Christchurch Hall Surgery

20 Edison Road, Crouch End, London N8 8AE

Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy Service

Assessment, Therapy and Consultation for Children, Young People and Families

Children and young people often experience emotional difficulties which can affect their confidence, relationships, education and developments, thereby causing great concern to their parents and carers.
Indications of something being 'not quite right' are commonly expressed in:

  • Sleep problems
  • Eating difficulties
  • Temper tantrums
  • Phobias
  • Withdrawal
  • Risky behaviours, self harm, drug abuse in adolescence
Difficulties can be triggered by normal life events such as the birth of a sibling, starting school or moving to a University.
They can also be caused by traumas such as separation, divorce, bereavement, relationship difficulties, etc

The following are some of the services offered:

  • Individual therapy
  • Under-5 brief therapy (for families experiencing problems with their young child/ren)
  • Young persons' psychotherapy
  • Advice and consultation with parents, schools and other agencies
  • Group therapy

Understanding Baby Worries

Mothers - Fathers - Babies (from birth to 23 months)

Having a baby is one of the most meaningful events in the life of an individual, a couple and a family. It is often a happy and very fulfilling experience. Sometimes baby and parents find it difficult to find a balance and the parent-infant space may become shakey, warp, or even break.

  • Are you finding parenthood hard to cope with?
  • Is becoming a mother or father stirring up difficult feelings?
  • Do you have any worries about your relationship with your baby?
  • Do you have concerns about your baby's development?
  • Are you an adoptive parent who would like support in developing your relationship with your baby?

We offer a consultation service for parents and infants with a qualified Child Psychotherapist. This is offered to mothers and/or fathers with their babies as well as other family members. You will have an opportunity to think about the feelings each of you have, to try and understand what your baby is communicating and explore ways of responding.

Within a few sessions many parents can be helped to understand both their baby's reactions and their feelings to their baby's behaviour. Parents will be able to gain more understanding of the situation and they will be offered the choice of being seen either in a group (3-4 sets of parents and infants) or alone with their child.

How do I access the service?

Ask your GP and/or health visitor to meet with the Infant Parents Psychotherapist for three consultations. The first session is a free 30 minutes friendly discussion about the central issues which concern you. The second and third sessions look at what has improved and how it can be consolidated and/or what the mum and/or dad is struggling and overwhelmed by their baby.

For more information contact the Christchurch Hall Surgery reception.

The aim of the three consultations with the parents and baby is to screen if they are committed to 5 weeks of two hours sessions, either in a group or individual consultation.

COST of the 'Understanding Baby Worries' Consultation

Initial consultation of 30 minutes is free of charge. A sliding scale of fees will be applied only where appropriate.

Any cancellations under 24 hours will be charged.

Parenting Matters


Understanding your child's behaviour

  • Would you like to know more about your child's development?
  • Are you concerned about your child's behaviour?
  • Do you want better understanding of what your child's difficulties are about?
  • Do you feel 'STUCK' wanting to be able to help your child, but not knowing how to, or feeling that whatever you try does not help or even make things worse?
  • Would you like the chance to meet with other parent with children of a similar age?

We could recruit groups of children of approximately 2-5 years, 6-11 years and 12-18 years.

Each group will run over 10 weeks with two extra sessions; introductory group (pre-group) and a reunion (post group) making 12 weeks of 2-hour sessions. The programe aims to enhance the parent-child relationship and promote a self-reflective style of parenting.

What issues are explored?

  • Development needs
  • Behavioural difficulties
  • Parenting styles
  • Communication
  • Sleep
  • Eating Difficulties
  • Temper tantrums and what might be meant by them
  • Having fun together
  • Withdrawal
  • Phobia
  • Risk behaviour
  • Self-harm, and drug abuse in adolescence

There is consistent evidence that parenting programmes are effective in improving behaviour problems in young children, children with conduct disorders and teenage children.

The programme is delivered by a highly experienced Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist who is a Solihull Approach trainer and an assistant facilitator.

Do not worry if you do not know anyone else coming to the group as one of the facilitators will contact you before the groups start.

Why is specialist help needed?

While some problems may work themselves out in time, research suggests that early intervention can pre-empt later difficulties and is more likely to improve chances of a good prognosis.

Children and young people are often unsure of what is troubling them and unable to articulate it. This makes it difficult for parents to help.

The Child Psychotherapist is especially trained to recognise the problem and to help the child or adolescent understand and articulate their anxieties and concerns. This is achieved through observation of the child’s play and behaviour as well as his/her communications with the therapist and parents.

How can Elena Mardegan help?

When someone in the family has a problem, it can affect everyone, especially the parents and carers who have a big part to play in the treatment. An experienced therapist like Elena Mardegan can facilitate better communications and understanding between parents and children in a calm and controlled environment.

Elena Mardegan

Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist B.A. (Hons), M.A. (Distinction), M.Psych Psych

Elena Mardegan is a Highly Skilled Child and Adolescent Psychologist, with 20 year’s experience in the NHS Child and Mental Health Services and Paediatric Burns Unit and in private practice.

She trained at the Tavistock and Portman Clinic NHS Foundation Trust. She is a full Member of the Association of Child Psychotherapists (MACP), the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC) and the Tavistock Society of Psychologists (TSP).

The initial consultation lasts 11/4 hours, the following appointments last 50 minutes and usually take place weekly.

Fees are on a sliding scale only where appropriate.

Any cancellations under 24 hours will be charged.

If you would like to enquire further about any of the services provided or wish to make an appointment for all these services, please contact reception:

Surgery telephone number: 020 8340 2877
Mobile: 07984 574603