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emotional health center dubai

ClearMinds is a psychology 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. 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

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Dr. Elena Andriotis

Elena Andrioti, Ph.D., is a counseling psychologist at ClearMinds, Center for Emotional Health, DMCC. She works with adults and adoloscents using a cognitive behavioral therapy to help them understand how their thoughts and feelings influence their behaviors. Dr. Elena aims to help individuals reduce their distress by challenging distorted thoughts and employing strategies to challenge and overcome them. She works with adolescents and adults and offers parenting sessions as well as behavioral therapy for children.” 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.

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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.


“In a short period of time, my teenage son seems happier and more at ease. We tried many therapists before, but he never saw the point of seeing them. But with Nayla, things are different. When he walks through the door after seeing her, he seems lighter somehow, less burdened. The whole house can feel it. Our relationship has become smoother and more loving during a very turbulent time in his life.”
Mother of Teenage Client

“We came to see Dr Nayla after 8 months struggling with our son’s tics, anxiety, and nightmares. Dr Nayla helped us understand him and how to deal with his tantrums and fears. She is still working with us on building his internal sense of safety and confidence. She is teaching us many techniques that, to our surprise, are working. It turned out every single piece of advice she gave us brought us one step closer to relieving my son’s anxiety. After even a few weeks of seeing Dr. Nayla I can say that our family became peaceful again."

Mother of Young Client

“I can highly recommend Nayla as specialized psychologist for kids. She has been supporting my 11 years old child navigate through the divorce by supporting him understanding better his emotions. Nayla clearly demonstrated a strong knowledge and method with kids.”

Mother of Client

“The feel at ClearMinds is cozy and warm; it feels as though I am sitting in my own living room.” 


“My experience at ClearMinds was one of non-judgement, offering clarity to my thinking, helping me understand my feelings and guiding me towards a general sense of well-being.”
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Do you ever wish your life was more fulfilling? Do you ever feel too overwhelmed to deal with issues you’re facing? If so, you aren't alone. Even though not often openly discussed, mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression are extremely common. If you are experiencing significant anxiety or debilitating sadness, therapy can help you.
Struggles that therapy can help with:
Insight-Oriented Psychotherapy | Attachment-based Psychotherapy | Psychodynamic Psychotherapy | Existential Psychotherapy | Narrative Psychotherapy
Anxiety and Persistent Worry | Anger | Alcohol and Substance Abuse/Addiction | Body Image and Self Esteem Problems | Depression, Sadness, or General Unhappiness | Eating Disorders | Grief, Loss, & Bereavement | General Life Dissatisfaction​ | Low Self Esteem & Self Confidence | Marital, Romantic, and Peer Relationship Problems | Self-Harm Behaviors | Sexual Addiction | Suicidal Thoughts | Social Difficulties | Stress Related Problems | Trauma
Types of Therapy Used:
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Many times, children face emotional, behavioral or academic struggles that can be tough for parents to understand or help with. A child behavior specialist can help parents understand if these challenges are a normal part of growing up or if they are more serious, requiring direct interventions from a child psychologist.
​Anxiety and Persistent Worry | Attention Problems | Anger and Aggression | Abuse |
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
Benefits of Consulting with a Child Psychologist
Our team has one of the best child psychologists trained in play therapy. She helps children struggling with:
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Teenagers may experience several challenges in their lives. For example, they may have difficulties with their parents, difficulties with their friends, troubles at home, academic difficulties.

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.
Struggles dealt with:
Anxiety and Persistent Worry | Attention Problems | Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) | Anger and Aggression | Abuse | Body Image and Self Esteem Problems | Behavioral Problems | Bullying | Depression, Sadness, or General Unhappiness | Grief, Loss, & Bereavement | Parent-Child Relationship Problems | Separation Anxiety | School Refusal | Self Harm | Suicidal Thoughts | Social Difficulties | Stress Related Problems | Trauma
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Knowing whether or not your child or teen needs therapy can be a tough question for many parents. This is a question that plagues many parents. To answer it, you can objectively assess your child's needs.

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.

For Example:
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.
In parent training sessions, our child psychologist will work alone with parents to help them:
- 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.
When Do Parents need Help from a Psychologist?
What Happens in Parent Training Sessions?
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For Parents
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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:

  • walking
  • 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

  1. Me, Me, Me- an inability to recognize other people's needs and desires. May interrupt others, doesn't take turns, makes own rules.
  2. Emotional Turmoil- may have difficulty keeping emotions in check. May have outbursts of anger at inappropriate times or temper tantrums.
  3. Fidgets & Squirms- often can't sit still. May try to get up, run around, or fidgets or squirms in chair when forced to sit.
  4. Unfinished Tasks- may be interested in many things but has difficulty completing tasks they started.
  5. 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.
  6. Careless Mistakes- difficulty following instructions that require planning or executing a plan.
  7. 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.


We're working on something great! Stay Tuned. 

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