Before the Assessment our team reviews your enquiry or referral and suggests a clinician who could meet you. We share any information that we have about you with the clinician before they meet you. We may send you some questionnaires to complete either before or after the assessment meeting.
During the Assessment:
We find that having parent/s and young people together in the first appointment helps us understand things more quickly, which can allow the therapy to be more successful. Usually, an assessment with an adolescent takes place in three parts: time spent with the young person and the family together, time with the parent/s on their own, and time with the young person on their own. On rare occasions, when an adolescent is away from home, at school or university for example, we might meet with them for the whole assessment.
In the assessment, we will want to learn about the history of the problem that has brought you to therapy, what has or hasn’t helped so far and about your skills and strengths. An assessment allows us to gather information, but it also allows you to consider whether this is the right therapist for you/your young person.
At the end of the assessment, the whole family may be asked to come together again briefly. We then aim to provide you with a summary of the problem, the approach we feel will be most helpful, what it is likely to involve and whether on rare occasions it will be important to involve another kind of therapist or healthcare professional.
Sometimes we may need to go away and reflect further on what you have told us, or seek further information before making our recommendations. We value gaining a thorough understanding about the issues, so that we can create a careful approach, tailored to you and your needs.
Very occasionally, we might suggest that a different therapy is needed and will make recommendations to you of alternative next steps or clinicians. However, we are nearly always able to help directly everyone who come to see us.
Although a young person may be increasingly independent, they are still usually dependent on their parents. Parents may need to be involved in any ongoing therapeutic work in order that it is effective as possible. Sometimes we will recommend working with the parent or whole family instead of the young person.
We write short assessment reports for you, or for you to share with other professionals, when needed. Sometimes it is more helpful for us to write reports at a later stage of therapy.
If you decide to start therapy with us, we will try to give you an approximate idea of how many sessions may be needed. This contract of care allows you to book regular sessions into our diary, reserving a regular space just for you and providing a sense of consistency and security, which is key in therapy. Depending on your personal situation, sessions are usually either weekly or fortnightly. Time between sessions may increase towards the end of therapy or in follow-up.
We believe that therapy should not be mysterious, and that parents often need to be kept in the loop. On the other hand, adolescents in particular do need privacy and a safe space in order to be able to trust the therapy, and there are rules around confidentiality. If there is ever a serious safety issue, it is our duty to inform parents of this and to help make a plan to keep the young person safe.
Clinician’s discuss your/your child’s progress in therapy in confidential ‘supervision’ meetings with their ‘supervisor.’ Supervision provides a form of clinical governance and is something that all therapists have to do to ensure that we are practising to the best of our abilities. To ensure anonymity, we do not use client names in supervision meetings. Clinical supervisors have to respect all of the same standards of respect and confidentiality as clinicians.
Our team at the Integrated Psychology Clinic are here to support you throughout and our Practice Manager Ulrica Taylor is available between 9am-5pm Monday to Friday, if you need further help.