Children and Adolescents

At Western Plains Psychology, we place emphasis on resilience building, early assessment and intervention to promote positive developmental trajectories and improve developmental outcomes for all children.

We work closely with parents to provide support, understanding, strategies and tools to help support their children and reinforce the strategies provided in session.

Where appropriate, we develop collaborative partnerships with general practitioners, paediatricians, psychiatrists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists and school personal to help support functioning across multiple environments.

Our psychologists provide support, assessment and intervention for children with a wide range of presenting concerns, including:

  • Adjustment Disorders
  • Anger Management
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Attachment Disorders
  • Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorders
  • Behavioural Difficulties and Disorders
  • Body Image and Eating Disorders
  • Bullying
  • Depression
  • Developmental Disorders and Disabilities
  • Elimination Disorders
  • Emotional Regulation Difficulties
  • Family breakdown (separation/divorce) and/or Conflict
  • Giftedness
  • Grief and Loss
  • Learning Difficulties
  • Parent Skills Training
  • Psychoeducational Assessment (cognitive and learning assessments)
  • Phobias
  • School Readiness
  • School Refusal and Avoidance
  • Self-esteem and Resilience Building
  • Self-harm
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Social and Peer Interaction Difficulties
  • Social Skills Building
  • Strategies to Support Learning and Achievement
  • Stress and Coping
  • Trauma and Abuse

Child Anxiety Treatment

Anxiety is a common challenge that can prevent your child from reaching their full potential at school and in life. Everyone experiences some anxious feelings occasionally, but excessive worry and anxiety can lead to more severe problems developing over time. Early intervention and prevention are therefore vital.

Your child does NOT have to meet the criteria for a serious clinical disorder to benefit from effective counselling. In fact, it’s all about developing skills to deal with the challenges of everyday life.

If you’re concerned about your child’s anxiety, you might like to consider enrolling them in our child anxiety counselling program.

Child & Adolescent Counselling

Does your child or teenager need help with any emotional, behavioural or social challenges? Counselling helps your child to understand, manage and overcome many different personal challenges, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Friendship Problems
  • Asperger’s Related Issues

Counselling will empower your child to work towards achieving valuable personal and educational goals.

When is child counselling useful?

Child counselling is useful whenever a situation bothers your child enough that it interferes with their ability to:

  • Concentrate in Class or at Work
  • Do their Schoolwork
  • Communicate with Parents
  • Sleep
  • Interact with Friends
  • Enjoy life

All counselling is confidential. Information is only revealed to others with client consent, except where there is a serious risk to the client or others.

You are invited back into each session for the final 5-10 minutes to review the progress made and discuss any new goals or homework.

How many sessions are required?

We recommend an initial program of six weekly sessions. Some less frequent follow-up sessions can be helpful to review progress, reinforce new skills and set new goals. Parents often see some quick improvements within the first few sessions. However, research has shown that it typically takes 2-3 months of practice to effectively form new habits.

Learning Difficulty Assessment (Including Dyslexia Testing)

  • Does your child struggle with reading, spelling or writing?
  • Do they mix up letters or jumble their sentences?
  • Do they have trouble with numbers, symbols and maths?

If so, they may suffer from a specific learning disorder, such as dyslexia or dyscalculia.

Learning difficulties can severely hinder your child’s learning and enjoyment of school. This can lead to low self-esteem, anxiety or even depression. If you suspect that your child suffers from any type of learning difficulty, such as dyslexia, it is important to accurately identify the underlying problems and put in place effective intervention programs and strategies as early as possible in their education.

The first step towards helping your child reach their full potential is to have them assessed by an Educational and Developmental Psychologist. This includes testing for dyslexia and the broader spectrum of learning difficulties.

Here are some reasons to consider a Learning Difficulty Assessment for your child:

  • To discover what their learning potential is.
  • To reveal their “learning profile” – showing their particular strengths and weaknesses.
  • To find out if they have a learning disorder in reading, writing, maths or attention.
  • To identify the specific learning strategies and types of support they are most likely to benefit from – at home and at school.
  • To help them gain insight into their own learning ability.
  • So you can make informed decisions about their education.

What Does a Learning Difficulty Assessment Include?

You will receive:

  • An initial review of your child’s cognitive, social, family and emotional history.
  • Standardised cognitive (IQ) test.
  • Standardised achievement (academic) test.
  • Other relevant assessment tools.
  • Detailed assessment report.
  • Tailored learning recommendations for school and home.
  • Comprehensive feedback session to answer all your questions.

The combined results from these tests provide insights that cannot be obtained by using any single test.

Cognitive testing identifies any underlying weaknesses in key skills such as:

  • Processing speed
  • Auditory processing
  • Verbal learning issues
  • Non-verbal learning issues

Achievement testing measures abilities in key academic areas such as:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Spelling
  • Mathematics
  • Oral language

How Many Appointments Are Required For A Learning Difficulty Assessment?

There are four sessions required in total:

  • Initial consultation for parents (30 mins)
  • Assessment session #1 for your child (90 mins)
  • Assessment session #2 for your child (90 mins)
  • Feedback session for parents (50 mins)

School Avoidance Counselling

Many of our therapists specialise in school avoidance counselling in the Caroline Springs area and can be of great assistance in this particular area.

School Readiness Counselling

Preparing children for school is something that can be enhanced with school readiness counselling. The transition to enter the schooling system can be daunting and is a process that can be managed more smoothly with school readiness counselling.

Grief Counselling for Adolescents

Grief counselling is also a vital part of grievance for a teenager and can help both an adolescent and their family cope and manage during such a life event.

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