Therapeutic Services

Yeo Psychology provides individualised therapy services in areas such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Trauma
  • Bereavement and Grief
  • Strengths-based personal resource building
  • Transition Support

Capacity building psychology supports tailored specifically to  people with disabilities may address:

  • Emotional Regulation
  • Friendship and Relationship skills
  • Social skills and social thinking
  • Grief and bereavement
  • Personal safety skills
  • Transition to school/high school
  • Strengths-based personal resource building

Support for parents/carers and siblings may include:

  • Parenting skills
  • Maintaining personal well-being
  • Supporting siblings of people with disabilities

Please see Assessments tab for more information on the assessments Lynley is able to provide.

Mental health services are eligible for rebates of $88.25 with a current referral and Mental Health Care Plan from your GP.

Yeo Psychology is not an NDIA registered provider and as such cannot offer services to agency-managed clients. Positive Behaviour Support (Improved Relationships Funding) is also not available.

Yeo Psychology accepts referrals from NDIS clients who are self-managed or plan-managed. Clients generally utilise CB Daily Living funding to access psychology capacity building supports under NDIS.

To make a booking and for all enquiries

please contact Bridges Counselling on 9683 1444 

or email Lynley directly: lynley.yeo@gmail.com

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Parenting Tips and Tricks: Behaviour Management Part 3

Whilst my previous blog posts have focused on how to “manage” your children’s undesirable behaviour, this post looks at some simple tips for how you can encourage good behaviour.

1. Expect their best.

Have you heard the saying, “we tend to live up to what people expect of us”? This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Children tend to believe what adults tell them, so if the key adults in their lives tell them they are smart, kind, funny, brave, or rude, naughty or, lazy, they will probably believe it… And their behaviour will likely match up to those expectations.

The early years are powerfully influential in a child’s formation.

It is at this age that children are most likely to believe they are what you say they are or, in other words, “internalise” your perception of them. So give them something positive to live up to.

I love this beautiful quote from “The Help”: Aibileen reminding Mae Mobley of her self-worth and inspiring the development of character traits which will stand her in good stead throughout her life.

So expect the best of your kids and let them know what you expect of them. Your influence is at its strongest when they are young, before influences outside the home such as peers and other adults begin to usurp the role of mum and dad as hero-who-can-do-no-wrong. Make the most of it.

2. Praise them.

Let your children know exactly what you like about their behaviour (and why you like it) so they know how to do it again! For example, “I love how you’re sharing your toys with your brother. You are such a kind person”.

To be most effective, praise should be both specific (name what was great in that situation) and immediate (it’s much easier to connect the dots between “something I did”/”something I am” and Mum or Dad’s enthusiastic response if there’s only a little gap between the two factors).

Some recent research has indicated that how we praise children is influential in how they make sense of the situation. While praising behaviour lets kids know they have done something well or right, and will likely lead them to repeat the behaviour, praising their character teaches them to internalise those positive traits as part of their personal identity.

This means their motivation to behave the same way again will be both stronger, longer lasting and have higher internal motivation . Simply put, telling Mary “that was very kind to share your toys”  is great (she’ll likely share her toys again), but telling her, “You’re such a kind person. Thanks for sharing your toys” will help shape her perception of who she is, rippling out to unique situations where she will have different opportunities to demonstrate how kind a person she is.

3. Reward behaviour you like.

Rewards don’t have to be big. They don’t even have to be tangible. Some of the best rewards are things you can’t buy, like 15 minutes of Dad’s undivided attention playing whatever your child wants to play, a trip to the playground with Mum, or an extra story at bedtime.

There is a difference between rewards and bribery. A reward is delivered for a job (or action) well done. It is usually delivered after the fact, but may be established beforehand. For example, “If you sit quietly and happily while we do the grocery shopping we will play in the play area after we’ve finished” or “Every time you do a wee in the toilet you can have a sticker”. A bribe is offered in an attempt to change behaviour when it is already happening. For example, “If you stop screaming we’ll buy the chocolate bar”. The difficulty with bribes is that while they are a “quick fix” they have the unfortunate side effect of sometimes teaching children to behave inappropriately until the bribe is offered.

