Childhood can be a confusing and difficult time for children and teenagers. As a parent it is often difficult to know what to do to help. In this talk, I’d like to introduce you to some of the strategies and techniques that clinical psychologists use to manage common childhood problems.
I find it is easier to understand a new strategy if there’s a ‘real-life’ example. So I’m going to talk about some of the young people who I’ve worked with in Malaysia, Singapore & London (I will change their names and other key details to preserve confidentiality and protect their privacy).
I’ll introduce you to:
- Sara, a 15-year-old girl who is about to take an important set of exams. She says she is really stressed and can’t sleep but she never seems to study. Her parents are concerned that she is underperforming but they cannot seem to motivate her.
- Ben, who has such an intense fear of dogs that he sometimes avoids going outside. He also feels embarrassed because he is afraid of sleeping on his own.
- Amanda, a very intelligent girl who feels very sad most of the time. Her parents worry that she is becoming increasingly withdrawn and does fewer and fewer activities.
- Kevin, who is regularly angry and aggressive and constantly finds himself in trouble at school. His family desperately want to help him find a more positive way in life.
- Ravi, a young boy who accidentally upsets his classmates, hates any change to his routine and struggles with his own emotions.
I’ll describe how we responded to the problems of each of these young people and explain why the strategies we used worked.
Throughout the talk I’ll be very happy to answer questions from the audience. I’ll also enjoy hearing any feedback you may have about the strategies and whether you think there would be any problems using them in Sri Lanka.