Lifetime is a joint service of clinical psychologists and community nurses. We work with children/young people who have life-limiting or life-threatening health conditions and their parents/siblings.
Living with a physical health condition can be hard work and having lots of treatments or hospital admissions is challenging for the whole family.
Sometimes coping with this affects how you, or other members of your family think, feel and behave. You might feel worried, sad, angry or upset.
If you notice any of these types of changes in yourself or anyone in your family, you may find it helpful to meet with a Lifetime clinical psychologist.
What is a Clinical Psychologist?
A clinical psychologist is someone who aims to improve psychological well-being. We do this by offering you the opportunity to talk through and think about any worries you may have as a result of a life-limiting or life-threatening condition.
What a Clinical Psychologist is not
Often people feel worried or uncertain about seeing a clinical psychologist. It is important to note that:
• Psychology is not about mind reading
• Psychology is not someone taking over or telling you what to do
• Psychology is not about telling you that you are a bad child or parent
• Psychologists are not medical doctors and cannot prescribe medication
The aim of a psychologist is to work with you to help you find your own solutions. A psychologist can offer suggestions for changing things, practical ways of coping and ways forward.
What can we help with?
We help families experiencing all sorts of difficulties. We could offer you or your family support around:
• Coping with sadness, anxiety, depression or anger
• Adjusting to a new diagnosis
• Finding it hard to talk to others about life-limiting conditions
• Worries that things are affecting your relationships
• Coping with treatment and/or appointments
• Worries about feeling different
• Difficulties getting along with others
• Building confidence
• Worries you may have about the impact on school or social life
• Thoughts about the future including time to think about end of life wishes
• Grief and bereavement work
What will happen if you decide to see us?
If you would like to talk to us, we will arrange to come and see you. We usually meet for around 45mins-1 hour.
We often find it helpful to meet you with your family for the first time, but sometimes you might like to meet us alone.
We usually see you at home but we can also meet you at your GP surgery or school if you prefer. We sometimes agree that we will meet a number of times or you may find that one appointment is all you need.
What support do we offer
We can work with any member of your family individually or together. We are also able to support doctors, nurses or school staff associated with Lifetime children. We offer evidence-based approaches including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and systemic (family) therapy.
Sessions contain a mixture of talking and practising strategies. We also incorporate creative elements such as drawing, drama and craft (especially with young children).
We know that what you tell us is very personal and important and we treat all the information you tell us confidentially.
As we work as part of a team with the Lifetime nurses, we do update your nurse, medical notes and GP with our general progress.
If we need to discuss what you have told us with anybody outside the team, we will talk about it with you first. The only exception is if we think you or someone else is at risk of harm and we need to tell someone about this in order to keep you or other people safe.
Find out more
If you would like to speak to a Lifetime clinical psychologist please ask your Lifetime nurse to arrange this.
If you have questions or concerns do feel free to talk to your Lifetime nurse, or contact us directly.