Rewards, however, encourage the repetition of a behaviour. Instead of accidentally rewarding inappropriate behaviour (which is what is happening in the bribery example), use rewards to your advantage by encouraging your children to live up to the positive expectations you have set.
When a child has met their end of the deal, remember to let your child know why they are getting their special reward and refer specifically to the behaviour and character which you’re pleased with. This helps them know which behaviour to repeat in future.

Remember that what one child finds rewarding may not have any draw power for another, so think through, observe and don’t forget to ask what rewards your child loves… while stickers may be the go for one child, another may want nothing more than Dad’s special “happy dance” that lets the child know how proud he is of his/her behaviour. A reward will help motivate behaviour only so far as the child values that reward.
One reward we often underestimate is the verbal and emotional response we provide to our children’s behaviour. Often we tend to give our biggest reactions (think: words, volume, facial expression and body language) to their misbehaviour. Children who are seeking a reaction don’t usually care if that reaction is positive (“Wow! You’re such a great helper! Thanks!”) or negative (“STOP TALKING BACK TO ME OR I WILL GROUND YOU!”), as long as the reaction is big.

 
So think about how you’re reacting and be careful to give the reward of attention + strong emotion to behaviours you’d like to see repeated and avoid inadvertently reinforcing unwanted behaviours.

 
All in all when in comes to behaviour, the old saying “prevention is better than cure” applies. It is easier (and more rewarding) to encourage appropriate behaviour than it is to manage inappropriate behaviour. Set that bar high, letting your children know you expect and believe they can live up to those standards, praise the behaviour you like and be savvy in rewarding behaviour both through pre-planned incentives for specific behaviours and by reacting in a big, positive way to those behaviours that make you proud.

Parenting Tips and Tricks: Behaviour Management Part 2

How are those behaviour management tips coming along?
Last time we talked about 3 strategies: establish clear rules and expectations, frame it positively and keep your cool (easier said than done, I’ll readily admit!). For those of you just joining us, you can see the full post here.

Now let’s pick up where we left off and unpack some more behaviour management tricks of the parenting trade.

1. Respond proportionately

Whatever discipline method you have chosen to use, remember that discipline should be in proportion to the misdemeanour.

Accidentally breaking a plate is not as serious as deliberately smashing all of the crockery on the kitchen floor.

Telling your child they can never watch television again because they didn’t turn it off when you said to is out of proportion to their behaviour. It will also be very difficult for you to enforce and probably end up being a decision you regret.

So think carefully about consequences to behaviour. As far as possible, think consequences through in advance and avoid making threats in the heat of the moment.

2. Be consistent

It’s the golden rule of parenting.

Just as you wouldn’t change the rules of a game half way through (well, not if you expect the other players to keep playing and like it), it is unreasonable and confusing to change expectations of your children as you go. Children are big on fairness and will let you know if they feel your behaviour is not up to scratch!

So be consistent. Your rules and expectations should be consistent and predictable, no matter who they apply to. Likewise your responses to inappropriate behaviours. Your “yes” should mean “yes” and never “no”, and your “no” should mean “no” and never “yes”…including when the kidlets have been whinging and whining and carrying on and you’re tempted to give in to them “just this once”.

Hang in there! Be consistent.

3. Know you’re a model.

While it might be tempting to tell your children, “Do as I say, not as I do” the fact is that your children are watching you and will learn from the example you set.

Watching Wazowski

Like it or not, you’re a model! So be aware of the little people keeping a close eye on the touch of road rage you exhibit on the way home or the polite manner with which you treat a frustrating cashier or the way you engage with your partner at the end of a long day, or how you respond when the kids keep grabbing your phone.

They learn by watching, so just as you keep an eye on the TV, books or internet content they’re ingesting, be mindful of what they see when they watch you.

