Children and Young People’s Service
It’s ok if you feel scared or nervous about coming for an assessment. We would ask that you bring at least one person with you (often your parents, but it does not have to be). The assessment will take up to 3 hours. We know that this is a long time, but we want to make sure that we have enough time to listen to you and to make a plan to try and help you and your family.
When you arrive, we’ll ask you to complete some questionnaires in the waiting room. You and whoever has attended with you will then be seen by two members of the team. They will ask you some questions about what is going well, what might not be going so well, and some of your thoughts and feelings about your eating behaviours. They will also ask you about anything that you have found particularly helpful or unhelpful so far. As part of the assessment, you will also have some time on your own with one of the staff, and they will check how you are physically as well. Usually this will include weighing you.
At the end of the assessment, everyone will think about the information you have all discussed, and talk about the different treatment options and agree a plan for moving forwards. A copy of this plan will be sent to your GP, and anyone else involved in your care e.g. CAMHS.
Below are some of the different psychological therapies that we offer. These are slightly different between services, because our staff are trained in different things. Not everyone coming to our service will need to see a therapist. This is something we will think about together, depending on what someone needs support with and whether they are ready to make some changes.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Your thoughts, actions, and feelings are all linked and can sometimes keep you feeling bad. Cognitive Behaviour Therapists (CBT) can work with you to help you spot, understand and change unhelpful thoughts and actions in order to make you feel better. You will be asked to come to weekly appointments to talk through difficulties, learn information and plan changes to be used between appointments, in your everyday life. You might want your parent(s) in sessions to help too.
Clinical psychology is a talking therapy, which looks at helping you to feel better, or make positive changes to your life. They can help with problems like feeling angry a lot, worrying a lot, or feeling very sad. Sometimes it can be difficult to speak about things when we feel sad, angry, worried or confused. A clinical psychologist can help you to talk about your thoughts and your feelings. They will listen to you, and together you will think about different things that might help. They will ask you questions about different parts of your life, including things that you enjoy or think that you are good at. They might use pictures, or writing, to help you understand things. Although clinical psychologists are called ‘Dr,’ they do not give you medicine or use needles. They might also help the people around you to understand you better.
Sometimes it is useful to come to appointments with other people in your family to talk about things. It can be helpful if everyone works together to tackle a problem. We call this family therapy.
Appointments are every 2 to 4 weeks and last about an hour. You come along with people from your family to talk and we will explain who we are and how things work. We like to hear what you think about how we are working so we can be as helpful as possible.
What we won’t do:
- We won’t try to force you to speak about things.
- We won’t tell you off.
- We won’t take sides.
It is ok to:
- It is ok to say if you don’t understand what’s said.
- It is ok to say you don’t know if asked a question.
- It is ok to ask for a break.
- It is ok to be quiet.
- It is ok to say how you see things.
Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)
CFT is a particular kind of talking therapy. It has lots of things in common with clinical psychology, and will involve you talking with a therapist to help you both understand what is going on for you. CFT is a therapy that is especially helpful for people who might find it difficult to be nice to themselves, and instead might often say or think cruel or critical things about themselves. This can leave you feeling sad, or like you’re not good enough. CFT involves learning new skills and trying them out, to see which ones can help you to feel better.
Family Based Treatment (FBT)
FBT is an intensive approach which is particularly helpful for young people in the first three years of the eating disorder being around. FBT involves all members of the family, and helps parents/caregivers to feel more able to help their child.
There are three phases of FBT:
In Phase 1, parents/caregivers make the decisions about mealtimes and what the young person will eat, as well as about physical activity, to stop the eating disorder from making the decisions.
In Phase 2, once the young person is eating enough and is physically healthy enough, the young person gradually has more responsibility and makes their own decisions about food and exercise.
Finally, in Phase 3, we look at getting back to things the eating disorder might have gotten in the way of e.g. doing things with friends, and how to stay well in the future. You can find more information about FBT here: http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/docs/ACFE8FA.pdf