Children & Adolescent Services
At The Wellness Centre we offer a wide range of clinical services specifically for children and adolescents. Working closely with parents and guardians our goal is to support the child’s needs within the context of their family or school community. Services can be delivered as one to one therapy, within the context of family therapy or in group services.
Psycho-Educational Assessments can play a vital role in supporting a child’s academic, social and emotional wellbeing. Assessment results can be utilized to develop Individual Education Plans (IEP) to meet the specific learning needs of a child, and make appropriate referrals to intervention services. Results can also ensure access to special accommodations on standardized board exams, including ICGSE, PSAT and SAT. View More.
Social Skills Training
Like any skill, whether reading or math, some kids require assistance in their efforts to develop, learn and implement social skills. Adolescents have unique social skills needs and our classes can help navigate what can often be a challenging social period for many young people. View More.
Creative Children’s Therapy
Many children who suffer from mental health issues require ongoing therapeutic support. Depression, anxiety, trauma and even issues such as bullying, learning disabilities or family change can create emotional distress that requires professional help to effectively treat. View More.
• Sexual Trauma Recovery
• Families in Transition
• Child Custody Evaluations
A psychological assessment can help identify your child’s unique learning style as well as increase understanding of their social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. The purpose of an assessment should always be to develop a plan forward, with the goal to assist and support. Psychological assessments at The Wellness Centre are conducted by a team of Registered/Licensed Psychologists with many years of experience in the assessment of a wide range of learning, developmental, clinical and behavioural disorders. Assessment results can help guide medical treatment planning, behavioural interventions as well as the development of an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) to ensure access to special teaching strategies in the classroom, as well as important accommodations on standardized board exams, including I/CGSE, CXC, SAT, PSAT. Assessments can be conducted with children of all ages.
The assessment process generally takes 3-6 weeks from start to finish, and includes the following:
- initial parent meeting
- school observation & teacher consultation
- consultation with pediatrician
- direct testing with child
- data analysis and report writing
- parent feedback
- school based IEP planning meeting
How we assess children?
Children should always be assessed in the context of their environment, which is why parent and teacher feedback is very important. An assessment test battery will be selected for each student based on an understanding of the referral question, review of a child’s academic history, parent and teacher input and sound clinical judgment. All tests utilized are standardized, deemed by Psychological review as valid and reliable and will be administered in a manner consistent with the publisher and the Cayman Island Government’s regulations regarding the administration of Psycho-metric testing. Additional information from adjunct professionals such as the child’s Pediatrician, a Speech and Language Therapist or Occupational Therapist may also be included. A comprehensive assessment means that testing instruments from several categories will be selected to ensure the whole child is considered and all areas of strengths and weaknesses explored. Categories include cognitive functioning, academic achievement, behaviour and social functioning, development, sensory processing and adaptive skills. Best practice in the field of psychology guides us to select only those tests which we believe will provide valuable data needed to accurately answer the referral question and make a reliable diagnosis if applicable. As a result, we will choose tests from all categories, but will not expose students to more testing than is absolutely necessary.
Social Skills Training
Children with learning, behavioural, communication or developmental challenges can struggle to gain the critical social skills needed to navigate their academic years successfully. Research suggests a link between delays in social, emotional & communication development and a child’s struggle to develop age appropriate social skills. We also know that social skills deficits are often at the root of many behavioural problems exhibited in the classroom and at home.
Social Skills are critical skills needed to successfully develop peer relationships, appropriately express needs & wants, problem solve, regulate emotions effectively, read verbal & nonverbal social cues, and regulate social behaviour. Like any skill, whether reading or math, some children require assistance in their efforts to develop, learn and implement social skills.
