Child & Adolescent Psychology

Excellence in Child Clinical Psychology

Child and Adolescent Psychology and Therapy

Our team of child psychologists and adolescent psychologists are experienced in working with children and adolescents to provide therapy. Our child and adolescent psychologists work closely with primary schools, preschools and high schools in the Hills District, and across Sydney to improve the mental wellbeing of children of all ages – from preschool through to teenagers.

Children and families may opt to work privately with our child psychologists, or they may be referred to us through their school, paediatrician or GP for therapy. We often work in conjunction with the school learning support team, the school counsellors and with class teachers. When necessary, we visit schools to conduct assessments or to meet with the others to ensure a team approach to solving problems.

We understand getting the right fit of child psychologist or adolescent psychologist will be important. Both you and your child need to be comfortable with the person you choose, and comfortable with the methods of assessment and the type of treatment or therapy chosen. For tweens, teenagers or adolescents, we understand how important the therapy room is – a safe space where fears of embarrassment, shame and punishment are left behind, and a team approach to problem solving is created. Parents are often surprised by how much their teenagers look forward to their psychology sessions with our child psychologists, despite initially being either ambivalent or not wanting to come at all.

For younger children, they may or may not want mum or dad to sit in on child psychology sessions. Sometimes, when skills building it can be a real pleasure to watch children explain to their parents what they have learned, and for the child to be able to ask mum or dad to help with their home practise. Skills building is a large part of cognitive behavioural therapy

A collaborative, holistic approach to mental health and wellbeing underpins our work. in our child psychology approach, we want to read any reports you have already gathered, and we always recommend that your child or teen has a GP check up, as well as an eye check and a hearing test prior to your appointment. We believe excellence in clinical psychology assessments starts with a very wide lens – and that involves ruling things out based on careful collection of evidence.

What are anxiety disorders?

From infancy, through childhood and into adolescence, fears develop which parallel development in our children’s cognitive development. They also parallel development in social competencies and concerns.

This means that it is common for a 6 month old to be afraid of loud noises, or for separation anxiety to appear in toddlers. It’s common for fears of natural disasters to emerge around ages 5-7 years, and for performance and social rejection fears to emerge in middle childhood and adolescence.

But when anxiety persists, or seems extreme, it should be assessed.

Read more about childhood anxiety

What are anxiety disorders?

Eating disorders typically have their onset in adolescence. Some eating disorders share an over-evaluation of body shape and weight, with self-worth being attributed to personal attributes.

It is important to seek help for eating disorders, because they are dangerous and can lead to medical complications.

Clinically, features of eating disorders are fairly distinctive patterns of thinking, which may include preoccupation with food, beliefs about a lack of control, perfectionism and low self-efficacy. Often, these patterns are accompanied by mood changes, as well as behaviour changes.

Many families report concerns that their child or adolescent is experiencing changes in peer or family relationships, or in school performance.

Sometimes the physical complications are more difficult to see. At Mindworx Psychology we will typically work in conjunction with your GP, and when necessary, a team which may include a paediatrician, dietician or other health professional.

Read more about eating disorders

Depression, Low mood and Mood Disorders in children and adolescents

Depression in childhood or adolescence can be a particularly distressing experience for both the young person and their family. The majority of young people do recover from depressive episodes within a year, but the research tells us they do not “grow out” of a mood disorder.

Major depression can be a recurrent condition, and it is important to treat it. Untreated mood problems can leave our young adults at risk of self-harming to cope. Learning skills to recognise, manage and prevent relapse are all part of our treatment programs.

Sometimes mood problems look like anger, irritability or motivation problems. Often sleep and appetite issues emerge. Whatever is happening,  a thorough assessment can help understand whether there is something low level and chronic such as dysthymia, or more extreme symptoms or fluctuations occurring. Mood disorders such as bipolar disorder, and emerging psychotic disorders are important considerations that are screened for in all our assessments.

Read more about depression and mood disorders

Trauma, adjustment disorders and PTSD in children and adolescents

We offer gold standard treatments for the treatment of all types of trauma. This is an interest area for many of our team who offer a range of therapies including EMDR, recommended as the first choice in trauma treatment by the World Health Organisation.

We offer a range of gold standard, evidence based treatments, delivered by friendly, empathetic and skilled psychologists in our safe and welcoming rooms.

Read more about Trauma, PTSD and treatment

ADHD and ADD in children and adolecents

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), attention deficit disorder (ADD), hyperkinetic disorder (HKD), hyperkinesis, minimal brain dysfunction and disorder of attention, motor control and perception (DAMP) are just some of the labels that are used to explain and catogorise children with attention, concentration, over-activity or impulse control problems.

At Mindworx Psychology, we understand that labels can help (sometimes it helps make sense of a problem). But we also understand that children are not labels. We also know that many of these labels lead to negative judgement.

All children have attention problems from time to time, and all children are impulsive from time to time. But if it’s more than occasional, or if there are patterns that are getting in the way with school, friendships, home or family life, then we always recommend a formal assessment.

While there is no one test for ADHD, our Psychologists use a range of assessments and tests to get to the root of the problem. And if some of those tests indicate ADHD criteria, we drill further to understand exactly what is going on for your child. Is it emotional regulation, or staying on task? Is it getting started or staying focused? Is it a number of issues, or just some.

Because before we can help we know the first step is to fully understand what’s causing the problem, and whether other problems may also be present, such as anxiety, food intolerances, sensory or learning difficulties.

Read more about ADHD and ADD

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Building resilience in children at Mindworx Psychology

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Performance coaching for gifted children

There are lots of gifted children in Sydney Hills District and across Australia. Having outstanding strengths in one, or multiple areas – academic or sport – can be something to be proud of.

But for many families, extra support and skills are needed to manage the demands that gift can bring. Some of our most talented athletes bring extraordinary levels of perfectionism and drive to the gym, or track, or field. And many have difficulty letting it go in situations where it may be less than useful. For some, the pressure of high level competition can feel overwhelming, and get in the way of doing their best.

That’s where performance coaching can bring great benefit.

Read more about performance coaching here

Sleep problems in children

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About Child Therapy, and Clinical Psychologists for Teenagers

Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology involves counselling, but our counselling skills are not the focus of treatment. We use our counselling skills to deliver evidence based treatments that make a difference – and bring change. We want to solve your child or teenager’s problems, not just talk them through. For that reason, Clinical Psychology for children often invoices the building of skills for life.

All of our Psychologists offer a wide range of therapies. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), Narrative Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Schema Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), Emotion Focused Therapy… the list is long.

The good news is that you don’t have to work out what your child will eed – based on symptoms, problems, and goals, your therapist will use an eclectic, tailored mix of gold standard therapies. We know one size doesn’t fit everyone, and we understand that the goal in seeking help is to get better – whatever that means to you.

If you are ready for change, we are here to help. We look forward to talking with you.

To make an appointment call us on 02 7801 3481

Our Location

Suite 206, 10 Century Circuit, Norwest Central, Baulkham Hills, NSW 2155

Appointment Times

Monday – Thursday 8:00AM – 8:00PM
Friday 8:00AM – 7:00PM
Saturday 9:00AM – 3:00PM

Fees & Insurance

You do not need a GP referral to book an appointment at Mindworx Psychology.

Medicare Rebates are available if you have a valid referral from a GP, Psychiatrist or Paediatrician.

Your Private Health Fund may offer cover for Psychology Services – you can check this directly with your fund.