And if you do find some days that everything has gotten a bit wild, you’ve caved to the 6 year old’s whinging and screamed at the 3 year old that they’ll have to get a job to pay for the laptop they just broke, be kind to yourself. In cases like these it’s ok and even healthy to have a bit of a laugh after the fact, preferably while debriefing the incident with a friend over a hot cup of tea and some chocolate.

 

Tips and Tricks Part 3 can be found here

Parenting Tips and Tricks: Behaviour Management Part 1

What parent has not been pushed to their limits by the antics of their children?

Be it a defiant adolescent insisting they know best, or the stubborn incoherence of a tantrumming two year old, I’m sure every parent has had at least one moment of not knowing what to do with their offspring.

If we’re honest, it’s likely that these moments occur more frequently than we’d like!

But although every parent has probably had at least one experience of shouting ill-thought out threats at their children, these sort of scenarios are not particularly effective in terms of behaviour management, or helpful in terms of relationship.

And unlike Mike Wazowski, who we see here losing his cool with the unreasonable Sulley, most of us can’t smooth over the situation by pretending we’re actually rehearsing a scene for a company play!

So what can you do to minimise these sorts of scenarios in your daily life as a parent? They’re still going to happen from time to time, but here are a few tips and tricks to help keep them to a minimum.

1. Establish clear rules and expectations.

Whether it’s the need to wash your hands before eating, saying please and thank you, taking your shoes off in the house or asking for permission before leaving the table, children need to know what is expected of them.

It may seem basic, but just as you wouldn’t expect someone to be an excellent football or netball player without understanding the rules and aim of the game, so children are much more likely to behave “well” if they know what you want of them.

Having clear expectations gives children guidelines for how to behave so that they don’t need to try to figure it out for themselves by trial and error, and that it is clear to everyone if an expectation has not been met.

For example, if the whole family knows that they’re expected to speak kindly to one another, then being rude or unkind to someone is clearly not ok.

By establishing clear expectations for behaviour, you can avoid unnecessary (or “accidental”) misbehaviour.

2. Frame it positively

It’s generally easier to work toward something than away from it. At work, most of us tend to be motivated more by the idea that we’ll get paid at the end of the week, than by fear that we might lose our job.

The same principle applies with rules and expectations at home. As a rule of thumb, it is better to establish a “do this” expectation than a “don’t do this” expectation.

For example, while setting up the expectation that we “Don’t hit” is a good principle, it’s more helpful to say “Be gentle with others”. This is a broader but more succinct concept covering not only “Don’t hit”, but also “Don’t kick, pinch, scratch, bite, pinch or pull” (particularly important for the pedants amongst us!).

Framing something positively also means that the child knows from the expectation/rule itself what is required of them. They don’t have to search for an alternative behaviour to the thing they were just about to do.

For example, the expectation “Don’t interrupt while Mum/Dad is talking” requires the child to think of what else to do. That’s fine, but it is easier (and therefore more likely achievable) for the child to do what’s required if the expectation itself states what they should do, eg “Wait your turn to talk”.

3. Keep your cool

There will be times when your children don’t follow your expectations. Many of them are champion “button pushers”, knowing exactly what to do to get a rise out of you, but when you lose your cool all you achieve is two (or more) extremely irritated people and quite possibly an escalation to the situation.

Remember, you are the adult in the situation. As much as they may resist, refuse and refute your claim to that role, you are still the adult! Your child needs you to be mature, to manage the situation, and to guide them in their behaviour.

It’s part of what parenting is.

So if you feel your blood pressure rising and your frustration soaring,

– Take a breath.

– Close your eyes for a few seconds.

– Close your mouth, figuratively bite your tongue, and count to ten in your head.

– If it’s safe to do so, step outside the room for a few moments to gather your thoughts.

– If there’s another adult there who is able to take over, now would be a great time to “sub out”, but if not just do your best to keep your cool.

