Being a teenager in today’s society is difficult. As well as worrying about body image, exam results and dealing with peer pressure, teenagers now have the additional worry of how they are perceived online. A constant stream of images of 'perfect lives' and 'perfect bodies' on social media can lead to feelings of insecurity and inferiority. Teenagers may turn to unhelpful coping strategies to deal with these pressures such as using alcohol, drugs or self-harming. Psychological therapy can help to support teens going through difficult times and below are some of the reasons why teenagers seek professional help:
- Adjusting to change/life transitions
- Anger/aggression management
- Autism Spectrum Disorders (including Asperger’s Syndrome)
- Body image issues, disordered eating & weight concerns
- Dealing with significant loss (e.g. family member, friend)
- Depression/low mood
- Difficulty coping with peer pressure
- Examination or school stress
- Illness adjustment/stress relating to physical health problems
- Low self-esteem/confidence issues
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Panic attacks
- Parental separation or divorce
- Post-traumatic stress
- School refusal
- Social anxiety
- Social & behavioural issues
Frequently Asked Questions:
Your first appointment is nothing to worry about. You’ll sit in a comfortable chair and simply have a conversation with a psychologist or psychiatrist. The therapist will welcome you and be friendly, and try to make you feel at ease. Each session lasts about 50 minutes. At the beginning, therapy sessions are focused on discussing what you’d like to work on and setting goals. Some of the goals people in therapy may set include things like:
- improving self-esteem and gaining confidence
- figuring out how to make more friends
- feeling less depressed or less anxious
- improving grades at school
- learning to manage anger and frustration
- making healthier choices (for example, about relationships or eating)
- ending self-harming behaviours.
Your parents can pre-pay for your appointments by calling us on 0131 467 0981 using a debit or credit card. They can also pay via debit, credit card or cheque upon arrival at the practice. If they would rather pay via bank transfer, please let us know and we can send them an invoice via email; however please note that payment must be made before the date of the appointment. Please note that we do not take cash payments for our services.
Unfortunately, we do not offer an emergency or crisis service. So if you felt like you needed help urgently you should tell an adult that you trust who will help you to get the help that you need. If you feel unable to do that then please follow our link to access emergency contacts within Edinburgh and the Lothians.
It is normal to feel awkward and uncomfortable talking about personal things. It doesn’t matter what age you are! However, most people usually find that they relax very quickly and it can actually feel like a huge relief to speak freely to someone new about your problems, knowing that you will not be judged in any way for feeling the way that you do.
Many people are unsure of the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist. A Psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specialises in mental health and is primarily trained to prescribe medications and diagnose psychiatric disorders. Some teenage mental health conditions can be treated with medication which can help control and improve symptoms. If a psychiatrist prescribes medication to you, the professional will usually encourage combining the medication with some talking therapy in order to support you as much as possible.
Clinical psychologists are not medical doctors and therefore are unable to prescribe medication. They are trained to doctoral level at university and have completed intensive training in the treatment of mental health problems through a variety of types of talking therapies. During their doctoral training, clinical psychologists complete training placements with adults, children, older adults and people with learning disabilities and are therefore able to offer therapy to people of all ages and backgrounds.
Having therapy does not mean you are crazy! Lots of teenagers go through difficult times and often, talking to someone other than friends and family about your problems can really help. Think about it, if you have an earache, you would go to see a doctor and if you had a toothache you would see the dentist. So, if you are feeling worried, low, or just overwhelmed with everything and you need someone to talk to, then a psychologist or a psychiatrist, or both, are there to help you.
It takes a lot of courage and maturity to look for solutions to problems instead of ignoring or hiding them and allowing them to become worse.
Deciding to seek help for something you’re going through can be really hard. It may be your idea to go to therapy or it might not. Sometimes parents or teachers bring up the idea first because they notice that someone they care about is dealing with a difficult situation, is losing weight, or seems unusually sad, worried, angry, or upset. Some people in this situation might welcome the idea or even feel relieved. Others might feel criticized or embarrassed and unsure if they’ll benefit from talking to someone.
This depends on the nature of your policy. Please check with your provider to see whether psychology and/or psychiatry are covered, how many sessions can be included and if there are any other restrictions. Some therapists on the team are registered with the major health insurance providers – Cigna, Aviva, BUPA and Vitality. Please ask us first to see which professionals are registered, as you will be responsible for any payments accrued regardless of the type of insurance cover you have.
Confidentiality is at the heart of the therapeutic relationship and it is important that clients feel able to speak their minds. Therefore, everything said in sessions is confidential and will not be passed on to anyone without your permission. The only two exceptions to this rule are:
- Risk of Harm: If your psychologist or psychiatrist has sufficient concern that you are at risk of harming yourself or someone else then they have a duty of care to disclose this information to a pertinent third party (e.g. GP, Social Services, next of kin if under age 16 etc.). However, we will never make any such disclosures without informing the client in the first instance.
- Professional Supervision: Supervision is an essential part of good professional practice and it aims to protect both the practitioner and the client. As clinical psychologists, we have regular supervision with another clinical psychologist as required in our British Psychological Society (BPS) code of conduct. This requires that all clinical psychologists, at all stages of their career and in all work contexts, engage in regular supervision of a minimum of one hour a month on a one-to-one basis. We may discuss individual cases in these sessions in order for the supervisor to support the therapy offered and thus ensure clients are receiving the best possible care. However, all supervision discussions are anonymous.
Yes, we operate a strict 48-hour cancellation policy for appointments. Cancellations made within this period will be charged 50% of the full rate. Cancellations can be made via phone or email. This policy is in place as our clinicians often are waitlisted and work at The Edinburgh Practice for limited hours each week.
Child Psychology Appointments
For psychology appointments, we work on a self-referral basis. In order to ensure that we can meet your child’s treatment needs we have created a referral form. To request a from, please email email@example.com or call 0131 467 0981. Once received, this form will be reviewed by our clinical team and you will be contacted within 1 working day to arrange an initial consultation. We aim to offer you an initial appointment within a week but often it can be as soon as 48 hours.
*Please note: If you are planning to pay via private medical insurance, you will generally require a GP referral. Please refer to our insurance page to check if this is necessary with your provider.
Child Psychiatry Appointments
In line with best practice guidelines, we require a referral from your GP, your child’s school, or another health professional if you wish your child to see our Consultant Child Psychiatrist.