ClearMinds is a psychological counseling and assessment practice in Dubai dedicated to working with clients and families on a personal level; understanding them, feeling with them, and most importantly being a part of their growth and change. Here, a sense of accomplishment is felt because clients and families are seen progressively becoming happier, stronger, and more fulfilled in life. Our philosophy is that everyone, with the right support, has the potential to be happy and to live a fulfilling life.
Nayla Daou, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist in Dubai and founder of ClearMinds, Center for Emotional Health, DMCC. She currently works with children, teens, and young adults experiencing a wide range of behavioral and emotional difficulties. Dr. Nayla's subspecialty include treating young children and children experiencing trauma-related difficulties. She additionally has expertise in parent training, working carefully with parents to improve upon parenting skills and communication skills to effectively manage their children and teens’ behavior problems and to improve family relationships. More
Marie Mantes is the administrative assistant at ClearMinds. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Nursing and is a registered nurse in the Philippines. Marie has a varied background in administrative work and customer service and takes great care in providing excellent client service to each and every person contacting and coming into ClearMinds. Marie is the first smiling person to greet clients and does everything she can to assist everyone with their needs.
The term psychologist is often used interchangeably with psychotherapist, counselor, and therapist to describe a mental health professional working with clients to improve the quality of their lives, including their relationships, personal issues, and mental health issues.
You may hear about people going to therapy or counselling in Dubai or elsewhere, but for many, it can be scary to visit a mental health professional for the first time. The good news is that it does not have to be. Let us answer all your questions about our counselling and therapy, and how our team of the best psychologists can help you feel better, happier, and stronger.
When working with a psychologist, a person is helped to uncover the source of their anxiety, stress, pain, resentment, frustration, etc. The psychologist helps the person determine the goals they wish to achieve through the course of counselling and helps them set in motion a plan to create and maintain positive change in their lives. As the therapeutic relationship between the person and the therapist grows, core issues will come into focus, helping the person resolve, rather than put a Band-Aid on their symptoms.
The overarching goal of psychotherapy is for the client to be able to cope with and resolve their struggles on their own, so they no longer need therapy. In order to reach this goal, both the client and therapist must work together to uncover the root of the issues and come up with realistic solutions that can be put into practice.
As a recognized center for providing assessment and therapy services, we extend our expertise to provide our clients compassionate support and treatment in a welcoming and nurturing environment.
Behavioral Problems | Bullying | Depression & Sadness | Fearfulness, Nightmares, Bed-wetting | Grief, Loss, & Bereavement | Parent-Child | Relationship Problems | Separation Anxiety | Sexualized behaviors | School Anxiety & School Refusal | Social Difficulties | Shyness | Trauma |
Types of Therapy Used: Psycho-dynamic Play Therapy | Child-Centered Play Therapy | Structured/Directive Play Therapy | Cognitive- Behavioral Play Therapy | Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) | Attachment-Based Parent Training
It is not always easy for them to put in words what is bothering them. It may be because they don't really understand how they feel or they don't even know why they feel the way they do. Because children and teens may not be aware, they can act out with behavioral problems or other symptoms.
In therapy, teenagers can find a safe place to talk, in confidence, about their worries, insecurities, and struggles. Even though many teenagers are initially resistant or hesitant to coming to therapy, after experiencing that the therapy room is a non-judgmental and private space for them to be themselves, they end up wanting to come frequently.
First- Identify an area of concern, such as:
Fears | Anxiety | Bedwetting | Self-esteem issues | School problems | Bullying | Extreme Perfectionism | Shyness | Aggressive behavior | Inattentiveness | Sadness | Nightmares | Sexualized behaviors
Second- Ask yourself the following questions:
- How often does the behavior of concern occur?
Several times a month | Once a week | Several times a week | Daily
- How long does this behavior last once it has started?
10 to 20 min | 20 to 60 min | More than an hour | On and off all day | Nonstop
- Do others the same age act this way?
- What will happen to my child if my child doesn't receive help?
Many times, children grow out of difficulties on their own, either over days, weeks, or maybe months. Other times, though, these difficulties can turn into larger problems and impact how others see the child and impact how the child feels about and sees himself/herself.
A child may have difficulty controlling his anger and expressing his feelings when he is in a new setting, such as a new classroom or with a new teacher or new school. This behavior may improve after a week or so as the child adjusts to the new environment. However, the behavior may also develop into something bigger and may not improve on its own. The child may develop reputation for being a troublemaker. His behavior may affect his ability to make and keep friends. Ultimately, the initial problem may make him feel worthless and unlikable.
- Understand and manage their children’s behavior
- Learn strategies to support their children through life or family circumstances
- Learn ways implement discipline and structure in the home.
These sessions are based on positive parenting and attachment parenting frameworks.
ASSESSMENTS FOR CHILDREN
When does my child need to have a Cognitive-Educational Assessment completed?
- Is your child having difficulty in a certain area(s): reading, writing, spelling, math, retaining information?
- Does your child have significant difficulties in general when it comes to academics?
- Is he/she not able to keep up in school? Is he/she falling behind?
Often the school will report to parents if their child has a significant difficulty in reading, writing, mathematics, or memory. However, sometimes learning difficulties may go undetected by the school and kids can be easily mislabeled as "lazy" or "unintelligent".
