How we work
After you contact Conatus, a set of procedures begin that provide you with the right information to decide if you want to take things further:-
- Our friendly admin team will ensure that they have all the relevant information to take to Dr Alastair Barnett (Clinical Director) who oversees practice decisions for all cases.Alastair determines, through the information provided, who seems likely to be the most appropriate clinician for each referral. This is usually based upon experience, speciality, training or/and availability. Sometimes a member of the clinical team will get in touch for further information that may be needed to help the decision process.
- Following the offer of an appointment, the admin team will send a selection of questionnaires and registration forms that we ask you to complete and send back to us, prior to the first meeting. If you have any relevant reports, medical or educational notes etc, then sharing copies of these will be extremely helpful. The psychologist will review the information and consider how to prepare the consultation with the aim of “hit the ground running” at the first meetings.
- Your first appointment will last approximately 80 -90 minutes, either on site at Conatus in Kenilworth, or via video conferencing. Usually this is for the parent/s or carer/s and the young person, although we are happy to see anyone else you might think could add a useful view - such as grandparent, sibling etc. It is totally acceptable to come to the first meeting without your child should you want this just ask at the time of booking your first appointment.
- The first meeting will cover the difficulties being experienced, the family history, relevant circumstances and life events, and other useful information such as the child’s development to date. The preliminary questionnaires and checklists we ask families to complete are often useful in guiding the conversation in a focused way.
The psychologist will firstly meet with everyone and may then come together with individuals or a smaller number of family members and always with the aim of gathering everyone’s views and hence a broad understanding of the concerns. Towards the end of the meeting the psychologist will discuss their understanding of how things have come to be and how a treatment plan might look, going forward. This is known most commonly as sharing their with the family. Other things you may want to think about can be found in the following leaflet.
Understanding formulation for young people service user leaflet
Sessions may initially be offered closer together (i.e. once a week/ fortnight/month) dependent on need, and less frequently as change starts to be seen.Occasionally, we have seen families only once or twice, although generally we ask for families to prepare for up to twelve sessions.
These sessions are only offered following discussion with you.Families can stop their therapy at any point; we do not ask for a contract or a minimum sign-up.
Following the first appointment the psychologist will write to you with a summary letter of the formulation and the treatment plan.This letter will be sent to you and, for good practice, to your child’s GP. If you do not want your GP notified, just make this clear on the written consent to contact form and confirm this at the first meeting. To clarify, Conatus offers a strictly confidential service, except in issues of child safeguarding.The letter can also be shared with other interested parties such as school, paediatrician, etc.; of course, this is up to you.
- Most families are offered a follow-up appointment. These are between 55 and 65 minutes duration. The content and format of intervention appointments depends on the difficulties being addressed and the best ways to tackle them. Sometimes this will be for your child individually, for parents only and for parts or all the family together. Additionally, by agreement your psychologist may want to discuss with other professionals who are involved or have been in the past, or to discuss your child with their school; these ‘indirect’ activities will be essential parts of an intervention.
- Please understand each child and family, and their circumstances, are different and each intervention is designed accordingly. These are guidelines to help you understand our procedures and they could change dependent on need and suitability for you and your child. However, this will always be with your agreement.