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CBT Psychotherapist

(15 Posts)
Mackonadragos Tue 02-Feb-16 11:46:56


I am looking for a CBT psychotherapist for treating possible OCD in a soon-to-be 5 year-old boy. I will go private as the NHS is too slow, as I was told by the GP.
Therapists can be in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire or in London.
Is there anyone here who has first-hand experience with someone whom she/he was happy with and would recommend as a therapist for such a young child? Any names would be much appreciated. (My problem is that whilst there are many clinics, names out there, it is very difficult to decide which person would be right (especially for such a young age group). I just started this whole thing and despite looking into the various professional tiles and knowing which I am looking for, some independent opinion would help greatly. Thank you for your help.

PermaShattered Tue 02-Feb-16 18:27:28

What makes you think he has OCD?

Mackonadragos Tue 02-Feb-16 20:15:58

Classic signs of OCD, such as excessive hand washing, not eating with us, not eating if someone coughs even behind closed doors, demanding having bathes in the morning, sometimes all day. I cannot take him school any more, it is my husband now, and it takes 1-2 hrs to do this, he is missing the first hour these days.This couples with being very aggressive, not playing with his siblings. GP says, OCD, but yes, you are right, first of all I need a general assessment by a psychologist.

PermaShattered Wed 03-Feb-16 08:43:39

Oh, that sounds intense. I only ask because i remember listening to a fascinating programme on Radio 4 about OCD in children. The psychiatrist said it's normal for children to have an element of OCD at some stage in their development - and that it's usually just a phase. I remember one of mine having it a little and she's 16 now - lasted just a few weeks. But this sounds NOT like a normal development stage.....! Keep us posted? And good luck.

insan1tyscartching Wed 03-Feb-16 08:54:41

I would say that you need to see a developmental paediatrician first of all because I would be questioning ASD rather than OCD from what you write.

insan1tyscartching Wed 03-Feb-16 09:00:21

Just to add that the GP should have referred you to a paediatrician anyway rather than suggesting a diagnosis. On seeing a paediatrician I'd expect that your ds would be referred to a psychologist and an occupational therapist and a speech and language therapist so that they as a team can workout where his difficulties lie.Some of his behaviours sound sensory seeking and they would lookinto why school is a trauma and what his difficulties are with play.

babypup Wed 03-Feb-16 20:36:45

I am based in Edinburgh so. Ant offer any local advice on therapists. However, I have a 6 year old boy with OCD and recently started private CBT, same issue - CAMHS too slow, not responding. Anyway, it's a long story and we still in the throws of learning/trying things. But I wanted to reach or and say I can empathise, and if you want any info on our story so far I'm happy to share anything, or even provide an understanding ear. It's very hard xx

babypup Wed 03-Feb-16 20:37:27

Sorry for all the typos....doing this on my phone blush

Mackonadragos Thu 04-Feb-16 11:33:57

Thank you very much for the replies. I was not quite detailed about the whole thing, and I am still articulating, or trying to ,what is going on in front of my eyes.

So in brief - it started all very sudden. In mid- December, with not wanting to eat the food because someone coughed on it, Christmas was not a happy event, eventually he moved to a separate room to eat. Things got slightly worse in January, started to wash his hands, but I still did not feel that I needed to seek medical help urgently. He was otherwise OK. However, last Tuesday everything just went out of control. It feels like a watershed moment.(The previous Friday, he started that he wanted I bath, I could not take him to school, husband came back and took him). Spent 3 days at home (was sent home because he was unwell, chesty cough is circulating around), and by the weekend he was not only wanted the bath etc but became extremely aggressive just out of the blue.

So this is this aggression, which I feel is more than OCD related one.

And up to last weekend he played beautifully with his siblings. (We are quite isolated,no playmates (probably partly because I am not quite integrated here, my husband is British but I am not), so I always thought that how good that my children are quite close to each other in terms of age and emotionally as well, so they still have someone to play with. So that what it was before. So he was a normal child, his aggression was normal (I could see reasons why he did things when he did.) As opposed to now, when he just lost some inner control of himself. Throwing bottles, milk pouring out, food thrown everywhere, apples throw at his sister, shoes thrown at me. And no remorse, not feeling embarrassed about it or anything. And lots of them just unprovoked. And then a couple of minutes after he is smiling again and quite nicely ask me to do something for him.

It feels that he just went mad. I do not understand his behaviour. I think it might be something on top of the OCD symptoms. (I mentioned PANDA/PANS to the GP, he dismissed the idea.) Any idea of this?

About CBT therapy. Thank you again for the advice of looking it a bit more broadly to start with. So I looked at the Portland Hospital in London, for a paediatrician specialised in neurodevelopment. The health visitor recommended that I go back to the GP (to a different one) and discuss with him where to start. Paediatritian? Psychologyst? I am not quite sure.

Any experience would be welcomed how the OCD came on, was it a sudden thing, or something more slow? I even do not know what quick means.

I try to post later about the school a little. (I can!t even decide whether it is a good idea to take him to school or not, let him have a bath before or not.)

Anyway, thank you for reading it. And thanks for the replies too.

insan1tyscartching Thu 04-Feb-16 12:16:29

A referral to a paediatrician at the Portland is definitely the way to go.Your little one needs to be seen by someone who can refer him on to the people who can best help him rather than you seeking out a psychologist or psychotherapist yourself.As it started so suddenly there also needs to be any medical or physical causes ruled out and a paediatrician is the person to do this.
Has something happened to him do you think? Could he have been hurt in school or in clubs or childcare if you use it? I have two children with autism and a saying I use is "all behaviour is communication" and so if it were my child I would see that my child was very angry (aggression)and very scared (obsessive behaviours)
I would then look at the point the behaviours started and try and pinpoint what was happening then. What happened mid December? New school/teacher/group/club?Was he poorly? Were there changes at home? What happened last weekend? Go through the days leading up to it,it could be something insignificant to you but hugely difficult for your son.
As for whether or not he should be in school well that depends whether or not he is happy and willing to go and you trust that there is nothing happening at school that is causing his obvious distress.
My dd has daily baths because they calm her (we use lush bath bombs for a sensory experience) If baths help your ds feel calm then I would allow a daily bath tbh.
Get your paediatrician appointment as soon as possible it's my experience that obsessive behaviours are very difficult to shift once they have become ingrained so support as soon as possible is the key.

