Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

Information for Parents

A child or young person may be referred for the following reasons

  • Behavioural difficulties
  • Emotional difficulties
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Family relationship difficulties
  • Eating Problems and Disorders: Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia
  • Mood Disorders: Depression, Bipolar Mood Disorder
  • Autism and Asperger's Syndrome (Diagnosis only)

Info for Parents


A Vision for Change

In 2006 the Government published a report of the expert group on mental health policy. This report is called A Vision for Change. One of the recommendations of this report is that mental health services for children should be provided by multidisciplinary teams. In effect this means that each team is made up of clinicians from different disciplines who all work together to provide a range of therapeutic interventions for each child. Usually a Multidisciplinary Team is made up of the clinicians in the following areas:

1. Consultant Psychiatrist
2. Psychiatrist in training.
3. Nurse
4. Psychologist
5. Social Worker
6. Occupational Therapist
7. Speech and Language Therapist
8. Social Care Worker.

Click on the links to read more information about each discipline in Lucena Clinic.
You can also read the full text of A Vision for Change


Young Children

Information for young children

Growing up can be fun but tricky. Sometimes people need to talk to a grown up to help figure out a problem. It’s good to talk about worrying things so we can better understand our feelings and how we act.



Young Children

Information for Teenagers


Adolescence is an important time of physical, social, emotional and educational development. It can be exciting but confusing. Sometimes it can feel like we don't have any control over what we think or how we feel. But by making simple changes to our lives, we can make a real difference.


History of Lucena Clinic

St. John of God

Lucena was the name of the house and the first hospital which St. John of God opened in 1537 in the city of Granada, Spain. To honour the 5th centenary of the birth of St. John of God in 1495, the Order renamed its Child and Adolescent Mental Health services as Lucena Clinic Services.


The Order wishes to extend the same hospitality shown by John to everyone who came seeking help, healing or shelter at his house on Lucena Street, to every child and family coming to any of the clinics at Rathgar; Tallaght; Dun Laoghaire, Bray and Wickow.


About Us

Lucena Clinics

St. John of God Community Services Limited

Lucena Clinic Services is the Child and Adolescent Mental Health service of St. John of God Community Services Limited. Lucena Clinic Services is a registered charity and has been providing a mental health service to children and adolescents and their families for over 50 years.


The Lucena Clinic services are delivered via our 5  clinics in

 Rathgar  - tel :              (01) 492 3596

 Tallaght  - tel :              (01) 452 6333

 Dun Laoghaire -  tel;    (01) 280 9809

 Bray  - tel :                   (01) 286 6886

 Wicklow - tel :              0404 25591


 If you are trying to contact ST. PETER'S SCHOOL  please visit their website. St. Peter's School   or

 ring their DIRECT LINE : 01 4999300 Please do not ring Lucena Clinic as we cannot transfer your call. 


Secret Agent Society

Children's mental health programme

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COVID-19 information



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Psychology Department      

What does a Clinical Psychologist do?

Child clinical psychologists have an understanding of childhood and adolescent problems. We  are trained to work with both adults and children, and have specialized knowledge of child development and about the challenges in life that can impact on children, adolescents, and their families. Clinical Psychologists in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services ( CAMHS)  use their specialised knowledge and experience to assess and treat mental health problems, and to promote good mental health and general well-being.

Clinical psychologists are trained in particular to understand the links between thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. We are also trained in understanding relationships. We use our knowledge of how children and adolescents develop to help them tackle problems with how they feel, what they think, and what they do. We may also help with relationships in the family where this seems important, or work with parents to provide support and advice as to how they can best meet their child's needs.

Who comes to see a Clinical Psychologist?

Mental health is about how we feel inside, how in control we feel, and how able to cope we are.  We all have ups and downs in life, but sometimes the ups and downs can go too far, last for too long, and start to affect our lives - and we need a helping hand to get back on track. Here in Lucena Clinic, we see children and adolescents between the ages of two and 18, where it is thought clinical psychology would offer the best “fit” to meet a particular child's needs.

What kind of problems does a Clinical Psychologist try to help with?

People come to see us for all sorts of different reasons. For example, we see children and teenagers who have problems with:

  • feeling sad or down
  • feeling worried, scared, or nervous
  • feeling angry or aggressive
  • getting on with their family, with their friends, or with other people
  • behaviour: doing something too often or not doing something important
  • coping with loss or with a stressful/upsetting situation
  • thinking problems, or problems with paying attention
  • health worries
  • getting on in school
  • developmental problems


We also see children/teenagers who are experiencing more unusual types of problems such as seeing or hearing things, or having extreme swings in their mood. We might also work with parents to give them support and/or training in learning to manage their child’s/teenager’s problems.

How do Clinical Psychologists in Lucena Clinic work?

Clinical Psychologists may work with children or young people individually or in groups, or we may work with parents or families. Most often we find that problems can get better by using at least one kind of “talk therapy,” although we have a variety of other treatment approaches we can use as part of our “toolbox.” For younger children we may use art or play to help them express themselves. There are times we give questionnaires or other kinds of tests to help us understand what is happening for the child or young person better. We may also work with other team members (of other disciplines) where this is helpful, or we may sometimes link in with other important people to the child/young person eg a GP, teacher etc.


Here in Lucena Clinic there is a Clinical Psychologist attached to each multidisciplinary team. You may meet one of us when you first come to the clinic, or we may be asked to work with you later on, by another team member, who has met with you and thinks we can help.


Fay Murphy

Principal Clinical Psychologist