A therapist will choose the traditional form of therapy, referred to as talk therapy, for children who can confidently express themselves. Evidence-based treatment modalities such as, but not limited to, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) are used during this treatment.
Talk therapy is indicated for a wide variety of emotional problems, including:
The first session is always spent with the caregivers/parents without the child present. We use this session to gather information that will help us to assess, diagnose and treat your child or teen.
At the second session, both the parents and child join the therapist for the first 15 minutes to discuss the limits of confidentiality. After this, you’ll be asked to wait in the reception for the remainder of the session. We then deliver the most appropriate therapy for your child within a family-friendly environment.
Parental and family involvement is central to any treatment programme, and we encourage all parents to attend our Conscious Parent lecture series with Dr. Saliha Afridi.
Child and Adolescent psychiatry is a sub specialty of psychiatric medicine. The main focus of this sub speciality is evaluating and treating, from multiple perspectives, both children and teens suffering from mental illnesses, learning disorders or impairment, or other conditions.
In general, the major emphasis in psychiatry is on treatment and diagnosis of mental disorders in general population. This idea is viewed in a slightly different way in child and adolescent psychiatry. Treating children or adolescents is not seen as analogous to treating adults. Children are in the process of still developing their bodies, minds, and attitudes about the world, and they are very different than people who have already grown up. They are still learning the social and personal intricacies of operating in this society and are highly malleable and vulnerable to emotional and physical insults on their minds and bodies respectively, then their adult counterparts.
Therefore, the question arises in child psychiaty: “How do expressions of mental illness differ in children and adults?” and to answer this question, the child and adolescent psychiatry tries to understand this difference, which in turn helps to identify how symptoms of mental illness manifest in children. In turn, this helps to create diagnostic standards that can be used after assessment to give opinions on what mental disorders might exist, if any.
The Child and Adolescent psychiatrist is a physician who has the expertise and specialization in evaluation, diagnoses, and treatment of the disorders arising from thoughts, feelings and behavioural changes affecting the children, adolescents, and their families.
A child and adolescent psychiatrist not only conduct evaluation and diagnoses, but also offers families the advantage of his or her advance medical knowledge, the professional ethics, and medical and professional responsibility to provide comprehensive care in the most caring and passionate environment.
To achieve the above-mentioned goal, the child and adolescent psychiatrist uses biological, psychological and social factors, formally knows as “psychosocial model” to perform the comprehensive diagnostic evaluation encompassing all components including physical, developmental, genetic, emotional, cognitive, peer, family, educational and social. This enables the child and adolescent psychiatrist to arrive at the diagnoses, its formulation, treatment plan and recommendations, which is then presented and discussed in detail with the patients and their families. The treatment plan created by child and adolescent psychiatrist involves an integrated approach including individual, group or family therapy, and the option of use of a medication.
The child and adolescent psychiatrist always acts in the best interests of the patients and their families and is expected to be their best advocate to seek the best treatment and support for them in the community.
Other roles served by child and adolescent psychiatrist includes providing consultation and education to other physicians and other professionals from schools, court system, and other community organizations, depending on the needs of individual patients.
Including but not limited to:
It all depends on the issues a child is experiencing. As a general rule, a child should be seen by a psychiatrist if the ailment affecting the child is interfering in personal life, social life, academics and communications on a daily basis. As ignoring these concerns can lead to worsening of the emotional well being of the child.
The families should not shy away from any questions and concerns they have with regards to their child’s condition. This should include clarification of diagnoses, best treatment options available, progression and control of the psychiatric condition in the long run, if medications are prescribed then discuss all the benefits and side effects of the medications, and any other concerns they have can also be discussed in detail. The idea is to not leave the psychiatrist office until all information is discussed in detail and the course of action is clear and fully explained and understood by the child and the family.
The most common fears the parents have about the child psychiatrist is that their child will be labelled with a psychiatric condition, their child will be traumatized by the line of questioning, will be judged by the psychiatrist. They also fear that the psychiatrist will prescribe medication and will put pressure on the families to use the medications or will admit their child to an inpatient facility. They also fear that the medications will change their child’s personality. They also fear that the information will be shared with other people without their consent, and this in turn will create problems in personal and social circles for them.
It all depends on the diagnosis and management options available for the particular psychiatric conditions. In general, the approach should be to delay the use of medications until all other nonmedication options are exhausted.
There are few exceptions like having an emergency situation where delaying the use of medication can lead to self harm or harm to others, or there are few conditions like psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder, manic phase etc., where conservative management can lead to worsening of condition, which in turn can harm the client or the people around them.
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