Who we see

The Paediatric Psychology Service supports children and young people up until the age of 18 who have a diagnosed physical health condition. We work with children, young people, parents and carers, whole families and with other professionals.

There are lots of different reasons why a child or young person and their family might come to see a member of our team.

Having a physical health condition can impact on how a person feels about themselves, whether they are able to do all the things that are important in their life and can cause people to have some difficult emotions. Some people might find it hard to manage their medical condition or feel worried about having medical procedures. We support children, young people and their families to cope with these difficulties. Below are some reasons we may be asked to offer support.

Adherence: Difficulties with following treatment plans

Some children and young people with physical health conditions might have to take medication or have treatments to help manage their conditions which for some children can be hard. However, poor medication or treatment adherence can have significant impact to the health and wellbeing of children and young people and is often a big concern for families. For parents/carers and children/young people, the daily hassles of living, stress, forgetting and children/young people’s resistance are some of the biggest barriers to medication adherence. Talking to a member of the Paediatric Psychology Service can help support families to work through the barriers of treatment adherence.

Adjustment

When a child or young person is diagnosed with a physical  health condition this can bring lot of changes, such as changes to routines, future plans and family relationships. It can all feel confusing and adjusting to these changes can bring about lots of difficult feelings. Children and young people might show these feelings through their behaviours.

Emotional wellbeing

Having a physical health condition can be difficult. How people feel about their physical health condition can impact on other areas of our lives; how things are going in other areas of our lives can impact on how we feel about our physical health condition.

Some children or young people may feel angry, sad, worried, frustrated or confused. Some people might feel all of, or a mix of these things, others might feel ‘numb’ like they don’t feel much at all. How we feel can affect people around us too.

Parent, caregiver, and family Support

Supporting your child or young person through a medical diagnosis and treatment can impact the routine of daily life and challenge the emotional wellbeing of all family members.

Procedural distress: Worries about medical treatments

Children and young people can be exposed to multiple and ongoing medical procedures as part of the treatment of their physical health condition. These treatments can sometimes be thought to be scary and can create feelings of distress surrounding treatments for the child/young person and their family. By talking to one of the team we can help by liaising with other healthcare professionals to help make these treatments the best possible experience by minimising pain, distress and anxiety with different strategies (see ‘How we help’ page) but to ensure that the best care is received.

Trauma

Trauma can occur when a child or young person experiences an intense event that could be perceived or actually threaten or cause harm to his or her emotional and physical well-being. For example when a medical treatment does not go to plan. This can cause a variety of responses, including intense and ongoing emotional upset, sadness, worry, behavioural changes, nightmares or physical symptoms such as difficulty sleeping and eating. The Paediatric Psychology Service can help support families, children and young people through these difficult experiences.

Transition support

Change can be an exciting , but also a worrying time. As children/young people grow up there comes a time when they will go through periods of transition. This could include moving from their familiar children’s services to new adult services or school moves, from primary to secondary school. With transitions can come greater independence to manage their condition. Our service can help children and young people and their parents/carers to think about the different elements of transition that need to be planned for and can help the process feel as smooth as possible.

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