Psychological Support for Children & Adolescents
Our psychologists specialise in providing psychological assessment and treatment to children and adolescents experiencing a wide range of difficulties. Psychological assessment is often helpful in understanding the strengths and challenges a child may have in their cognitive, behavioural and emotional functioning. We understand that as children and adolescents continue to learn, grow and change, their needs will be very different. Our trained child psychologists are sensitive to development across the lifespan, and your individual child’s journey. Rest assured that we can offer services aimed at an appropriate level for your child.
Play Therapy for Children
Play therapy is a powerful means of joining with the innate and creative capacities of children to engage and work therapeutically with them. It optimises children’s abilities to express, explore and resolve troubled thoughts and feelings. It is a developmentally appropriate, evidence-based method of counselling younger clients. In play therapy, children can play out, literally and/or metaphorically, their inner and real life experiences in a way that builds insight and capacity. Play therapy allows children to express, regulate, communicate, practice and master new skills as well as their emotional responses.
When children feel comfortable, relaxed and safe enough to express their concerns, abilities and interests, then we are allowed to see and hear some of their real experiences.
While there is substantial and growing evidence for the efficacy of play therapy, play therapy may not be suitable or necessarily the best form of assessment and intervention for all children or presenting issues. A thorough parent or carer assessment prior to working with children is essential to determine how best to understand and work with a child, if at all. In some families where children are displaying challenging affect or behaviour, the optimal intervention can involve working primarily with parents.
Play therapy is a globally recognised and established method of working with children, formed from the psychodynamic and humanist traditions. Our play therapist, Natalie, has a postgraduate level qualification in mental health and additional intensive training in play therapy foundational skills, theory, knowledge and practice. She is a member of the Australiasia Pacific Play Therapy Association and engages in ongoing professional development and supervision in play therapy.