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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
OxPARC

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Psychologists

Picture of Konrad Jacobs, Psychologist Hi, We are the Psychologists on the Paediatric Rheumatology Team.

We have specialist training and experience in helping children and teenagers with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis, arthritis and long-term pain.

A Psychologist works with patients and their families to cope with what can be very difficult circumstances.

We can see patients at the NOC or the Oxford Children's Hospital. If you want to see someone closer to where you live, please ask our Advanced Nurse Practitioners, one of the OxPARC doctors or your family doctor.

How can I help?

We can help with the emotions of an illness, when a patient might be feeling scared, upset, anxious, worried, confused or frustrated. We provide support and help patients cope with some of the practical problems of an illness.

For example:

  • difficulties with having blood tests or injections
  • feeling sick when taking medication.

We also help with strategies for coping with long-term pain.

Having any medical condition can affect all of family life too. We help parents and carers, brothers and sisters, who usually have concerns. These concerns may be around behaviour and development of young children. Sometimes there are problems with sleeping, mealtimes, or going out as a family. We give practical help for the confusing situations of dealing with everyday problems in the context of a long-term illness.

More about psychology

How does a psychologist fit in with the rest of the team?

We are normally asked to see a patient by other members of the team, because we can help with overall care.

Usually we feed back to the team and parents afterwards, but there may be concerns which the patient does not want discussed.

Psychologists have strict rules about confidentiality, and we can keep some things quiet if that is what the patient wants. However, we and any other person in the team, must break confidentiality if keeping it would cause serious harm to a patient or anyone else. This is in line with the Children Act.

What happens at a psychology appointment?

The first appointment takes one to one and a half hours. Follow-up appointments usually last 30 minutes.

It is normal for the patient and parents to be seen on their own and together. We discuss everything, from the impact of the illness, to family life, school, and friends. There is no examination.

We will then work together to look at things from a fresh point of view. This includes new ways of coping with unhappy feelings and solving practical problems. We often give tasks to do before meeting again.