WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A CHILD SPORTS PSYCHOLOGIST
Finding the right type of Psychologist to help your child to navigate the world of sport can be tricky one. If you have had a personal recommendation, then that is great, because you can ask the other parent about their experience. Personally, I am always pleased when I hear that someone has got in touch after such a recommendation, because it means that the parents (or child) have been happy to discuss the difficulties they had and how I have helped.
If you don't have a personal recommendation, then you should be looking out for a psychologist who has:
Training and experience of working with children
Specific experience within a sports context
There are many well qualified Sports Psychologists in the UK. But their training does not usually include any training, supervised practice or experience of working with children.
Similarly, there are many Child Psychologists, such as those who work in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Teams (CAMHS) within the NHS, but they are unlikely to have had any training or experience within a sports-specific context, with sports-related problems or with sporty children.
Psychologists working in these areas may well be helpful. However, I often see parents and children who tell me that other psychologists haven't really understood or helped.
My training and experience give me a great foundation to help most sporty kids who are having difficulties.
WHY SEE DR VICTOR THOMPSON
I graduated in Psychology 20 years ago. Since then I have completed a Diploma in Sports Psychology, then a Doctorate in Clincal Psychology (another 3 years, involving 6 months of supervised practice with children), and then another Post-Graduate course.
I have worked to help athletes (young and not so young) get more from sport for over 10 years. This primarily focuses on helping reduce distress, anxiety, anger, or on bouncing-back from setbacks, so that sport can be successfully engaged in and enjoyed once more.
I am also a competitor. I have raced triathlons since 1996. This has included racing in 5 World Championships (that's me above in Auckland, NZ) and 4 European Championships. This means that I know about training and competing, the stresses and strains, and what can help (and hinder) psychologically.
More details of my work with adults can be found on my related website: www.SportsPsychologist.london