We offer prompt expert assessment and feedback, and enjoy working collaboratively with others involved in our patients’ care. We can offer some low cost care for financially vulnerable families.
Our clinical programs and services include:
The Elizabeth Clinic has experienced perinatal and infant mental health psychiatrists who offer services to couples and individuals considering pregnancy, those who are pregnant and for young families with children up to the age of ten. We also have two general adult psychiatrists as part of our team.
If the referral is based on challenges with parenting or the behaviour of children, a referral for both parents and at the child is necessary. Most of the time, the work is done with the parents, to help them support their child with their emotional and behavioural issues.
The initial assessments take 60-90 minutes and require a referral from your GP or a specialist. The assessment is an opportunity to tell someone what has been going on for you. The assessment will often also incorporate some details about your past and your family too. There is no pressure to talk about anything that is too uncomfortable, and there is always an opportunity to ask any questions.
By the end of the consultation, the psychiatrist will provide you and your referrer with an individualised care plan, which has been negotiated with you. They will also involve other family members if that is helpful and acceptable to you. Some patients may continue to work closely with the psychiatrist, be referred to other clinic services or appropriate care in the community.
We specialise in preconception counselling, parent-infant and parent-child therapy, individual therapy and the use of psychotropic medication in the perinatal period. We are all interested in the parenting experience, and often work with parents that are concerned about their child’s behaviour. We are all qualified to work with the Circle of Security Parenting Program.
The psychiatrists at the Elizabeth Clinic have close working relationships with many of the obstetricians in private practice and can provide collaborative care throughout pregnancy, including support during the hospital stay.
Our adult psychiatrists have significant expertise and work with a wide range of mental health disorders. They can offer various treatments including long term psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and expert medication management.
The Elizabeth Clinic can provide a wide range of psychological services including individual, couple, family and group therapy. We can offer treatment across the life span with infant, child, adolescent and adult psychologists. We can also provide developmental assessments and complex case management for children.
We have specific expertise and interest in fertility counselling and supporting families with pregnancy after fertility treatment. The Heart and Hope program is an antenatal group program for couples who are pregnant after fertility treatment. It is well recognised that these families have specific concerns in pregnancy and transition much better to parenting with specialised support.
Our team also work extensively with children in primary school who may be struggling with their emotions, development or social skills. The Elizabeth Clinic is the first service in WA to offer the Lighthouse Program, an evidence based program, that has outstanding results for latency aged children.
A psychological consultation usually takes 50-60 minutes and can offer a substantial rebate under a Mental Health Care Plan. Private health funds may also cover some of the fee. Counselling is also sometimes covered by the private health funds.
The psychologist/counsellor will work with you to create an understanding of the issues that currently concern you and to work out a plan that is suited to you and your family.
After a fixed number of sessions, the psychologist/counsellor will review your progress and renegotiate what you may need. They will always keep your referrer and GP informed of your progress.
Appointments with the paediatricians will vary according to complexity and purpose.
A developmental assessment will usually be carried out over two appointments. For children under the age of five years, a formal developmental assessment (Griffiths III) may be required. This will identify any areas of delay, along with developmental strengths. Each assessment appointment will normally take one hour. A review appointment may also be required to discuss results of any tests or specialised assessments (eg cognitive assessments, learning assessments, specific questionnaires for home and school ). Review appointments are usually between 30 mins to one hour.
Autism assessments involve at least two assessment appointments followed by referral to and consultation with Speech Pathology/Clinical Psychology assessors about the assessment and possible diagnosis. If a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder is made, a follow up appointment is required to discuss the assessment and plan management.
Children and adolescents taking medication will need to be reviewed at least every six months, with more frequent review at the commencement of medication. If stimulant medications are trialled, a review six weeks post trial is need to assess response and need for ongoing medication.
Please bring any previous assessment reports or investigation results to your appointment. These may include; hearing or vision testing, teacher reports or school psychology reports, previous reports from other Paediatricians, allied health (occupational therapy, speech therapy, psychology) reports.
Dr Aggie Judkins is a general paediatrician with training and interest in babies from birth to 4 years of age. She understands the intensity of those early months of parenting and can support the developing relationship between parent and infant, particularly in the context of medical issues.
Dr Emma Argiro is a general and developmental paediatrician with extensive experience in the public sector. She can provide comprehensive assessments and work closely with other health providers.
Dr Gavin Hutana is a general and rehabilitation paediatrician and is interested in all of general paediatrics. He has ongoing public sector involvement including providing services to the Pilbara.
