Clinical Psychology at Balnacraig - information

Information for Young People
My name is Shona Quin and I work two days a week at Balnacraig, usually a Monday and a
Thursday. The rest of the time I work with young people who visit my NHS clinic.
We all understand that coming into a residential school can be really difficult, stressful and
sometimes frightening. All the staff here at Balnacraig are here to support you and are
committed to looking after you in this environment.
When you first arrive, I will offer you an appointment probably within your first couple of
weeks. This is an opportunity for me to introduce myself but also to get to know you a bit.
It is important that within your first few weeks, we all get an idea about what is important
to you to ensure that we can provide a safe and supportive environment.
I will ask you questions about yourself but it is important that if you don’t
want to answer some of these questions, you can just tell me and that is
absolutely fine. I may also ask you to complete some questionnaires to
help us identify how best we can support you. I may ask to meet with you
2 or 3 times initially. You can choose whether you attend these sessions.
These sessions will hopefully give you an idea of whether you think I can be helpful in
supporting you at Balnacraig.
It is important that we also talk to the people who care about you to help us develop the
best environment for you here at Balnacraig. These people might include your
parent(s)/past carer(s), social worker, teachers etc.
Once I have met with you initially, I will attend your assessment meeting which usually
happens within 12 weeks of you arriving at Balnacraig. This is where we make plans for your
care at Balnacraig and you will be invited to attend this meeting.
Note Keeping and Confidentiality
When we meet together I will write down some summary notes and usually these notes will
go in your file at Balnacraig. If there is something we discuss and you do not want the
information to go in your file, please let me know. I can keep some information
confidential. The information that I must share however is information you give me that
concerns harm to yourself or others.
What is a Psychologist?
Psychologists work in many different areas of society
Some psychologists support people to overcome
psychological distress for example; low mood,
feelings of anger, stress and anxiety
Some psychologists work in schools. They may be
involved in assessing a young person’s ability to ensure
that the right level of support is offered
Some psychologists help the police, courts and prison
service to understand the motives behind crimes that
are committed and to work with people who end up
serving time for an offence
Some psychologists help athletes and professional
sports people to perform better
Some psychologists support families where one member
may have a very serious illness
Some psychologists work in businesses, helping
managers get the best from their teams
What is a Clinical Psychologist?
A clinical psychologist is someone who aims to support people
to reduce any psychological distress that a person may be
experiencing. Also a clinical psychologist works to improve
psychological wellbeing. Everyone at some time will feel a form
of psychological distress. This may be anxiety, low mood, anger
or fear. This is normal.
Sometimes, however, these feelings stop us from doing things or become overwhelming.
Everyone feels overwhelmed by emotion at some point in their lives. A clinical psychologist
will listen to someone who is feeling overwhelmed. Talking about how we feel helps us to
understand why we are struggling and can help us think together about ways forward.
I am here to listen! Most people who see a clinical psychologist DO
NOT have a mental illness. Clinical Psychologists DO NOT prescribe
medication but prefer to support resolution through talking.
I look forward to meeting with you and wish you every success at
Shona Quin