At Every Mind, we are a team of clinicians who specialise in working with children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
We work with young people and their families in many different ways, and support young people with a range of different presenting challenges. This includes:
- Low mood/depression
- Obsessive behaviours
- Low self esteem
- Withdrawal and/or shyness
- Anger and aggressive behaviour
- Bullying and/teasing
- Difficulties with social relationships
- Parental separation or divorce
- Bereavement and grief
Our interventions are rarely solely working with the child. We will work closely with other members of a young persons network including schools, colleges, wider family and support networks.
Most families will contact Every Mind directly via email or telephone to discuss whether we are the right people for you and if so, how we might be able to help. We will ask a few more questions about your child and what help you are looking for. We will then send you through a pre-assessment form and a copy of the clinic terms and conditions and fees. We will ask you to fill in the pre-assessment form and send it back prior to the first meeting.
Sometimes, you will have been to your GP first who may refer to me directly via a letter. If so, we will then contact you via telephone or email just to ask a few questions before sending you through the pre-assessment form to complete. .
When we first meet at the clinic, this is called the assessment. This typically lasts one hour and 20 minutes. During this meeting, there is an opportunity for your clinician to ask a lot more questions and get more of an understanding of the problem, your child’s needs and goals, and those of the whole family. There will be an opportunity to talk as a whole family, but we also like to spend some time with the child on their own if they are happy to, to get to know them a little bit more. By the end of the assessment session, we will aim to give you some ideas and recommendations for what to do next in managing the problem, and to make a plan for any future sessions.
As clinical psychologists, we do not like to just consider the problem as being located within the child, but it is important to reflect on the systems in which they exist and to evaluate how these may be affecting the problem, perhaps even keeping it going. Therefore, the assessment will not just seek to gather information from your child and you as a family, but also it is important for us to engage with other important systems like the school or nursery that your child goes to. Initially, this may just be information gathering to understand how they see the problem from their perspective, but it is often helpful to work closely with these systems as therapy continues. This ensures that all are working together to support the child in the most efficient and effective ways.
Follow on therapy sessions last for 1 hour. Typically, your therapist will see the child or adolescent for 45 mins and then invite the parents to join for the final 15 minutes to share any ideas or techniques that would be helpful to know or to practice at home. We like to review how things are going regularly to ensure the sessions are meeting yours/your child’s needs and goals regularly. We usually do this every 4 sessions to evaluate the number of sessions are required to meet your goals.
For some children, it may be necessary to shorten therapy sessions e.g. from 1 hour to 30 minutes, particularly for younger children who may struggle with concentration and attention. It may also be that initially, we need to schedule sessions closer together e.g. once a week, but as the therapy and our therapeutic relationship develops, we can reduce frequency and time between sessions e.g. once every three weeks. Your clinician will of course discuss all options to you as we plan for sessions or as things develop during therapy.