Social skills training requires two key elements; peer modeling & repetition. Our programme uses the Model Me Kids® Video Series, designed specifically for the instruction of social skills. Model Me Kids® videos demonstrate skills by modeling peer behaviour at school, on a play date, at the playground and many more real life social situations. Real children model and narrate each skill, making the videos engaging and fun to watch. Sessions are fun, interactive & utilize games, crafts & free play to strengthen skills learned.BACK TO TOP
Creative Children’s Therapy
Many children who suffer from mental health issues require ongoing therapeutic support. Depression, anxiety, trauma and even issues such as bullying, learning disabilities or family change can create emotional distress that requires professional help to effectively treat. Creative Children’s Therapy include those therapies such as Play therapy and Art Therapy, which used a child’s use of play and art as the language, interpretation, and communication of emotions, fears and experiences. The child's natural means of expression, namely play and creativity is used as a therapeutic method to assist him/her in coping with emotional stress or trauma. Qualified practitioners of play therapy believe that this method allows the child to manipulate the world on a smaller scale, something that cannot be done in the child's everyday environment. By playing with specially selected materials, and with the guidance of a fully trained person who reacts in an intentional manner, the child plays out his/her feelings, bringing these emotions to the surface where s/he can face them and cope with them. Art therapy allows a child to express emotions, fears and experiences that are often too difficult to put into words. Through the use of art, a child is able to communicate and the art therapist is able to interpret their needs. The art acts as a medium of communication typical of talking in adult therapy.BACK TO TOP
Sexual Trauma Recovery
If your child or adolescent has been sexually abused, exposed to or involved in inappropriate sexual activities, intervention is critical to their recovery.
Treatment is customized to the unique situation and may involve adjunct services such as school counsellors, psychiatry or the Department of Child and Family Services.
Trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy, an intervention based on learning and cognitive theories, is designed to reduce the child’s negative emotional and behavioural responses and correct maladaptive beliefs and attribution related to the abusing experiences. It also aims to provide support and skills to help family members cope effectively with their own emotional distress and optimally respond to their loved ones.
Treatment typically includes 12-16 sessions and involved the following components with children and adolescents:
Psycho-education about child abuse, typical reactions, safety skills and healthy sexually
- Gradual exposure techniques including verbal, written and/or symbolic recounting (i.e. utilizing dolls, puppets, etc.) of abusive event(s).
- Cognitive reframing consisting of exploration and correction of inaccurate attributions about the cause of, responsibility for, and results of the abusive experience(s).
- Stress management techniques such as focused breathing and muscle relaxation exercise, thought stopping, thought replacement, and cognitive therapy interventions.
- Parental participation in parallel or dyadic treatment including psycho-education, gradual exposure, anxiety management and correction of cognitive distortions.
- Parental instruction in child behaviour management strategies.
- Family work to enhance communication and create opportunities for therapeutic discussion regarding the abuse.
Families in Transition
The dissolution of a marriage is often a painful process for individuals and families. This family transition is often marked by emotions of anger, sadness, betrayal, and guilt. The pain of divorce is often compounded when children are part of the family. Children of divorced parents show more behavioural, emotional, and academic problems than do children in never-divorced families. While most children become mentally and emotionally healthy adults, up to 25% can experience ongoing emotional and behavioural difficulties.
Research tells us that:
- Approximately one in every two persons will be divorced at some point in their life.
- The rate of divorce for second marriages is higher than the rate for first marriages.
- The majority of divorces occur in families with children under the age of eighteen.
Families rarely talk about how to have a positive divorce experience due to the stigma attached and associated feelings of shame. But for those individuals who have decided divorce is the best choice for their family, The Wellness Centre offers services to help families transition through this challenging time.
In a non-blaming and collaborative environment, we can help create pathways of adjustment as we help families re-define relationships, design a parenting plan, and create a new context focused on sustaining children and the family's wellness through the process of separation and divorce.
For families at various stages of the divorce process we offer individual and family therapy to help transition through the divorce process, restructure and heal after a divorce, and create a parenting plan focused on co-parenting. We also offer services to address the special needs of young people who are affected by the process of divorce.
Child Custody Evaluations
For families who require a child custody evaluation, The Wellness Centre is available to conduct a formal assessment that determines the level of each parent's respective parenting skills and make recommendations regarding child custody issues. A child custody evaluation involves personal interviews with the parents, the child(ren), assessment of parent/child interactions, interviews with collateral contacts (long term caretakers, teachers, etc.), and psychological testing of parents. The Wellness Centre conducts evaluations in cases where both parents are requesting the evaluation or the court has ordered the evaluation be conducted. BACK TO TOP