Clinical Psychology & Counselling

The Clinical Psychology & Counselling team offers a range of diagnostic and psychological interventions for children, adolescents and adults to diagnose, treat and manage a variety of mental health disorders. Bringing the latest in psychometric testing together with customized patient screening methods, our team provides services in both Arabic and English.

  • 1:1 Psychotherapy and counselling for adults aged 18+
  • 1:1 Corporate counselling services 
  • 1:1 Psychotherapy and counselling  for children aged 10+
  • Psychometric Assessments for children aged 3+
    • Diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorders
    • Diagnose ADHD
    • Ed-Psych Assessments (IQ Testing)
  • School visits and consultations
  • Parent Support Groups
  • Community Awareness Groups
  • Workshops & Seminars
    • Peer to Peer Training, Supervision & Support
    • Workshops / Seminars geared towards teachers, parents and primary care givers
    • Workshops / Seminars geared towards adolescents (ages 13-18)

When to seek counselling or psychotherapy?

Feeling overwhelmed by current situation or crisis is one of the indicators, especially if this is elevated with prolonged sense of helplessness. It may happen that usual strategies and interventions don’t work or make things worse and social support is lacking. Being excessively worried, jittery or irritable are signs of stress response and that our internal resources are drained. Also, avoiding specific situations or feelings and using harmful compensatory strategies is a good indicator that we would benefit from counselling or psychotherapy.

 

Who can benefit from counselling or psychotherapy?

There are times when struggling with problems itself can exhaust our resources, and even though we know what to do and how to do it, we want and need support on that journey from a trustworthy person who is impartial, who listens to us, hears us, understands us and can provide support. Some people feel and function worse for no apparent reason. And in such cases also, a psychologist can be of use in terms of encouraging awareness and defining potential difficulties, setting up and achieving personal goals in order to improve the quality of life. If person is struggling with specific condition or issue psychotherapy may be used in combination with medication or other therapies in order to alleviate specific symptoms or improve coping skills as well as general functionality or quality of life.

What happens in counselling or psychotherapy?

During the first meeting but also later during the process, the therapist and the client work jointly in order to better understand the challenge at hand. They define specific goals and prioritize next steps. A typical course of therapy is as follows:

  1. Conducting the assessment of difficulties at the beginning, and continuously throughout the work
  2. Defining as concrete goals of the therapy as possible
  3. Preparing an optimal plan for the realization of each goal
  4. Implementing the therapy, along with motivation for learning and independent application
  5. Objective assessment of the outcome of the therapy, i.e. its success
  6. Working on prevention of recurrence of the symptoms
Why does counselling or psychotherapy work?

Research shows that most people who receive psychotherapy experience symptom relief and are better able to function in their lives. About 75 percent of people who enter psychotherapy show some benefit from it.[1] Numerous studies have identified brain changes in people with mental illness (including depression, panic disorder and other conditions) as a result of undergoing psychotherapy.[2]

Expertly managed treatment that is based on strong therapeutic alliance and the application of techniques, has proved effective for certain types of problems resulting in measurable outcomes in terms of personal well-being and enhancing problem solving and other coping skills.

[1] American Psychological Association (2016). Understanding psychotherapy and how it works. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/understanding-psychotherapy.aspx

[2] Karlsson, H. (2011). How Psychotherapy changes the Brain. Psychiatric Times.

Where should I start?

When encountering challenging situation and if you feel comfortable with observing what is happening and doing what matters, try to be BOLD[1]…

B – Breath – Breathe slowly, slow down.

O – Observe – Observe what you are Doing. Feeling. Notice any thoughts.

L – Listen to values – Right now, what kind of person do you want to be?

D – Decide on actions and do them – Choose actions that will reflect your values.

[1] Ciarrochi, J., Bailey, A. and Harris, R. (2014). The Weight Escape. Penguin Random House. 

…and when you’re ready, contact us to book your appointment. 

Preparing your child or adolescent for their first session

Starting counseling or therapy can be overwhelming for you and your child as well. It is important that they understand what is happening and what the process entails so they feel more in control, and less blindsided by the process.  Younger clients are typically referred to psychological services because of concerns identified by others and may not themselves recognize or acknowledge issues or the need to do anything differently.

  1. As a parent, you can explain how you came to this decision and answer any questions they may have.
  2. Give them details about the session to reduce ambiguity, tension or even avoidance that can accompany this experience.
  3. Expect a bit of nervousness on the day of the session and normalize the experience – be sure to support and reinforce their engagement.

What happens in the Initial Consultation? 

  1. Usually parents and children go in together during the initial meeting, but this can differ depending on age and concern.
  2. The structure of the initial session is explained by the therapist who will then conduct a brief interview with the child and, when indicated, brief screening.
  3. A brief structured interview with the parent in the second half of the session is also a part of the intake procedure, when required.
  4. At the end of the session, depending on the situation and age; the therapist, parent and a child will summarize, plan and agree upon the next steps.