If you’re reading this page it’s probably because someone in your life – maybe your mum or dad – has suggested that it may be a good idea to talk to someone like me.
Young people come to see a clinical psychologist for a whole range of reasons. Maybe things get you down and make you feel miserable. Maybe you worry a lot or get scared and anxious about doing things that other people seem to find easy. Maybe things are tough at school or at home. Maybe something has happened to you and you just can’t seem to get over it. Whatever the reason you may wonder what can be done to help and feel pretty scared about talking to someone. Most people do! This page is here to give you some idea of what talking to a clinical psychologist might be like so that at least you will know what to expect.
When I meet a young person for the first time it will usually be with their mum and dad. This is so that I can hear about you and any difficulties you may have been having from the people who know you best. Not everybody will agree about what has been happening – but that’s ok – it is just helpful for me to get as much information as possible. I would like to talk to you as well! Usually on your own for a time – but it is fine for someone to be with you if you prefer. If it is difficult to talk we may write things down or draw pictures. It is my job to help you to find the best way to tell me about yourself and your worries. If there are worries about your learning at school we may do some tests to see what you are good at and what you find more difficult. I may ask you to fill in some questionnaires.
The first time we meet we will talk for about an hour. I will then talk to you and your parents about whether it would be helpful for us to meet again and what we might do that could help.
You can talk to me in private and I will not tell other people about what you have said unless you want me to or unless I am worried that you might be hurt by someone or something.
What can I do to help? There are a whole range of things that may be helpful. Sometimes talking on your own or with your family is the most important thing. Sometimes learning to be more relaxed or to tackle problems differently is what makes the difference. I have worked with lots of young people and will have a number of ideas for things that you can try. The most important thing is to find something that works for you and your family.
If there are questions you have it may be helpful to write them down and bring them with you (it’s not always easy to remember at a first meeting!). I will always be interested in what you have to say and what you want to know.