Child & young people counselling

Self-harm is on the rise. Many parents are at a loss trying to navigate through the maze of today’s pressures and handle children who become easily agitated and even defiant.

Children, adolescents, teenagers and young adults face a tremendous amount of pressure in today’s world. They may struggle with mounting stress to perform well at school and a constant push to excel on standardized tests; inability to express oneself as unique amidst a need to follow pre-established ‘norms’; peer pressure; body image issues; and the constant barrage of electronic devices that can overwhelm the brains of children (and adults alike).

When working with children and teens, we use evidence-based therapeutic interventions from the behavioural models as well as a person-centred approach. We have found narrative therapy and play therapy techniques to be appropriate in some cases. For many, there is a psychoeducational component, as young individuals often like to understand what might be the cause of their difficulties and how to work out the solution. Therefore, coping skills are often taught, practiced and reviewed. These coping skills are useful when dealing with depression, anxiety and anger outbursts. Moreover, we work on building on healthy autonomy, self-concept and self-esteem with these individuals.

As many well-established professionals have stated, child/teen counselling also requires a parental/family component. A child/teen may resist help because they don’t see themselves as the problem. They also may not like to ‘talk’ about their problems. Although we are effective at working through resistance, there may be times when counselling may not be able to reach the young person. However, all is not lost in this case. We use interventions from the Bowen Family Systems Therapy model and the Ericksonian family model to help change other components within the family and household that will eventually contribute, indirectly, to the desired change in the unwanted behaviours of the child/teen.