Advantage Psychology offers assessment and treatment services for adults, adolescents and children with a wide range of mental health and everyday issues. These include depression, anxiety, anger, behavioural difficulties such as ADHD, parenting, relationship difficulties, trauma and stress.
In addition we offer small group based skills programs on mindfulness, assertiveness training, managing strong emotions and building resilience.
DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT SERVICES
- Anxiety and Panic
- Anger Management
- Low Self Esteem
- Group Therapy
- Marital & Family Dysfunction
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Postnatal Depression
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder
- Self Harm
Advantage Psychology offers specialist services including diagnostic assessments for Autism, ADHD and cognitive testing. We also offer specific forensic assessments for court or legal purposes. Specialist treatment services include couples counselling, post traumatic stress, eating and sleep disorders.
It is common for many children to sometimes have trouble paying attention, sitting still, and thinking before acting. However, for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), these difficulties can be more extreme and can affect them on a daily basis. ADHD is a neuro-developmental problem and thus, the assessment of ADHD is not a simple process rather it is a comprehensive process.
At Advantage Psychology, we offer comprehensive diagnostic assessment of ADHD and other childhood disorders. The diagnostic assessment of ADHD typically involves gathering information from parents and teachers, completed questionnaires, and the observation of the child at the Advantage Psychology practice. Given the nature of the assessment, the assessment process can take up to four sessions. Following the assessment, a feedback session is organised where by the assessing psychologist will talk through the assessment and recommendations.
At Advantage Psychology, we understand that diagnostic reports are often required quickly. A report will be forwarded directly to your General Practitioner and/or Paediatrician after your feedback session.
An assessment for Autism Spectrum Disorder may be recommended when there are concerns for a child’s social development or there are some unusual behaviours present. Social concerns may include limited interest in other children, difficulty understanding emotions and social behaviours of others, and/or poor friendships. Unusual behaviours that usually warrant an autism assessment can include being highly fixated on certain topics of interest/hobbies, repetitive play or repetitive behaviours, under-reacting or over-reacting to sensory stimuli, ritualistic behaviour, and/or being distressed by unexpected changes in the routine or transitioning between activities.
The assessment process involves a diagnostic interview with the parents in the office. An interview with the child’ teacher is also completed, usually over the phone. The child will be observed in two different settings, ideally in a social setting such as preschool or school, and in the office with the psychologist. A range of questionnaires will be completed by the parents and teacher and these will be reviewed in person throughout the assessment also. Usually a total of 4 sessions are required. Once the information has been gathered, the psychologist will put all the pieces together and write up the report. The report can be completed within 4 weeks at most. When the assessment is completed the parents will meet with the psychologist again to be provided with the outcome and recommendations.
A cognitive assessment can be helpful to explore any learning or developmental concerns in a child or adolescent. Throughout the testing process, the psychologist will meet with the parents and discuss their concerns. The following sessions will be for the child to complete the test. If required, the psychologist will liaise with the child’s school as part of the assessment to get extra information. Once the assessment process and report is completed (usually within 4 weeks at most), the psychologist will meet with the parents again to feedback the outcome of testing and more importantly to go through the recommendations that will benefit the child. the specific test administered will depend on the child’s age:
Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI-III)
The WPPSI-III is a cognitive assessment tool for children aged 2 years 6 months through to 7 years of age. It is most commonly used for preschool aged children. The WPPSI yields a reliable measure of a child’s general, verbal, and non-verbal cognitive abilities and provides useful information in identifying possible learning difficulties.
Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV)
The WISC-IV is a reliable assessment tool used to measure cognitive abilities of children aged between 6-16 years old. The WISC provides valuable information regarding a child’s general, verbal, and non-verbal cognitive abilities which may assist in identifying learning or other developmental problems as well as inform intervention strategies at home and at school.
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-III)
WAIS-III assessments provide a general measure of adult cognitive abilities as well as specific information about verbal and non-verbal abilities including acquired knowledge, verbal reasoning spatial reasoning, memory, and information processing. WAIS-III assessments provide valuable information regarding possible cognitive or learning difficulties and may be of assistance where occupational or daily functioning problems are present.
At Advantage Psychology, we offer a suite of forensic and clinical psychology services including independent medico-legal reports, Court reports, cognitive assessments, and diagnostic assessments. Clients may be referred for forensic psychology services where an independent assessment is required for legal purposes. Our friendly team members stand ready to advise how we may be able to assist you.
Advantage Psychology offers the following Forensic Psychology services:
- Medico-legal Assessments and Reports providing an independent opinion regarding personal and/or psychological injury claims in relation to civil and criminal law matters;
- Presentencing and Mitigation Assessment and Reporting, including submissions to Courts under Section 32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act;
- Independent Psychological Assessments, including diagnostic and cognitive assessments and reports.
Typically the assessing psychologist will seek a letter of instruction from your solicitor to clarify the specific nature of your legal matter and ensure the appropriate services are rendered.
Assessments vary greatly depending on the reason for referral. Initial assessment appointments include completion of well-validated questionnaires prior to your meeting with the assessing psychologist, followed by an initial assessment interview. Where cognitive assessments or 3rd party interviews are required, clients may need to attend multiple assessment dates. The assessing psychologist will be able to advise you of the approximate number of sessions required for assessment following receipt of your referral.
At Advantage Psychology, we understand that reports are often required quickly. Medico-legal assessment reports will be forwarded directly to your solicitor by an agreed date following receipt of his or her letter of instruction. Typically, reports are finalised within 5 working days after your final assessment session. Clients are reminded that fees are fully payable prior to the release of reports.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that can develop after a person has experienced an event such as a childhood trauma, been exposed to death, serious injury, sexual violence, had their life threatened or been in extreme danger.
This exposure can occur in a number of ways including; witnessing it occurring to another person, experiencing it themselves, learning about it occurring to a close family member or having repeated exposure to traumatic events due to their occupation (e.g. police officers).
It is common for people with PTSD symptoms to have other mental health concerns at the same time and these are more likely to occur the longer the symptoms are not treated. These concerns include depression, anxiety and heavy alcohol use to name a few.
This psychological therapy includes providing information about the disorder, symptom management (e.g., arousal reduction) as well as two core interventions; Exposure therapy and Cognitive therapy.