
The initial consultation is normally available within two weeks, and the remaining appointments are usually concluded within four weeks.
At this appointment you will be asked to provide details of the problems the child or adolescent is experiencing, how long these have been apparent, and for information about family circumstances. You will also be asked about medical and educational histories, and for any other relevant information. This will help to form an initial opinion and will assist in deciding the most appropriate next step.
Sometimes it is possible at this point to offer some guidance to parents to take away and try for themselves with an invitation to come back again if required. Most often the second stage is required.
This consists of two appointments where the child or adolescent is seen alone, unless very young. An age appropriate approach is used to try and identify what the difficulty may be in view of the information previously provided. Sometimes even very young children are able to talk about perceptions of themselves and the difficulties they experience. Children also offer useful insights through their play.
Follow up and recommendations
At this appointment you will be offered an opinion, a view of the nature of the difficulties and recommendations concerning how to proceed. These will depend upon a variety of factors and will include counselling or psychotherapy sessions for the child or adolescent, guidance for the parents or further referral as appropriate