Children, Young People, & Families | Dr Rebecca Perna

CHILDREN, YOUNG PEOPLE, & FAMILIES

I have worked with children, young people, and families since 2009 - in areas ranging from a specialist eating disorders service, a brain injury ward, a neurological psychiatric ward, a specialist domestic violence service, and a generic child and adolescent mental heath service (CAMHS). Within these roles I have adopted various therapeutic perspectives, including play therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and psychodynamic psychotherapy. Together we will decide which approach(es) best fit(s) you and your concerns.

​When working with children, the first session will include both the child and the parent(s)/carer(s). Adolescents 16 and over can be seen without a parent/carer. This initial appointment is an opportunity for us to meet, to explore together the concerns that bring you to therapy, and to think about the options available to you. You are welcome to tell me as much or as little as you want about what has brought you to therapy. By the end of the meeting we can agree on how best to proceed, discussing goals and therapeutic approach. There is no expectation that you start therapy after the first session, and we can have an open conversation about the best way forward.

Under 5's and young children: Play Therapy can be particularly useful with young children who may find it difficult to express their emotions and thoughts through language. I have used this approach with children who have been affected by domestic violence and have experienced trauma. This has enabled them to express feelings such as: anger, anxiety, sadness, fear, etc. 

Children & Adolescents:  When working with children and adolescents I prefer to adopt an integrative approach. This means that depending on your concerns, I will use a therapeutic method that we think will be most fitting and helpful for you. 

 

My main approaches are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. I also frequently draw on mindfulness, Schema Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.  

Some of the most common concerns that young people have come to me with have included:

  • Anger

  • Anxiety/Panic

  • Bereavement/Loss

  • Bullying (At school and through social media)

  • Drug and/or Alcohol Use

  • Eating Disorders

  • Exam stress

  • Family changes

  • Identity confusion

  • Low mood

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • Parental divorce/Separation

  • Pressures at school

  • Relationship concerns

  • Self-Esteem

  • Self-Harm

  • Uncertainty about the future

This is not an exhaustive list of issues but whatever you wish to discuss will be handled sensitively and in confidence.

Families: When working with children and young people it may be important for the parent(s)/carer(s) and or family unit to be part of the therapeutic process. This may mean meeting with parent(s)/carer(s) individually, meeting as a family, and seeing the child on their own. This will be a decision we come to together based on what we think would be most helpful.