Specialist Child Medical & Health Psychology
Services for Parents
Is my service the right one for you and your child?
When your child requires medical services, I know this can be very stressful, scary and upsetting for them, and for you.
Are you adjusting to the life-changing news that your child has a chronic medical condition/disability?
Are you worried about how your child’s future will be impacted by their health condition?
Are you feeling overwhelmed with how to add new medical treatments and routines into your already busy life?
Is your child fearful of needles, doctors, or hospitals?
Are you worried that your child is not co-operating with all of the medical treatments/therapies they need each day to maximise their wellness?
Do you feel anxious that every symptom your child experiences is a worsening or progression of their condition?
Are you worried how your child's health condition may impact on your child’s emotional health and development?
Do you find it harder to tackle day-to-day parenting tasks like bedtime, bath time or meal time routines, or how to set boundaries with your child, in the context of a physical health condition?
Are you worried about your child going to school, or worried that they are missing a lot of school, due to their condition?
Is your child fearful of being seen as different from their peers, due to their physical health condition?
Do you worry that you can’t provide all of your children with the same attention now, in the context of the additional needs associated with your child's physical health condition?
Are you worried about any physical symptoms your child is experiencing? Especially if the medical professionals can't find what is wrong?
Or do you have other concerns, related to your child living with a medical condition or medical symptoms, that are not listed above?
If you have answered 'yes' to any, or several, of the above questions:
You are not alone.
I have worked in one of the world’s leading respiratory paediatric departments for several years, and I have worked with many families in the context of cognitive and physical disability, and in the context of definitive and uncertain medical diagnoses - I have worked with hundreds of families who have experienced some or all of the above worries, and many more not listed above.
Physical health conditions I have experience in working with include: Cystic Fibrosis, Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia, Asthma, Dysfunctional breathing, Diabetes, Obesity, Chronic regional pain syndrome, etc. I also have experience in working with physical symptoms that have no apparent medical cause.
I welcome queries from Mums, Dads, Foster Carers, Adoptive Parents, etc. -
anyone in any personal, caring role for a child who is affected by a physical health condition.
“…we should strive to raise children who embrace their vulnerabilities and imperfections, who have the courage to be imperfect, vulnerable and creative, and don’t fear feeling ashamed or unloveable if they are different or if they are struggling”
How can my psychology services help?
Expressing your concerns is the first step.
We often understandably attribute feeling stuck with difficult feelings to the emotions themselves.
But this is not the whole story...
Research now tells us that getting 'stuck' actually stems more from us trying to deny or escape our emotions and vulnerabilities - By saying 'I'm fine', when we don't feel fine. Research also now tells us that it is our vulnerabilities that give us strength and direction, to guide us to optimal growth and learning in our in lives, and we now know that it is only through our vulnerabilities that we can truly connect to the people who are important to us, and can achieve what we want to achieve in our lives.
As a parent, the first step to being able to embrace your child's emotions and vulnerabilities is being able to embrace your own. This initial step is often understandably very hard for current generation parents, who have often been raised themselves to hide their emotions, to "keep calm, and carry on", or who have been raised to believe the myth that vulnerability is a weakness.
I use evidence-based psychological techniques to support you to first face and embrace your emotions and vulnerabilities, and then those of your child. I aim to support you to embrace your emotions, vulnerabilities, and uniqueness, and to empower you to work towards your best life. As defined by you. For you and your children.
I can support you to adapt to this new unexpected, uncertain life. I can support you with the understandable emotional pain that comes with that adjustment. I can support your family with the powerful sense of feeling different from so many other families, and from feeling that family life isn't what you expected or hoped it would be.
What can you and your child gain from working with me?
You can both first and foremost gain a sense of feeling emotionally supported, which is a very powerful change agent in itself.
You can both develop your emotional awareness, and simultaneously gain an understanding that your emotions are okay, and that they are understandable, and normal. This in itself will powerfully increase your capacity for responding effectively to your child's emotions.
I can support you to learn communication and collaboration techniques, so that more effective parenting and co-parenting becomes possible.
I can work with you, to jointly explore various psychological techniques, to develop daily medical and non-medical routines that work for you and your family. I can equip you with psychological knowledge and skills so that you can best assist your child to be courageous in the face of their fears about hospitals/clinics.
I can also support you to develop emotional resilience, and to develop the emotional resilience of your child.
And with this, you will also learn to further develop your child's inherent courage, cognitive flexibility, self-reflexivity, and empathy. These are key skills that will absolutely support them to reach their highest potential throughout their life.
And importantly, you can learn how to hear, and trust, your inner voice of parenting intuition, which can then guide you in each and every decision you make as a parent. Connecting with me has the potential to unlock your infinite, innate, instinctive and intuitive parenting resources, from within you, to assist you to live well in this very challenging context. Parenting in the context of physical health concerns, or disability is very uncertain - It truly is a totally unique experience for every parent and child who find themselves in this context. There is no 'one size fits all' approach for parenting, especially in the context of health concerns. Your intuition is your key to effective parenting in this context, and the key to your intuition is the emotional awareness and resilience, which you will have the opportunity to develop through working with me.
How does it work?
You will meet with me, in a private therapy consulting room in central Tunbridge Wells. And we will talk. I can meet with one parent alone, individually, or I can work with couples and/or groups of parents (e.g. step-parents, extended family, etc.). Sessions can be focussed on the evidence-based 'The Daring Way™' programme, which I highly recommend for all parents, or they can encompass a more tailored, integrative approach.