Psychologists help children and young people with the difficult feelings they have about their health condition.
We are a team of clinical psychologists, counselling psychologists and neuropsychologists who work with children and young people attending Children’s Health Ireland.
We help with aspects of managing health conditions that might be difficult for children and their families. This can include taking medicine, having operations, knowing how to talk to friends about health, or worries about feeling or looking different.
We also help children and families in situations where stress or other difficulties have impacted on a child’s health.
We use talking therapies, play, and art to understand children’s difficulties from a psychological perspective. Psychologists are trained in a variety of evidence based therapeutic approaches that are selected to best fit your child. We work with children individually and sometimes in groups.
To find out more about this service please contact
Tel: (01) 409 6191
Tel: (01) 878 4200
Tel: (01) 414 4599
Tel: (01) 640 7500
Some children who have medical/neurological conditions such as a head injury, epilepsy or stroke might come to see the neuropsychologist for an assessment of their memory, problem solving, learning skills, social skills and attention. These results provide a better understanding of your child’s behaviour and learning in school, at home, and in the community.
Where needed, specific strategies can be developed to support your child and guide your child’s teacher and/ or therapists and you as parents to better help your child to achieve their potential.
Children and young people are referred to psychology by their medical team. If you would like to access psychology for your child, please discuss this with a member of your CHI medical team (e.g. consultant or clinical nurse specialist). Once parents/guardians agree, a member of the team will make a referral to psychology.
All referrals are reviewed by psychology to decide if we are the best service to see your child or if there is a more suitable service for your needs.
At your child’s first appointment, we like to get to know the child or young person and to hear about their family, friendships and hobbies as well as their concerns. Your child will also have the opportunity to speak to us alone if they wish to. Sometime, we may invite a parent to attend the first appointment without their child in order to take a history and hear concerns.
Sometimes it is helpful for psychologists to work directly with parents to help bring about improvements for the child. We may decide together that it would be helpful to have a number of follow-up sessions to support you and your child.
A session with a psychologist usually involves talking together and the psychologist might also use play or art. The psychologist’s job is to understand the difficulties the child or young person is having and to support them and their family to make things better.
If the child or young person is seeing the psychologist for an assessment, the appointment might involve tests. These are different to medical tests your child might have had in the hospital. Psychology tests usually involve questions, paper and pencil tasks, or puzzles. The psychologist will give you information on any tests beforehand so that you and your child know what to expect.
Psychology appointments are usually between 45 and 60 minutes long. Assessment sessions may take longer, with a break if your child needs one. The number of sessions a child or family will have with a psychologist will depend on the issues or concerns. A plan can be discussed at the first session, so that this can be agreed with the child and their family.
Psychology sessions might take place in a psychology room or on the ward. Your appointment letter will let you know where you and your child should go to meet the psychologist, or the psychologist will discuss this with you before your appointment.
The Psychology Department offers placements for psychologists in training who are in their final year of a professional training course, usually a Doctorate in professional psychology. We also offer placements for some undergraduate psychology degree courses where we may have a suitable project.
Due to sensitivity about patient confidentiality, we are not in a position to offer transition year or volunteer placements.