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Parents bring their teenagers to see us for a variety of reasons.  Although it is normal for teenagers to try and push boundaries as they get older, it is not normal when behaviours increasingly place their mental or emotional well-being at imminent or serious risk.

Most commonly, teenagers come to see us when they are struggling with Anxiety or Mood symptoms, although parents often ask us to see their teenagers to explore concerns about substance use, risk-taking behaviour or worsening school grades.

Conditions Treated:

  • Mood Disorders, e.g., Dysthymia, Adjustment Disorder, Depression
  • Anxiety Disorders, e.g., Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Specific Phobia, Social Phobia, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Learning and Communication Disorders e.g., Intellectual Impairment, Expressive and Receptive Language Disorders, Stuttering
  • Disruptive Behaviour Disorders, e.g., Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Developmental Disorders, e.g., Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome

What do we offer?

Our Adolescent Psychiatrists provide expert medical and psychological assessment and treatment planning.  Unlike Developmental Paediatricians, Adolescent Psychiatrists have specific training over a number of years regarding the range of psychological treatments that can support teenagers and their families.

What is involved in assessment?

Whether you see a Psychiatrist or Psychologist first, a comprehensive assessment should always involve a detailed history from caregivers. This will involve both parents or guardians. The involvement of both guardians is particularly important if the child in question is required to live between two households. This part of the assessment will focus on:

Your Specialist will also request collateral information from prior treatment providers (GP, psychologist) as well as school (teacher, guidance officer or school chaplain).

The second part of the assessment will involve an interview with your child. Your child may be interviewed alone, which is common practice. Whilst taking a history, your Specialist should also screen your child for any co-existing learning or language disorder which might impact on their capacity to self-soothe and participate in school-or peer-based activities.

Depending on the history, your Specialist may recommend blood tests to exclude possible co-existing medical conditions that can typically manifest with anxiety symptoms. This is particularly important if you are considering medication.

What treatment can we expect?

Good practice dictates that first line treatment should consist of regular psychological treatment from an appropriately skilled Psychologist, Psychotherapist or Child Psychiatrist with experience with children of this age. Psychotherapeutic sessions will generally occur weekly or fortnightly, and generally use principles from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Caregivers are encouraged to be strong participants in their child’s therapy. Your Specialist at Brisbane Specialist Suites will teach caregivers skills so that they may have the knowledge to reinforce strategies at home.

Medication is only considered when psychological strategies have failed, or when anxiety is of such severity that the child is unable to participate in psychological treatment or has serious thoughts of self-harm. Medication should only be considered under the supervision of a Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist

Recovery Is Possible

Patients come to see us for a range of reasons.  Whether you are struggling with relationship difficulties, mood or anxiety symptoms, grief and loss issues, or work or study stressors, our team will be able to assist you.

Book an appointment