Dr. Darlene Elliott-Faust Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychologist

General Questions

Do I need a referral from my physician?
No. Self -referrals are accepted.

Are there referrals that you do not accept?
Yes.  I do not accept referrals with custody and access issues.  I recommend that parents discuss a referral to the Custody and Access Project with their lawyers.  I also do not accept referrals of children and adolescents with eating disorders, and recommend the Eating Disorders Clinic at Children’s Hospital.

Is my information kept confidential?
As a psychologist, I (Dr. Elliott-Faust) am bound by the Regulated Health Professions Act, the Psychologists Act and the Health Protection Act to maintain client privacy and confidentiality.  During the first appointment I will review  issues around privacy and confidentiality.

What is involved in the first appointment?
The first appointment is a meeting between myself and the parent or parents to collect background information, developmental history, and an understanding of the issues that have prompted the referral.  I also asked that parents bring the most current report card for that year and the June report cards for previous years. This provides me with an overview of the child or adolescent’s school history and learning abilities. The first appointment is similar for referrals for assessment and treatment.  The goal is to decide with the parents the appropriate next steps e.g., to proceed with a full assessment or therapy.

What is involved in a typical Psychoeducational assessment (assessment to identify a Learning Disability and or an attention deficit disorder)?
A Psychoeducational assessment involves:

  • The initial appointment discussed above.
  • Questionnaires regarding social/emotional/behavioural and executive functioning that are completed by parents and teacher
  • Clinical interview with the child/adolescent by Dr. Elliott-Faust to look at issues of self-esteem, perceptions of abilities, nature of the learning strategies used by the student, etc.
  • Approximately 5 or 6 hours of individual testing with the child conducted by a Psychometrist (M.A. level in Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Elliott-Faust) – this includes assessment of intellectual, cognitive, memory, academic, executive functioning skills, etc.
  • A one hour feedback meeting with the parents to review the assessment finding and recommendations (which include specific interventions/strategies to improve academic performance.) Dr. Elliott-Faust and the Psychometrist who completed the testing typically both attend the feedback meeting. Parents receive a report (typically ten pages) outlining the findings and recommendations.
  • Dr. Elliott-Faust meets with the child/adolescent to review the assessment findings and recommendations and provides a one page summary listing strengths and areas to work on.

What is the typical length of time a child/adolescent would be in individual therapy?
That is a hard question to answer because it depends on the reason for the individual therapy.  However, in a typical referral (e.g., anxiety, OCD, anger management, bullying) the child is usually seen for approximately five or six weekly sessions and then we go to biweekly and then monthly, as appropriate.  The time frame for this type of involvement is usually four to six months.  After that we have check-in sessions every few months.  Parents are encouraged to call and book an appointment any time they feel that things have gotten off track.

If my child/or teen is in therapy with you what is my role…how do I know what is going on?
I explain to children and teenagers that what we talk about is private and confidential.  However, it is made clear, with age appropriate examples, that if there is a safety issue their parents are informed immediately.

When I am working on building specific skills e.g., anger management, I would typically have the parent or parents join the session for the last fifteen minutes.  The child/teen would then explain to the parent/parents what we had been working on.  Then we would have a general discussion of ways the new skills could be supported at home.

In a more traditional therapy situation with a child or teen, parents are included in family therapy sessions.  I also offer parenting sessions to talk with parents about strategies for handling specific situations, promoting good communication with children/teen etc.  In these latter sessions, the child/teen understands I am not reviewing what they discussed in their individual sessions unless I have their permission.

What makes you and your practice stand out?
I worked as a Consulting Psychologist for a local school board for over twenty years.  I understand first-hand the demands and stresses for a child/adolescent in the school environment, as well as the resources available in schools and how to navigate that system.   Obviously, this is useful for a child with learning and/or attention issues, but it is also highly relevant for a child/teen who is struggling with anxiety, depression, family  breakdown etc.  I have many contacts at all levels of the educational system and keep abreast of changes in services and available resources.  The Psychometrists that work in my practice also have extensive experience in schools.

We are located at:

249 Sydenham Street
London, Ontario | N6A 1W4