What to expect from your initial appointment/assessment
The first session involves a thorough psychological assessment using gentle semi-structured questioning to discover the presenting difficulties, developmental history, family structure, educational background and mental and psychological well being. Sometimes standard questionnaires will be used to help identify which areas of difficulty are most prominent.
Engagement and motivation are also key to establishing whether a therapeutic alliance can be established.
This initial session usually takes 1 ½ hours although this can vary depending on individual circumstances. The aim is that at the end of this session an initial formulation will be provided to the client/family to help explain the nature of the difficulties experienced by the individual(s).
An agreed number of sessions will then be discussed with the hope of bringing about therapeutic change. Again, this is very dependent on motivation of individuals, the surrounding systems and their willingness to be involved in this process.
The progress of sessions will be reviewed throughout the process. This will also include a continual assessment of whether change is occurring and whether the intial formulation needs revising as new information comes to light.
Cognitive assessment for young people (ages 6 to 16 years old)
Sometimes a young person's behavioural difficulties may result from underlying learning or cognitive issues (for example, verbal performance, perceptual reasoning, memory, concentration and processing speed).
A cognitive assessment (using the Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children- Version IV) can be used to provide a profile of an individual's strengths and weaknesses as well as their general level of ability and thus inform decisions on how best to help and support them.