Diet and Nutritional Consultation – Kirsty O’Hehir is able to offer diet and lifestyle consultations to parents and children from preconception to adolescence. She has a special interest in feeding issues arising in the early years and can provide individualised and comprehensive care.
Mrs Anne Clifford has significant expertise in helping young families. Her background is of paediatric nursing at PMH, NGALA and as work as a lactation consultant. She is a credentialed mental health nurse and is an Infant Mental Specialist. She can provide comprehensive assessment and care that takes into account not only the psychological state of each parent but the specific parenting issues and developmental issues for each child.
She can work closely with Child Health Nurses and General Practitioners to achieve the best outcome for each family. She is also available to provide educational sessions to playgroups, mothers groups or other organisations interested in promoting secure attachment relationships between parents and their children.
A medicare rebate is available if a referral for Pregnancy Counselling has been made by a GP.
The Elizabeth Clinic is fortunate to have the services of Dr Marnie Rowan. She is a general practitioner with extensive experience in womens’ health and mental health, and has a sessional appointment at KEMH in the Department of Psychological Medicine. She has training and expertise in lactation issues and can provide holistic care from the specific issues of breastfeeding, to the broader mental health and parenting issues.
A referral is not required for Dr Rowan but it is helpful to have another general practitioner involved, so a collaborative treatment plan can be established.
Adolescence is a time of great change and poses special challenges to the teenager and the parents. At the Elizabeth Clinic we have an expert counsellor who has extensive experience in working with young people. Scott Nodwell is a counsellor and psychotherapist, who has a particular interest in the challenges of the teenage years. He is affiliated with local high schools and can provide appointments on Saturdays.
No referral is necessary to see Scott and often adolescents feel more comfortable with the idea that they are seeing a counsellor instead of a psychologist. Private Health funds often offer a rebate for counselling.
Several of the clinical psychologists also enjoy working with teenagers and are accustomed to working with schools and other service providers, to ensure comprehensive care.
Dr Emma Argiro and Dr Gavin Hutana have many years of working with adolescents at PMH and also welcome referrals.
The clinic can also provide some limited psychiatric support for young adults and this should expand further in late 2017.
There are several different group programs at the Elizabeth Clinic that have been thoroughly researched over the years and have been helpful to many families.
To be eligible for the group program an assessment by one of the clinicians is necessary to provide appropriate clinical care and ensure that the program is a valuable addition to the care plan.
All programs are subject to research and evaluation and are conducted by experienced clinicians. There are variable fees associated with each program and with individual circumstances. Please contact the clinic to establish costs and suitability.
All new parents need encouragement, companionship and support
The Coming Together Group at the Elizabeth Clinic is on a Monday afternoon. Mothers attend with their babies and partners are also most welcome. The group is facilitated by Anne Clifford, a clinical nurse specialist and Dr Caroline Zanetti, a perinatal, infant and child psychiatrist. The focus of this group is to support mothers during the early weeks of parenthood when they are building a connection with their baby. This connection becomes the foundation for the strong and loving relationship that every parent wishes to have with their children.
An 8 Session DVD Program
Almost 50 years of research tell us that the early years of parenting will build the foundation for the strong and loving relationship that every parent wishes to have with their children. The Circle of Security DVD Parenting Program is designed to guide parents in understanding and meeting their children’s needs for love and connection, protection and limit setting. Above all children need to be delighted in and every parent wishes to delight in their children. The clinicians at The Elizabeth Clinic have extensive expertise in running this program, and it can be done individually, as a couple or in small groups.
Our aim in this group programme is to provide participants with opportunities to think about themselves as a person: as a mother, a partner, a daughter, a friend and as someone who makes a contribution to the world. The way we see ourselves influences all our interactions with the world, so understanding and re-evaluating the beliefs and values that guide us in our different daily encounters is an important step in getting better after becoming anxious or depressed.
For some families, the journey to pregnancy is complicated by fertility issues. This can take its toll and make it difficult to confidently look forward to becoming a parent. Parents to be can feel isolated and unable to connect with the pregnancy in the way they would like.
Michelle Stuckey, psychologist at the Elizabeth Clinic has experience and training in fertility treatment and parenting, and has created a four session group program to support those who are pregnant after fertility treatment.
With support and recognition of the special circumstances around each of these pregnancies, the parents-to-be feel ready to embrace their new role.
New to Perth, this ten-week program has had excellent results in helping parents in
the UK with children who have emotional problems. It provides information about how parents’ relationship with their children can promote children’s growth and development, build resilience, and help them meet their individual potential in life. The aim of the group is to empower parents to understand and meet their children’s need for a feeling of security. Research shows over and over again that children who feel secure in their relationships with their parents are better equipped for life.