What we do
The Arts Psychotherapy service helps look after the emotional and psychological needs of children and young people who are ill.
Children respond to illness in a variety of ways and may sometimes need help for issues such as depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, anger, social problems, disorders of attachment and post-traumatic stress disorder. These psychological problems can have a huge impact on treatment and the child’s health through behaviours such as non-compliance, needle phobia, self-harming, somatic reactions, eating disorders and conduct disorders.
The Child Arts Psychotherapist can have a preventative role, helping reduce later anxieties and difficulties. They work in consultation with parents, family work, support groups for siblings, psychotherapy, staff consultation and training.
The service is open to any child receiving treatment from the Alex and referrals are made by a consultant paediatrician or by senior ward staff.
What to expect
The therapist will provide a safe and regular time and place for child patients and families to reflect on their experiences, understand what is happening to them, adapt to the reality of the illness and treatment, and express their emotions.
The therapist is part of the multidisciplinary team and helps colleagues provide a comprehensive treatment and support package to the child and family. The therapist meets weekly with the oncology team, and regularly with the cystic fibrosis and diabetic teams and ward staff.
Most children are seen in a therapy room in the Outpatients Department, however inpatients can be seen on the ward and terminally ill children can be seen at home.
The Child Arts Psychotherapy department is open 9am to 5pm Monday to Wednesday and 2pm to 5pm on Thursdays.
Level 5C, Outpatients Department
Telephone: 01273 664955 ext. 2446 (Arts Psychotherapist Charlotte Savins)