Principal Clinical Psychologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital and regular guest speaker on ITVs ‘This Morning’ shared their expertise with St Albans and Harpenden parents, saying the car is a great place to have conversations.

The seminar, hosted by family law firm Rayden Solicitors, tackled  wide ranging issues facing parents, tweens and teens in 2017, including self-harm; anxiety; sexuality; social media; mood swings; anger and building resilience. 

The expert panel featured Dr Barkley - Principal Clinical Psychologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital;  Sue Atkins - regular guest speaker on ITVs ‘This Morning’, parenting expert and best-selling author; Sharn Tomlinson – CEO of Mind in Mid Herts and Patricia Seabright - qualified coach and founder of the National Teen Trust.

Over 70 local parents, carers and professionals joined the engaging discussion, with key themes around pushing boundaries being normal, that teenagers need to take risks but parents need to set clear boundaries.  The experts also urged parents to address their own anxieties, values and prejudices around key issues such as changing gender roles and perceptions of sexuality.  They should ‘be prepared to be the bad guy’ but create space to allow their children to come backto them.

Partner at Rayden Solicitors, Priya Palanivel, facilitated the panel discussion said “As family lawyers we regularly work with parents and children who are facing significant personal challenges and disruption in their lives. Tween and teen mental health is an issue that is close to the heart of many of our clients and our team. We hope that by bringing together four highly regarded and qualified experts in this field we have helped local parents and carers feel less isolated; have improved awareness and understanding of tween and teen issues and empowered attendees to implement tactics for supporting them’ 

The event was hosted at Rothamsted Conference Centre in Harpenden.   All profits from the event were donated by Rayden Solicitors to local charity The Hospice of St Francis.