Children and their families are sometimes nervous about a meeting with a psychiatrist. This might be because they are worried about what I might say, or they may be apprehensive about discussing uncomfortable feelings. I am very much aware of these difficulties and always work hard to put all parties at their ease. I am here to help and understand rather than judge or reprimand. My role is to use my knowledge of child development, psychology and mental health to make sense of the current problems and find a way forward.
First consultations usually last up to 90 minutes (with the exception of multidisciplinary diagnostic assessments which may take longer). If a follow-up appointment is needed it will almost certainly be shorter. A parent or responsible adult will always accompany the child or teenager to the appointment with the rare exception of some teenagers over sixteen who choose to come alone. I always encourage the involvement of parents where possible. Children and young people always have the option to spend part of our meeting without their parents present. During our time together we will discuss the current concerns as well as aspects of the family history and the child’s developmental history. If you have any previous reports it is helpful to bring these along.
At the end of the session I will be in a position discuss my recommendations regarding the next steps. After an initial consultation I will write a letter to the referring doctor summarising our discussion, diagnosis and recommendations and provide you with a copy.
Before the consultation I will need a referral from another doctor, usually your GP. This is important as your GP will have an overall view of your child’s health and may need to be involved in any ongoing treatment I might recommend. Most insurance companies require a GP referral and it is best professional practice to operate on this basis.
You can arrange an appointment via Tracey my PA. She will provide you will all the relevant details you need and answer any of your queries.
London consultations are held at 55 Queen Anne Street, a building I share with other child mental health professionals. The consulting rooms are child-friendly and we have made every effort to ensure that the atmosphere feels more like a house than a clinic.
Appointments in Windsor are held at the Cardinal Clinic. Details can be found at www.cardinalclinic.co.uk