Child Clinical Psychologist, Therapist & Counselling by Dr India Whitehouse
I am passionate, about working with children, young people and families. Using practical therapeutic techniques, I help them to use the difficulties that may be impacting their life and studies, such as depression, self-harm, eating disorders and anxiety, as opportunities, to develop more happiness, vitality, and success. My strength, is my ability to offer insight, compassion, unconditional support, and practical solutions, by working with children and families, to implement simple, but highly effective techniques, to overcome their difficulties.
What I can help with
I am highly skilled in assessing children, who are experiencing social and relational difficulties, emotional problems, including anxiety, low mood, low self-esteem, and adjustment problems. I can also help with bullying, eating disorders, and a range of adolescent mental health issues.
I’d like to thank you India for all your work done with him so far and your advice. He is much better, calmer and emotionally stronger.
Thank you SO much for all your magic – I know that [my son] has worked on this himself but we couldn’t have done it without you – so huge thanks. He is a joy to be with now and long may it continue!
From our first conversation on the phone I felt Dr Whitehouse had the capability to ask the right questions and made me feel at ease. During our first meeting I was also very impressed with how she handled our son who is very selective with people… we now have a much happier child…since visiting Dr Whitehouse my son’s behaviour has improved noticeably and I am very grateful for her work. I would happily recommend her services to others.
You have changed my life!
He is like a different child, it has been so eye opening, I’m really enjoying him.
…she said she found the session really helpful, please can you let us know when you can see her again..
Thank you SO much for the report, it was so helpful and insightful…
Areas of Special Interest
Systemic (Family) Therapy
Often difficulties children have, might be inadvertently perpetuated or precipitated, by patterns of family behaviour.
No parent wittingly creates, or perpetuates, distress in their child, but sometimes unconscious, ways of relating to children, might lead to this. I am skilled, in unpicking with families, how styles of relating, beliefs and expectations, and/or learned ways of being, might exacerbate children’s difficulties. By assessing these, ways of relating within families, can be taught, which help children. An example, is of a thirteen year old girl referred to me with anxiety and low mood whose family, felt she was negative and anxious. After assessing, the whole family, I felt, it might be that, family sessions might lessen her sense, that she was the negative, anxious one. This was achieved by helping her acknowledge, there were dynamics in the way they as a family, might inadvertently compound her negativity, due to wanting her to be happy, by picking her up on being negative. The goal was therefore a family one, to lessen their possible unwitting perpetuation of her negativity, by lessening their tendency, to pick her up on being negative. In addition, being lighter about her negativity, by for example lightly saying, ‘oh, there is negative Nelly again!’ The lessened focus, on her, of being ‘the negative one’, thus lessened, this attitude and behaviour.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Another approach of mine, is a style of intervention, called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This is an evidence-based intervention, that identifies and modifies, a child’s or adolescent’s, self-defeating ways of thinking.
When a young person, experiences negative self-talk, in the form of self-critical thoughts or worries, I work with them, to create more realistic thinking styles, which lessen their anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. I enjoy the problem-solving components of CBT, and the fact that brief therapy, provides effective techniques, which can be used immediately, by young people to enhance their life skills, focus, and attention, on the present, friendships and happiness.
Unconditional Positive Regard
I also use an approach called ‘unconditional positive regard,’ which means accepting the child unconditionally, no matter what they think, feel, say or do. This creates a safe therapeutic environment, to create a set of agreements, each week, that reflect young peoples’ individual needs. These can include, learning a type of social skill, assertiveness to address bullying, replacing self-critical thinking styles, with more self-accepting thoughts, and behavioural strategies, to increase self-confidence.
When working with younger children, I integrate individual CBT, with parenting techniques, including strategies, for managing and changing, challenging behaviour and tantrums.
I have often used the work of Dr Daniel Amen, who identifies social and emotional difficulties, as brain problems, which can be addressed with the correct approaches. The adolescents I work with, find that identifying their anxiety, and social challenges, as brain difficulties, and patterns, which can be changed, lessens the stigma and shame, often associated with these types of problem. Using these techniques, has inspired them, to rapidly change, the quality of their lives.
“Thank you [India] SO much for all your magic – I know that [my son] has worked on this himself but we couldn’t have done it without you – so huge thanks. He is a joy to be with now and long may it continue!” – Parent of a child with an anger problem