Child & Adolescent Clinical Psychologists have experience of working with people across the lifespan and across all levels of ability. Clinical Psychologists can work with children & young people on a one-to-one basis (or in a group) as well as with their families. They also work with other people in the families’ lives (e.g. Schools, Social Care, Health Care staff etc). They might meet with children and young people in clinics, at home, at school or in other places.
Clinical Psychologists assess difficulties that a child or family would like to change using a wide range of approaches. This might involve talking, playing and completing some questionnaires or other measures. From this assessment, Clinical Psychologists aim to create a shared understanding of the difficulties that are faced by the family, using a variety of theories that research says will be most useful. Clinical Psychologists use this shared understanding to work out what is likely to be the most helpful form of therapy or intervention for that child or family.
Clinical Psychologists are trained in a wide range of evidence-based approaches including Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Psychodynamic approaches, Play Therapy, Family Therapy and EMDR, amongst others. The types of therapy a Clinical Psychologist uses will depend on their areas of expertise and the specific needs of the child and their family. Clinical Psychologists also conduct research to find out whether different approaches are helpful or not.
Clinical Psychologists can help to assess a child’s intellectual (neuropsychological) functioning and other aspects of their development using standardised measures.
Clinical Psychologists have completed a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and are regulated by the Health & Care Professions Council. All Clinical Psychologists working in the NHS have to be registered with the HCPC, but you can check whether a Psychologist is registered here: http://www.hpc-uk.org/check/