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the family sleep consultant
the family sleep consultant

FAQs

If you have a question that is not answered below, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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What ages do you work with?

I work with children and young people of all ages, always working closely with you as parents/carers to ensure a team approach. 

  • For babies (under six months) sleep training is not recommended but I can work with you to create good routines that will help to lay the foundation for good sleep. 
  • For infants and younger children I will work primarily with you as parents/carers as you are a key influence on your own child’s sleep.
  • For older children and adolescents I will still work alongside you as the parents/carers but may also work directly with your child.

 

What does the Sleep Assessment include?

Typically this assessment will include the following:

  • Two 60 minute consultations: These are an opportunity for you to talk to me in detail about the difficulties you are experiencing. We will meet either with or without your child present, depending on what feels most appropriate. 
  • Sleep questionnaire: You’ll be asked to complete this before our first meeting. This allows me to gather background information that is relevant to sleep. 
  • Sleep diary: This provides information on sleep patterns and habits and gives me a sense of your family routines. The sleep diary can be completed by parents/carers on behalf of their child, or by older children and teens with the support of parents/carers. 
  • I may also wish to speak to other professionals working with your family, including the referrer if a referral was made. I will only do this if you give your explicit consent for me to do so.

 

What’s the benefit of seeing a psychologist for sleep advice rather than my GP, or a counsellor or psychiatrist?

As a psychologist specialising in sleep I have a unique combination of knowledge and skills regarding child development and sleep. This includes knowledge of children’s cognitive, behavioural, emotional, and physical development. The majority of sleep problems are psychologically grounded, which means that psychological intervention is often the most helpful approach. Other professionals may also be able to contribute to understanding your child’s sleep problem, so I will often work alongside GPs, counsellors or psychiatrists. 

 

How many sessions will we need?

This will depend on the nature of the difficulty and the support being offered. The sleep assessment will help us determine what is required, and the level and type of support can be adapted as we go when we see how your child is responding to the intervention. Review sessions are built in to the support so that we can make sure we’re on track and to plan whether further sessions are necessary.

 

Do I need a referral?

Referrals can be made by GPs, schools and other professionals, but you do not need a referral in order to access support from TFSC. You can simply get in touch here

 

What if I need to change or cancel my appointment?

Please give at least 48 hours notice if you need to change an appointment. Emergencies happen and I will be as accommodating as possible. However it can be very difficult to fill cancelled sessions at short notice, so if you are unable to give the 48 hours notice you will unfortunately be charged either 50% of the cost of that session if cancelled within 48 hours, or 100% of the cost if cancelled within 24 hours. 

 

Where will the appointments be held?

All appointments are online, meaning you can access the support from the comfort of your own home, and people in multiple locations can attend the same meeting. Clients find this to be a really effective and efficient way of working together. You will be sent meeting links ahead of time and can get in touch if you have any questions about any of the platforms used by TFSC.

 

How do I pay for services?

You will be invoiced upfront for the sleep assessment, and any subsequent support can be invoiced on a per-session basis. 

Singapore payments should be made by bank transfer to DBS account number 885-074-183-915.

UK payments should be made by bank transfer to Wise, account number 4966 2165, sort code 23-14-70

 

 

How do you protect my privacy?

TFSC’s privacy policy complies with Singapore and UK legislation to ensure that your information is protected and held confidentially. TFSC will not share your personal information without your prior agreement unless we have an obligation to do so based on concerns for your own or your child’s safety. We will always try to discuss this with you first. 

 

Will you talk to my child’s school?

Poor sleep can significantly impact learning and behaviour in school and teachers can be a crucial part of the team supporting your child. Teachers may also be able to contribute to the sleep assessment by telling us about your child’s behaviour and tiredness levels during the school day. They may also benefit from advice on how to best support your child in school if they have a significant sleep problem. I will only contact your child’s school if you have given explicit consent for me to do so.

 

What is CBTi?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia is a well-established and evidence-based approach for resolving sleep problems. It aims to change behaviours by examining the associated thoughts and feelings which are often a maintaining factor for insomnia. For long term outcomes it is more effective than medication. 

For more detailed information see this article from Psychology Today

 

What time should my child go to bed?

I am asked this question a lot by concerned parents and the answer is… it depends. It depends on what time they wake up, how much sleep they need (we are all different in that respect), and how efficient their sleep is. If you are concerned about bedtimes we can discuss this and work out what is best for your child.

 

I think my child is not sleeping because of anxiety. Can you help?

Yes! Anxiety often causes difficulties sleeping, and vice versa. Addressing the underlying anxiety whilst also working on sleep habits can be very effective.

 

How do I encourage my teen to adopt better sleep habits?

This is a tricky one! For teens there are many factors that contribute to poor sleep, from shifting circadian rhythms to changes in social priorities. The approach I encourage is to help your teen to see the benefits of good sleep habits and to make it as easy as possible for them to change their behaviours, avoiding confrontation. Often with teenagers I will work with both the teen and you, their parents/carers.

 

Are you going to prescribe medication?

No. As a psychologist I don’t prescribe medications. Instead the support I provide is based on making positive behavioural changes and learning new skills. Whilst sleep medications can help in the short term, for most people they are not a long term solution. If you would like to consider medication for your child’s sleep we can discuss this during the assessment and if agreed I can help you to pursue this further. If your child is already taking sleep medication please let me know during the assessment as it will help me to understand their sleep situation better.

 

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