Child & Family Services

ASSESSMENT

Child Psychology Sussex offers a range of packaged and bespoke assessments, depending on the concerns you raise with us. This may include comprehensive assessments of children and teenagers’ emotional development and wellbeing. Such assessments can include looking at their self-esteem and confidence; how they perceive others and the challenges they encounter; their strengths and usual coping skills; their emotional resilience and support networks; whether they have experienced trauma and loss; and whether they are struggling with mental health problems.

Assessments tend to consist of meeting face-to-face with children, and parents or care givers to talk these things over. We always consider the needs of the whole family when assessing a child, including siblings, and may therefore invite the family for an assessment appointment. We can also use questionnaires or rating-scales, undertake observations at home or in the school environment, and meet with other professionals involved.

All of this helps Child Psychology Sussex to develop an understanding about the nature of the problem, what may have caused it and maintains it, and the context in which it occurs. Each assessment concludes with a written report, in which we will summarise our understanding and make recommendations about treatment or an intervention plan. We will discuss the options fully with you, without obligation. This may lead to you being offered further therapeutic work for the child, adolescent, family, or parents and carers.

Please get in touch for further information on this service or to make a referral.

Dr Esmoreit Sleyster - Child Psychology Sussex
THERAPY

Child Psychology Sussex provides psychological therapy for children, adolescents and their families who are experiencing social, emotional or behavioural difficulties, and the after effects of traumatic experiences. Dr Esmoreit Sleyster has specialist expertise in working with children looked after by Local Authorities, and adopted children.

THERAPEUTIC WORK WITH CHILDREN

The Service works with all children in need of psychological support and offers assessments and treatments of a broad range of emotional, behavioural and mental health concerns, including:

Infants with:

  • Difficulties with sleeping, feeding or toileting
  • Behavioural problems
  • Attachment, bonding or separation difficulties
  • Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress symptoms

Children with:

  • Behavioural problems
  • Anger or anxieties
  • Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress symptoms
  • Low mood, low self-esteem or low confidence
  • Difficulties with attachment or family relationships
  • Problems at school with teachers, peers or bullying
  • Bereavement, separation or loss

Adolescents with:

  • Behavioural problems
  • Problems managing anger, anxiety or other strong emotions
  • Low mood, low self-esteem or low confidence
  • Eating disorders
  • Self-harming behaviours
  • Trauma, abuse and Post Traumatic Stress symptoms
  • Mental health difficulties
  • Attachment or relationship difficulties
  • Bereavement, separation or loss

Based on the thorough assessment of your child’s difficulties, we will discuss with you whether treatment, in the form of therapy, may be beneficial. Treatment could take any of the following formats: individual therapy with the child or adolescent; joint work with family members or parent(s)/carer(s) and the child; or in some cases with the parents on their own as a means of helping to address the difficulties that the child experiences.

THERAPEUTIC WORK WITH PARENTS/CARERS & FAMILIES

A significant part of our work involves working with parents and the family as a whole. We believe that by working with the parent-child relationship and/or family system significant change and long-term benefits can occur. We are experienced in working with parents and family systems who encounter:

  • Difficulties with parenting and managing child behaviour
  • Family relationship difficulties including sibling rivalry and separation/divorce/contact disputes
  • Marital relationship problems
  • Experiences (past and present) of domestic violence or abuse
  • Parents’ difficulty to bond and build a secure attachment with their baby/infant
  • Relationship difficulties stemming back from parents’ own childhood
  • Depression or post-natal depression
  • Unresolved issues of loss, trauma or abuse
  • Anxiety, worries or stress
  • Emotional difficulties or low self-esteem
  • Mental health difficulties

At request, telephone or Skype sessions can be offered once the assessment has been concluded. This is mostly aimed at supporting ongoing therapy, or supporting parents/carers when the child they care for receives individual therapy.

Esmoreit Sleyster copyright Carlotta Luke

Clinical Psychologists are trained in many theoretical models so they can draw on a variety of ways of addressing a problem and also use National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) evidenced treatments. The initial assessment will determine which approach would be most useful to assist you with your concerns. Dr Sleyster often draws from Solution-Focused, Cognitive Behavioural, Systemic, Psychodynamic and Attachment Theory based approaches.

Therapeutic interventions with children, parents and carers and families may include:

  • Individual ‘talking therapy’ (using a range of psychological models, toys and art material)
    • Problem-solving techniques
  • Communication and social skills training
  • Interventions aimed at improving emotional regulation, including anger management
  • Trauma-focused therapeutic work
  • Family therapy
  • Couples therapy (for parents)
  • Parenting group support programmes
  • Attachment-focused interventions
  • Ante- and post-natal interventions for parents and infants

As the work is individually tailored the number of sessions will vary. Some clients see the benefits they want within 4 sessions and for some it takes many more. When we develop our plan together we will give you an indication of the likely number of sessions needed. After this time we will review together and decide whether further work is necessary. Unfortunately it is impossible to be certain from the outset how long the work will take.