Child Psychologist Sydney

Is your child finding school difficult? Struggling to make friends? Isolating themselves and staying in their room? Refusing to do new things?

Are you at a loss with how to cope with your child’s behaviour? Experiencing anxiety about their choices and wellbeing? Or just feeling unconfident in your parenting decisions?

We’re here to help, working alongside you to tackle these challenges head-on, fostering resilience and confidence every step of the way.


Assessing Children

From clinic rooms in Edgecliff, Sydney, our team works directly with children and adolescents to help them build the skills and strategies they need to improve their wellbeing.

Our clinical psychologists also work directly with you as a parent, to help you build skills to effectively support your child and feel confident that you’re doing the best to set them up for a healthy and productive life.

When assessing children and adolescents, our clinical psychologists consider the child’s presenting issues in the context of your family system as a whole. Things your psychologist will consider include whether your child has a secure attachment to others, is able to freely express themselves in their environment, can independently explore their environment, and is accepting of themselves.

When issues are affecting school, we can (where appropriate) liaise with the school to promote healthy functioning in this environment.

Therapy with Children

We adopt a range of therapeutic approaches to help children and young people. This includes a family-focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) approach and other empirically proven approaches such as Schema Therapy for Children and Adolescents and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.

Our clinicians make every effort to develop a strong connection to your child. We believe the key is to add an element of fun to sessions, so we often incorporate games and novelty.

The extent to which you as a parent will be involved in treatment will depend on the child’s presentation, age and their preferences.

child psychologist Sydney

Working Towards Change

To give you an idea of the skills we might teach a child, let’s consider an example of an eight-year-old child who is suffering from separation anxiety and not wanting to go to school.

Every child is different, and there is no one-size fits all approach in therapy, however these are techniques we may use:

Thought strategy

Teaching your child skills to work out whether worries and thoughts are helpful and realistic. We often use the concept of a thought detective, teaching the child to find clues for their unhelpful thoughts and work out whether a distressing thought is actually a “thinking mistake”.

Children might ask themselves questions along the lines of:
• Has anything bad happened in the past? (for example, I’ve been at the school for two years and nothing bad has happened)
• What has happened to others I know? (for example, my friends go to school every day without their parents and they have fun)
• Is there any information I am missing? (for example, there are lots of teachers at school to help me if something goes wrong)

Emotion strategy

We might teach child-focussed relaxation skills such as deep breathing or muscle relaxation.

Behaviour strategy

This might involve using a stepladder approach to help your child face fear gradually and build confidence about being away from parents. Examples of challenge goals for the stepladder could include:


  • Practising being alone in the house whilst parents are in the backyard.
  • Babysitting by another family member whilst parents go out.
  • Being taken to activities by a family friend.
  • Attending a sleepover.
  • Practising being alone in the house whilst parents are in the backyard.
  • Babysitting by another family member whilst parents go out
  • Being taken to activities by a family friend, and
  • Attending a sleepover.
Parent strategy

We may educate the parents about different parenting factors known to influence anxiety in children, and come up with an action plan to address these issues.

Factors include:
• reassurance
• overprotection
• being too tough
• allowing avoidance.

Treatment Programs for Children

The Circle of Security Program is a parenting intervention designed to promote a secure attachment between a child and caregiver.

Some of our clinical psychologists are also accredited to deliver this program.

The Cool Kids Program is a widely regarded CBT program that teaches children and teenagers and their parents how to improve the management of anxiety.

Some of our clinical psychologists are accredited to deliver the Cool Kids Anxiety Treatment Program from our Double Bay rooms.

Our Child Psychologists

Anna McKinnon Psychologist headshot
Dr Anna McKinnon
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Victoria Basile Psychologist
Victoria Basile
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Talia Berman
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psychologist bronte

Your Questions Answered

Many people who come to the clinic have never seen a psychologist before, and don’t know what to expect. We’ve answered some of commonly asked questions to help you feel more at ease:

Are you ready to take a step forward?