Our society demands a lot of children. Their lives are constantly changing, and we expect them to adapt to these changes without complaint. In addition, the significant mental and physical development in childhood can come with its own challenges, as children gain greater understanding of their external world and their role in it. Childhood is also when many developmental disorders first appear. How these issues are understood and the support children receive can affect how they manage and think about these issues for the rest of their life.
At VCPS, we specialise in the assessment and treatment of mental health concerns in children. We work closely within a multidisciplinary team to help promote psychological adjustment of children and their families. Our intake team is available to personally tailor psychological assistance, and are available to answer any queries you may have. The intake team will take the time to understand the needs of your child and family to help you decide which practitioner is best suited to your child.
Our Melbourne based psychologists and psychiatrists provide assistance to children who may be experiencing concerns including:
- Behavioural problems : Refusal to attend school, poor self-control, behaviour which is dangerous to themselves or others, lying, stealing and aggressive behaviour
- Emotional problems: Trauma reactions, stress, anxiety, depression, tantrums, suicidal thoughts, extreme anger outbursts
- Relationship problems: Social withdrawal, family conflict, poor peer relationships (including bullying)
- Developmental problems: Social skills, learning, attention, concentration and play difficulties
- Health and wellbeing problems: : Disturbed eating or sleeping patterns, poor self-care, self-injury, physical symptoms indicating emotional distress
- Other psychological problems: Hallucinations (voices and visions that no-one else can experience), delusions (false beliefs), seeming to be out of touch with reality, habitual and obsessive behaviour
You may view our full suite of services for children here.
Our practitioners use a variety of techniques according to a child’s needs, including cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness, play therapy, family and parenting work, group work, work with parent/s and child together, and individual psychotherapy. Our work with a client can be short-term (six sessions) or long-term, depending upon the goals identified. If necessary, we work in collaboration with all of the systems relevant to the child (including their immediate environment, their family, school, or other health professionals involved).
Our child psychologists also specialise in providing assessments for children and adolescents in order to gain information for diagnostic purposes, guide treatment and determine any educational needs. Some of the most common child and adolescent assessments are listed
- ADHD assessment: A reliable and leading assessment tool is used to diagnose ADHD and used to also assess comorbid disorders such as oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder in children and adolescents aged 6 to 18 years. The assessment takes into account home, social and school setting behaviours with rating forms for parents, teachers and youth. The results assist in developing informed intervention and treatment strategies.
- Cognitive assessments: This assessment is used for diverse reasons such as identifying intellectual disabilities, learning disorders and difficulties, evaluating cognitive strengths and weaknesses, assessing giftedness and assessing the impact of brain injuries. A cognitive profile is greatly beneficial in not only guiding treatment, but more importantly can lend vital information required to assist in educational planning in terms of a child’s learning styles, strengths and utilising these strengths to improve cognitive weaknesses.
- Emotional and behavioural assessments: Identify emotional and behavioural difficulties in children and adolescents, particularly when it is unclear as to what may be causing a child’s problem behaviours.
If you are interested in hearing more about some of the child psychologists we have available our intake team can be a great first step. They will work with you to understand your need and concerns and match you with a psychologist that is right for both you and your child. Mental health concerns for children can be complex and multi-faceted, and a good treatment team is needed where there is a strong therapeutic relationship between the psychologist and both the child and their parent. Our Melbourne-based psychologists are highly experienced in the treatment of children and provide quality evidence-based interventions to help improve the mental health of your child.Book your appointment