And remember, even the best parent messes up from time to time, so cut yourself some slack if you’re not always perfect. It’s still helpful to aim high.

Tips and Tricks Part 2 can be found here

Psychometric Assessments

Cognitive (IQ) assessments are available for individuals from 2.5 to 90 years of age.

Adaptive assessments are conducted in conjunction with cognitive assessments in order to ascertain the individual’s emotional and behavioural well-being, as well as to determine their functional skills in day-to-day life.

Academic assessments may be incorporated into assessments for children from 4 years of age, depending on the nature of the referral. Academic assessments can also be conducted independent of cognitive and adaptive assessments.

Socio-emotional assessments and social communication screeners may be incorporated depending on the nature of the referral to assess the social and emotional functioning of the individual.

Psychometric assessments such as those listed above can be used to:

  • Identify learning disabilities such as reading disorders and mathematical disorders
  • Identify gifted and talented children
  • Identify intellectual disabilities
  • Identify the influence of the individual’s social and emotional functioning on broader functioning
  • Guide appropriate school-placement
  • Determine individual patterns of intellectual strength and weakness
  • Provide recommendations to optimize effective learning and development
  • Identify the need for any further testing for specific conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorders

What assessments are used?

Australian standardised Wechsler tools (WISC-V/WPPSI-IV/WAIS-IV and WIAT-III) are used to assess cognitive (IQ) and academic ability respectively, and the Adaptive Behaviour Assessment System, 3rd Edition (ABAS-III) is used to assess adaptive skills. The Behavior Assessment System for Children, 3rd Edition (BASC-3) assesses behavioural and emotional functioning of people aged between 2 and 21 years.

What is involved in a psychometric assessment?

Assessments involve the following:

  • Following an initial brief phone consultation, a one hour appointment will be scheduled to gather additional background information and determine with the person making the referral what question they are hoping the assessment will answer.
  • Based on the first appointment, a quote will be prepared outlining which assessments are required in order to answer the referral question, and costing for this assessment bundle.
  • An assessment session/sessions will be scheduled with the individual. These generally last between 45 and 90 minutes for cognitive assessments and/or 30 to 80 minutes for academic assessments.
  • Parent, teacher and/or self-rating adaptive forms, socio-emotional and social communication screeners are usually completed prior to the assessment but assistance can be provided if needed.
  • An assessment report (including assessment results and recommendations for future directions) is provided within 2 weeks of the assessment
  • An in-person feedback session with the person who made the referral to discuss the results and recommendations can be scheduled if desired.

Costing

The cost of assessment varies based on the referral question and needs of the individual. Prices generally start at $1000.  Please contact Lynley to discuss further.

Please note: Assessments may be included under NDIS service agreements (charged according to an hourly rate) if in alignment with the individual’s NDIS goals.

Lynley does not currently offer Autism Diagnostic Assessments.

Please direct all enquiries about assessments to Lynley

directly via email: lynley.yeo@gmail.com

Lynley Yeo

Lynley gained her Masters in Educational and Developmental Psychology from Western Sydney University in 2009. She is a member of the Australian Psychological Society and a Medicare provider. Lynley is also a Board Approved Psychology Supervisor for the 5+1 and 4+2 programs.

Lynley worked in the public sector providing behavioural and mental health support to people with intellectual disabilities and their families/carers between 2009 and 2014. From 2015 to 2019 Lynley worked as a psychologist at an independent K-12 school whilst concurrently working with private clients as a sole trader at Yeo Psychology. Lynley currently works primarily out of offices at Bridges Counselling in Oatlands NSW, a private counselling and psychology practice.

Lynley is passionate about supporting people to achieve their best quality of life. She believes the best outcomes can only be achieved by working collaboratively with clients and the key people in their lives. She is passionate about working with families of all varieties and people with all levels of ability.  She particularly enjoys working with young people and their families.

Lynley uses a range of therapeutic techniques including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in conjunction with a strengths-based, positive behaviour framework and individually tailored therapeutic interventions.