Clinicians from the Child and Family practice have continued to provide services throughout the pandemic, even when our physical practice buildings had to be closed for several months. Here are some examples of some of their work:
Adam Duncan consultant child psychotherapist and adult psychoanalyst carried on seeing his adult patients remotely. He also pioneered a new form of online child psychotherapy for younger children using the virtual medium of Minecraft. Adam met with children in a Minecraft ‘virtual playroom’ with a concurrent facetime call so that he was able to talk to children about their concerns, expressed through their play. This has proved so successful that many families have elected to carry on with virtual sessions beyond the lockdown. As a result, Adam will be integrating Minecraft into his face to face work alongside more traditional play techniques in the future.
Dr Lucinda Green, consultant perinatal psychiatrist, has been seeing women who are planning a pregnancy, pregnant or postnatal for video consultations. She has also been developing some online courses in perinatal mental health for the new Tavistock & Portman Digital Academy and has been facilitating support groups for NHS perinatal service clinical leads and managers.
Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes, consultant clinical psychologist, in addition to his regular practice working remotely with children and adults recovering from trauma, provided monthly remote group supervision to 20 groups of NHS staff working on the frontline across the capital throughout the pandemic.
Ruth Jacobs, Consultant Speech and Language Therapist, has continued to see patients throughout the pandemic via Skype and Zoom. She has carried out assessments and regular weekly therapy sessions and has found the process exciting and successful even with very young children. Ruth has also been able to hold Zoom meetings with parents and other colleagues working with their child. Ruth prefers face to face contact as do all of her colleagues but has been heartened by the positive way in which her patients and parents have responded to therapy on line.
Dr Tony Jaffa, consultant psychiatrist, has continued to provide treatment to his Child and Family Practice patients, initially online and now also face to face. He has, through a charitable organisation, been providing support to frontline NHS workers and has, as circumstances allowed, continued and expanded his work with refugees and those who support them.
Dr Anya Kaushik, consultant child psychiatrist, has continued to provide clinical support for children and adolescents experiencing mental health concerns. Alongside this, she has taken up the role of interim joint lead clinician for her NHS clinical team during the pandemic.
Dr Ben Ko, neurodevelopmental physician, provided autism diagnostic assessment for the NHS by video consultation and completed over 40 assessments during the ‘lockdown’ period. This has helped to reduce the waiting list.
Christine Leslie, our senior educational consultant, worked remotely with families where children were finding their loss of school routine challenging. For many children this resulted in meltdowns and refusal to engage in virtual lessons; in turn this affected whole families adversely. By implementing a variety of strategies and supporting anxious parents, Christine was able to achieve a pleasing degree of success.
Dr Shadi Shahnavaz, family psychotherapist, has continued to see couples and individuals online. She gave webinars and lectures to professionals in the mental health field and also gave webinars on parental conflict and child triangulation to parents as part of her online therapeutic work with them.
In addition, she worked with a charitable organisation to give help and support to staff in the French refugee camps in Dunkerque and Calais and has also supervised staff working in Bernado’s and also in a therapeutic service working with refugees.
Jennifer Warwick, speech and language therapist, continued to offer online therapy sessions to her clients. Jenn also ran a range of webinars for the Le Jeune Clinic for children with Down Syndrome to provide information and support to parents missing out on access to services. During ‘lockdown’ she set up ‘communicate and thrive’ which offers support to all parents and provides information on speech, language and communication development, she recently recorded a podcast with Marina Fogle for the parenthood on supporting children’s communication.