Mackonadragos Thu 04-Feb-16 14:32:08

A little bit of background info. We had a happy summer holiday, big plays in the garden,going fishing to the Danube etc, really low key but fun things. There back they were happy children.

Then back to Britain. (My mother helped us out before, but it is only me with them now.)

School started, but was OK, unlike kindergarten. He went to school, he seemed happy, did not fight to go to, and was chatting to the teachers, but did not play with children. However, I noticed that he was anxious, when I went to the assemblies. He was rubbing his forehead, then moved on to chew his jumper, every day he comes home with a very wet jumper. He rubs a lot just before they have to stand up and move around to show their work during assembly. So I did not miss these signs.

He started to be a bit more aggressive, but I did not consider it abnormal. I expected a baby at this point, so the household was a bit chaotic, I am v tired. The father started to discipline him more harshly, he got more and more misbehaved, he spent more time on the naughty mat, and he started to shout at him. I had anger outburst every now and again (I spanked him on his bottom 2-3 times in the last 5 months.) The only thing is, that my son is more attached to his father, and he never shouted in this way before. He is calm and that is the father they used to know.

Other thing - my younger son started to spitting, that is his way of fighting with them, and started spitting food around the table - it went on for a long time. This made my older sun very angry, and he often pushed the food away. So he started not eating as such, eventually the tension was so bad that he moved separately to eat. (This was just before Christmas.) At this point, my mother came over to look after the children, because I needed to go to hospital - I had a termination (due to fetal abnormalities). It sounds very bad, but I think we managed it quite well (if I can describe it in such a matter-of- factly way). The children did not know what is going on, although they waved good-by to us when I went to hospital. So to me, this was a momentum i can pinpoint when everything went wrong. (My husband thinks it is far fetched, and I am a rational person too, but they coincided.) Also this was the time for the Christmas play, and I knew that my son was anxious. That was that only occasion when the teacher told me that he was pushing the limits, and he said to her that he wanted to be naughty. Also this time he took home a leaflet about germs, and he explained it to my mother in quite a detailed way.

I keep wondering whether we seriously messed up this little boy with our disciplining and unreasonable shouting. And my answer is that very likely. (Despite the fact that I did not feel that we have a poisonous atmosphere at home. But obviously we completely screwed it up.)

insan1tyscartching Thu 04-Feb-16 14:52:08

Oh it sounds like you have all been through some terrible times there is little wonder that your ds is struggling really. Starting school is a huge event in his little life, you could see he was anxious I imagine everything just snowballed.
Blaming yourself or your husband won't alter things so forgive yourself and him.You were going through enormous challenges and understandably weren't your usual selves and messed up, that's being human.
Now's the time though to step up and get him help. I can see lots of ASD behaviours in what you write and sometimes they come to the fore and become more noticeable at times of stress. I really think this should be explored.So chewing his jumper and spitting and needing baths are probably sensory issues. I've been through a preoccupation with germs too with ds and dd.
See the paediatrician, let him assess his needs,ask for referrals to an Occupational therapist for his sensory issues and a psychologist for his behaviours and let them help you all as a family. Good Luck

Mackonadragos Fri 05-Feb-16 11:53:00

Hello again,

babypup, thank you for your support, I'll come back to you once I get to the point of a probably OCD diagnosis. I am certainly interested in your experiences, coping strategies and CBT therapy.

However, right now a more pressing question to everyone. (Although it is a bit disheartening that I need to use this forum rather then the professionals out there.)

So I need to decide who I seek help privately from. (Today I popped to the GP, another one, again, seeking her advise, suggested by the health visitor. She said I best to wait for the NHS referral, which is approximately 1 months. I pointed out that my son has not been eaten or drink, hardly anything for 2 days so far, and 1 month is too long. I also told her that yesterday he fall asleep on the loo. And that he seems very tired for a long time now, but i always put it down to school. That changed her sense of urgency, and have a priority blood test looking out for inflammatory marks. I kept asking her, that is it possibly a brain tumour that grows, or an inflammation?? My son had a tumour, I pointed out to her, when he was 6 months old, it turned out to be borderline/benign, as opposed to what Cambridge said that point. It was under his armpit. That time for us was as he was born again.)

So here is my question - shall I go to a neurologist first rather than to a paediatrician specialised in neurodisability and neurodevelopment? To rule out tumours etc? (Yesterday I tried to figure out where to refer to with the help of the hospital receptionist - which is very low. Also the thought crept upon me, that these things are more sinister.) Thank you for your advice.

insan1tyscartching Fri 05-Feb-16 16:09:19

I would for a private referral still go to a paediatrician they are the gateway to all other specialists and will make all referrals necessary. The paediatrician would do neurology checks as a matter of course and then refer to a neurologist if there were any concerns.Likewise because of ds's history and behaviours they may well refer to a neurologist even if the paed's own checks don't show anything of concern.

Mackonadragos Fri 05-Feb-16 20:42:19

Thank you for the advice. I've just done that. I eventually decided with the help of the team leader of the receptionists to chose a general paediatrician who also have a specialisation in behavioural problems. Also got a referral from the GP for a comprehensive blood test. Now we wait and see.

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