Behavioural, Emotional or Sleep Difficulties

Have you got a young child who will not sleep in their own room, or insists on you sitting with them until they fall asleep?

Is your child a delight in school but incredibly hard to manage at home?

Does your child get into fights, appear to not tell the truth, swear at you, even steal?

Is your child using the internet really inappropriately, perhaps sending sexual messages or images despite you trying to educate them about the dangers?

If the answer is yes to any of these, there is help available.

Sleep problems in young people are very common

Usually the sleep problems can be addressed with some fairly simple advice or a few session of family therapy; this is such a relief to parents who are exhausted with sleep battles. It is important to have a thorough psychiatric assessment to ascertain the likely cause of the sleep difficulty. A minority of young people benefit from some medication temporarily to re-establish the sleep pattern and the medication options are harmless and non-addictive. One is a natural chemical found in your body, that regulates the sleep wake cycle.

Sleep problems also occur in teenagers and can really affect their mental state and functioning in lessons. These are often easily resolved and I would recommend not leaving poor sleep for too long without getting help.

Simple methods to try to improve sleep are:

Switch off all screens an hour before you want to go to sleep (the light from screens switches off your body’s natural mechanism to get you to sleep)

Establish a routine such as having a shower, getting changed for bed, having a warm drink, brushing your teeth, listening to music then bed. Eventually your body will learn the last thing in the routine is sleep

Do not do exercise too close to bed

Do not study too near to sleep, it will stimulate your brain too much

Do not get wound up if you cannot get to sleep, just reassure yourself lying in bed and resting is good

Behavioural problems at home

You are not alone. This does not mean you are a bad parent. It is worth having a psychiatric assessment to understand the cause and maintaining factors of these behavioural issues. The behaviours may be related to a developmental issue or a mental illness and it might be they are simply resolved by reviewing the communication patterns within the family.

Is your child defiant, disruptive and at times aggressive?

Children presenting this way can be so difficult for parents to manage. I would advise getting a psychiatric assessment early on as without input this is only likely to worsen and the behaviours could impact on the young person’s future significantly and negatively (this is backed up by evidence base). It is likely we would offer support to the whole family for a young person behaving in this manner but the first step would be a psychiatric assessment of the young person to get a clear understanding of what is happening for them.

Is your child using the internet too much or inappropriately and will they not listen to your advice?

If this is becoming a significant problem that you feel is posing a risk to your child’s functioning or safety it is worth arranging an assessment for the young person. Often there is an underlying cause for this such as a low self-esteem, an autistic spectrum disorder, depression or body image issues. Young people will often talk to a clinician about what is really going on for them especially if they understand conversations can be confidential. If this is becoming a problem that you feel poses a risk it is worth arranging an assessment for the young person.

Below are written comments from feedback from recent young people who have been seen by her in her clinic:

She is very helpful
We love Dr Hayley. She is the only person my daughter will engage with. She has been incredibly helpful in all kinds of ways, not only with medication but with diagnosis, advice and referrals. My daughter has come along way since seeing Dr Hayley
She is so kind and supportive
Thank you so much for a faultless service. I’ve recommended you already to friends!
Hayley was wonderful. She engaged with my son beautifully despite his almost constant hyperactivity and chattiness during the appointment! She has a lovely warm approach while remaining very professional and highly knowledgable. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her.
Dr van Zwanenberg was fantastic, everything we’d hoped for.
Van Zwanenberg was able to see us much more quickly than we had expected for which we were very grateful, and we were touched by the level of care and personal attention we and our son were afforded when we met. The speed, depth and quality of the written follow up was impressive, too.
Hayley was amazing with my daughter and she felt very reassured that she would help her get back to her old self!
We feel blessed that Dr van Zwanenberg was available when my daughter was referred. It was a relief for my daughter to be understood and feel that there was hope for getting better. Dr van Zwanenberg has been endlessly kind and provided the expertise needed so that we felt completely supported. Although we have not had to use it a lot she has been available for advice in between appointments, which again adds to our feeling of being well supported. We would wholeheartedly recommend her and know she would do the best for anyone who came to see her.
Dr van Zwanenburg put my 10 year old at ease immediately which helped her open up
Dr Hayley has made my child’s life happy again, and our families too. She has identified and helped him with his anxiety and adhd. Her practice is run with precision and care with excellent communication from Dr Hayley and her team. I can’t thank them enough.
Dr Hayley has been very good for my daughter – she has been kind, caring and has explained her condition to us very well. My daughter was really poorly but is now well on the way to a good recovery thanks to Dr Hayley’s treatment and care.
I really thought I was going to lose my daughter. Lose her to her own despair and potentially her own life. I searched for what seems like too long to find her the support, acknowledgment and treatment she needed. Finding Dr H was not just a life line but a true life changer. The care, understanding and treatment my daughter has received is truly outstanding. With Dr H’s consultation and understanding, my daughter has been able to reconcile her feelings of despair and inadequacy. I now have a confident, happy, social daughter who is starting university in the autumn and is looking forward to life. I can not thank you enough Dr H. Honestly, thank you so very much.

Dr Hayley is phenomenal – she has transformed our daughters life and we are grateful every day that we found Dr Hayley and got the help we so desperately needed.