It is important to note that having learning differences or struggles is not necessarily a reflection of a child's intelligence. If you notice your child is struggling, discuss this concern with his teachers who may recommend a cognitive-educational or psychoeducational evaluation.
Your child may be trying with great difficulty and minimal success to keep up or he may have already given up and stopped trying, knowing he is not going to succeed.
Various assessment measures are used to accurately measure your child's abilities in memory, mathematics, and language, including phonological processing, reading, writing, expressive abilities, and comprehension.
Main assessments measures used (among others):
- Children's Memory Scale (CMS),
- Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-V),
- Weschler Individualized Achievement Test (WIAT-III),
- Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP-2)
- Beery Visual Motor Integration (Beery- VMI)
When does my child need to have a Developmental Assessment completed?
- Do you or your child's teachers have concerns about your child's abilities?
- Do you or teachers think your child is behind in certain areas of development?
- Is he/she not doing things other children the same age can do?
Children develop and learn at their own pace and there is a pretty wide range in what is considered normal. As children grow and develop, they learn different skills, such as:
- putting together a sentence
- playing with other children.
These skills are known as developmental milestones. It is important to beware of signs that your child may not have the skills of other children within the same age group.
Most delays aren't serious and if detected early, children can catch up. The key is to get your child the help he/she needs as soon as a problem is suspected. A developmental evaluation can be completed to better understand your child's strengths and weaknesses and to create a plan for intervention.
There are 5 main groups of skills that make up milestones of development:
- Language Skills (e.g. speaking words, formulating sentences, and understanding what is being said)
- Gross Motor Skills (e.g. walking, carrying things, running, jumping)
- Fine Motor Skills (e.g. cutting, buttoning, gripping)
- Social and Emotional Skills (e.g. paying attention to others, making eye-contact, separating from parents, showing interest in other kids, managing emotions).
- Cognitive (thinking) Skills (e.g. copying shapes, paying attention, solving problems, understanding directions).
The Battelle Developmental Inventory, Second Edition (BDI-2) is used to comprehensively assess a child in all domains of development in order to determine strengths and areas needing attention. If parents and/or teachers are concerned the child is showing symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) , the Children’s Autism Rating Scale (CARS-2) and the Test of Pragmatic Language (TOPL-2) are some of the additional assessment measures utilized for autism spectrum disorder assessments.
When does my child need to have an Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Assessment completed?
- Are you concerned about your child's behavior and aren't able to understand him/her?
- Do you think your child may have attention- deficit /hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?
Signs & Symptoms of ADHD
- Me, Me, Me- an inability to recognize other people's needs and desires. May interrupt others, doesn't take turns, makes own rules.
- Emotional Turmoil- may have difficulty keeping emotions in check. May have outbursts of anger at inappropriate times or temper tantrums.
- Fidgets & Squirms- often can't sit still. May try to get up, run around, or fidgets or squirms in chair when forced to sit.
- Unfinished Tasks- may be interested in many things but has difficulty completing tasks they started.
- Lack of Focus- may have trouble paying attention, even when being spoken to directly. Say they heard you, but won’t be able to repeat back to you what you just said.
- Careless Mistakes- difficulty following instructions that require planning or executing a plan.
- Day Dreamer- some children with ADHD are quieter and less involved than other kids. A child with ADHD may stare into space, constantly daydream, and ignore what's going on around them.
What is Attention Deficit- Hyperactivity Disorder?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting children, teens, and adults. ADHD affects 10 percent of all school-age children and symptoms first begin in childhood, continuing throughout the lifespan to varying degrees. Children with ADHD may be hyperactive and unable to control their impulses and/or they may have trouble sustaining their attention and are easily distracted. They often do understand what is expected of them but have difficulty following through. Of course, most children experiences such difficulties at times, but the difference is that children with ADHD experience these struggles chronically.
Why is it important to get assessed for ADHD?
Often times, children with undiagnosed ADHD are viewed as being unmotivated, lazy, unintelligent, or oppositional. Their struggles may not be understood by their teachers or parents. If you see the previously listed signs in your children, it is important to get them assessed by a psychologist.
The goal of diagnosis and treatment is to help children and teenagers be more effective in their day to day lives and reduce the level at which their ADHD interferes with getting things done. By treating ADHD directly, children can learn to understand the condition and develop strategies for success. Treatment could entail: medication, cognitive behavioral (play) therapy, and psychoeducation about ADHD.
When does my child need to have an Abuse Assessment completed?
- Is your child displaying sexualized behavior inappropriate for his/her age?
- Do you suspect your child has been sexually abused?
Learn the warning signs for child sexual abuse
- Sexual behavior that is inappropriate for the child’s age
- Bedwetting or soiling the bed, if the child has already outgrown these behaviors
- Not wanting to be left alone with certain people or being afraid to be away from primary caregivers, especially if this is a new behavior
- Tries to avoid removing clothing to change or bathe
- Excessive talk about or knowledge of sexual topics
- Resuming behaviors that they had grown out of, such as thumb sucking
- Nightmares or fear of being alone at night
- Excessive worry or fearfulness
Taking action isn’t easy, but it’s important
It’s not always easy to identify child sexual abuse. If a child tells you that someone makes them uncomfortable, even if they can’t tell you anything specific, listen. Even though an abuse assessment is not 100% conclusive, given the limited nature of children’s ability to recall facts, talking to a trained professional is very important to give you guidance on how to proceed in order to protect your child.
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