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Psychological Support for Children and Adolescents

Dr. Abi Parnell, Chartered Clinical Psychologist (Children and Adolescents) BSc (Hons), DClinPsych, Psych

Co-founder of The Orchard Child Psychology Service. 

About me
My name is Dr. Abi Parnell and I am a Chartered Clinical Psychologist and co-founder of The Orchard Child Psychology Service, providing specialist psychological support to children, young people and their families in Hampshire. I am registered with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) with a speciality in working with children, young people and their families with a range of presenting emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Therapeutic Work
In my clinical work I aim to promote positive mental health in children and young people and to support parents, carers and families to confidently deal with emotional and behavioural difficulties. I am particularly interested in promoting positive attachment and relationships between parents and children, as I believe that this is a key way to improve children's mental health. I have experience providing specialist and effective consultation, assessment and psychological intervention with children, young people and their families presenting with a wide range of emotional, psychological and behavioural difficulties, including those presenting with:

  • Difficulties of the early years (including sleeping, eating, toileting and tantrums)
  • Anxiety (including generalised anxiety, social anxiety, separation anxiety, phobias, school refusal and panic attacks)
  • Depression and low mood
  • Self-harming and emotional regulation difficulties
  • Anger difficulties
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Difficulties relating to chronic health conditions
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Difficult or challenging behaviour
  • Difficulties relating to adjusting to major changes at school or at home
  • Bereavement difficulties/Illness in the family

Parenting work 
As well as working on an individual basis with children and young people, I am experienced in working with parents and carers to help them to effectively support their children through times of emotional difficulty and in specific parenting strategies (based on the premise of positive parenting approaches). 

School liaison 
 I am also able to provide consultation and liaise with schools and colleges on a range of issues, including those listed above and in the different ways that emotional well-being can be promoted amongst children and young people. 

Cognitive Assessments.

When there is a query regarding a child or young persons intellectual functioning, I am able to  carrying out and interpreting cognitive assessments using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Fourth Edition (WISC-IV UK), 2004. This is a widely used assessment which helps to give an insight into a child's cognitive profile (including an IQ score), and identify areas of strength and any learning difficulties. The results of a cognitive assessment can be useful for parents and teachers to have an understanding of so that a child is appropriately supported at home and at school to reach their educational potential. This assessment may also identify areas that may require further investigation by another professional (such as a speech and language therapist or an educational psychologist).  A cognitive assessment will involve gathering information from parents and where appropriate, from school, completion of the assessment with the child, interpretation of the results and a detailed report outlining the findings and any recommendations. I am also able to offer a feedback session to discuss the report in detail so that it is clearly understood.

My current fees for my clinical work are £150 for a first initial assessment appointment (an hour and a half), then £95 per hourly session.

Cognitive assessments are available for a flat rate fee available on request.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like to arrange an appointment. 


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My approach

I completed my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Surrey and have 8 years of experience working in a range of settings and teams within the NHS and in private practice with individuals presenting with a wide range of difficulties. As a clinical psychologist I draw upon well founded scientific research and my own clinical experience to work collaboratively with children, young people and their families to reduce psychological distress and promote emotional well-being. My primary training is in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approaches, but I also have training in other approaches, including a number of systemic therapy approaches (in particular solution focused therapy), cognitive therapy and psychodynamic therapy. I would describe my overall approach as 'integrative', in that I try to choose whatever method appears to be best suited to the client, the difficulty or difficulties the client is presenting with, and their best hopes for our work together. Being aware of up-to-date evidence for psychological assessment and intervention through continuing my professional development ensures that my clinical practice is of the highest quality.

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