Dr Hayley she is a amazing person, very caring, patient and helpful
Thank you so much. Straight forward. Caring. & already actioning a plan. I’ve recommended you to two people already
Dr Hayley is very supportive and I would thoroughly recommend her through this organisation
An excellent doctor who is thorough and non-judgemental and takes a collaborative approach.
Can’t recommend Dr van Zwanenberg enough for child ASD/ADHD assessment and follow up. She’s very empathetic & puts everyone in the family at ease.
As always Dr Hayley listens, is empathetic, encouraging and non-judgemental and gives sound professional advice. Thank you.
Thank you, I am very grateful for your professional, committed and caring approach that underpins your clients’ healing of minds, developing self-confidence and sustainable growth as autonomous individuals in becoming. I hope you recognise you save lives and give hope with your calm faith that your clients will, and do get better.
Lovely Dr who was there to listen and help anyway possible. Full in detail and good natured with myself and my son. Got a lot from it and finally felt we were listened too. Lots of advice and next steps to follow.
Dr Hayley saved me from suicide and helped me turn my life around. She is the best!
Without Doctor Hayley I am certain I would not be alive today and she has been a massive help to me and my family.
Dr Hayley was wonderful with my son. She put him at ease very quickly and consequently he was very happy to open up to her and talk freely. Thank you so much.
Hayley has always been very accessible and helpful if we’ve needed to contact her between appointments.
The level of care and communication from Hayley has been exceptional throughout and I have already strongly recommended her to several other parents.
Dr Hayley was incredibly thorough, supportive and engaged. My daughters confidence with the process soared and throughout the 2.5 hour process. I am profoundly grateful that expertise and care exists in professionals like Dr Hayley. She is life-changingly good.
Very friendly and helpful.
Dr Hayley is the only doctor that we trust to help us with our daughter’s mental health; more importantly, our daughter also trusts her. She genuinely cares. She talks to her, understands her and engages with her and us. She quickly identifies the problem and suggests realistic, pro active plans to tackle the particular issues at hand. She is always available for us to contact by phone and email (no matter how small the problem) and has telephoned us during the day and sometimes in the evening when the situation requires it. As parents, we have at times really struggled but she always manages to reassure us and we feel very lucky to have her as our doctor.
Dr Hayley and her colleagues provide outstanding accessible compassionate and effective care for young people with emotional and mental health difficulties including ADHD. We can not thank her and her colleagues enough for the extraordinary difference they have made to my son’s well- being and helping him approach his full academic potential.
The doctor was really personable and helped to make my son feel comfortable, she asked great questions to elicit information to help the diagnosis and was very good at listening to our feedback
Very approachable and friendly style, felt that she really listened and put our anxious daughter at ease. Explained very clearly what the problem was and how we were going to deal with it as a team. Highly recommend.
Very happy with the service Dr Hayley has provided.
Brilliant Doctor, I gave up and Dr Hayley picked me back up and got be back to myself. I feel like she actually cares and respects what I say.
So happy my son is finally getting the help he needs to free himself of a life of anxiety. Thank you.
Dr Hayley took an impressive amount of care in advance of our initial assessment appointment, to evaluate our son’s situation from many angles. We felt listened to and reassaured by her suggestions of strategies to help manage his symptoms. My son commented after the appointment that “She was vey kind and understood me”. We have also appreciated her quick responses to our questions outside of the appointment itself
Very kind and knowledgeable

We have received a very positive experience using Dr van Zwanenberg. We have felt listened to and supported without any judgement getting our daughters autism diagnosis. We would highly recommend.

As always Dr Hayley was fantastic. She is always one step ahead and any additional admin requests etc are never too much bother. We will be sorry to lose her, as my daughter moves on soon to an adult psychiatrist now that she’s 18. I will be surprised if we can get such attentive service from any other psychiatrist. Many thanks indeed for your amazing support over the past few years.
Dr hayley is always so positive and encouraging. She listens well, is very professional and is very calming. Always a positive and helpful experience. My daughter won’t speak to any therapists however she is happy to open up to Dr Hayley. Thank you.
Dr van Zwanenberg was very friendly and put my son at ease so he felt comfortable to talk openly. She was very reassuring and seemed to understand him straight away.
Thank you ever so much for a very thorough assessment.

Very happy with Dr Hayley. She She’s very kind and makes us feel at ease within the session. listens carefully to problem and tries to recommend a right solution. She’s very prompt in replying emails or in event of asking for prescription, which itself has made me feeling better in the stressful situations we have been experiencing. I am very happy with her and would recommend to others. Thank you Dr Hayley.🙏🏼🌸

Dr Hayley is always really professional but totally relatable and understanding. Would definitely recommend her to others.

Dr H has made a lasting improvement on both my daughters’ states of mind and their approach and outlook to life. I can not rate her services highly enough.
Dr Hayley probably saved my son’s life. A great Doctor.
When dealing with a person with mental illness it is essential that the patient feels that they are being believed by the Doctor who provides the treatment. Dr van Zwanenberg is able to build trust and rapport and is sympathetic, understanding and non judgmental in her approach.
Very good doctor.
Very early in our treatment but Dr Hayley has already made a huge improvement to our daughter and her health.
I was highly recommended to yourselves by someone who had previously been to see you. I will also highly recommend you also. My husband and I Felt very at ease during the whole process.
Dr van Zwanenberg’s tone, manner & approach was perfect for our child, she listened to us all and helped set wheels in motion. Thank you
Dr Hayley is such a lovely and compassionate psychiatrist. She has transformed the life of my son. I am so grateful.
Dr Hayley was very calming and listened carefully to my concerns
Empathetic, caring!
Dr Hayley van Zwanenberg is a very good doctor