Therapy for Children

Therapy for Children specifically focuses on young children under 12 who are displaying mental health issues, behavioural issues, or coping issues. Young children often require a different approach to counselling than teenagers or adults because children remember and process information differently. Our child psychologists use a variety of approaches including talk therapy, behavioural therapy or play therapy which involves using toys, games, puzzles, and art to help children process and articulate difficult thoughts, feelings and memories in a positive, encouraging and nurturing environment.

Signs of Distress in Children

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Chronic Sadness

You child may be struggling if they experience persistent sadness or are feeling down for several days or weeks.

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Difficulty Sleeping

Nightmares, insomnia, and oversleeping are all signs of emotional distress in young children.

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Social Withdrawal

Children in distress may become reserved and withdraw from play time and social interactions.

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Physical Pain

Children with mental health issues often have physical signs such as headaches, back pain and stomachaches.

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Extreme Trantrums

Although young children can have tantrums, unusually anger and aggression can be a sign of a bigger problem.

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Difficulty Focusing

If your child is having more difficulty focusing than normal, they may be dealing with something else on their mind.

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Changes in Eating

If your child has uncharacteristically started over or under eating, it may be a sign of emotional distress.

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Loss of Interest

Loss of interest in activities that they once enjoyed could be indicative that your child is dealing with a problem.

How Can a Therapist Help?

Therapists trained to treat children can help with a variety of problems.

Help with Problems Like: 
Family Problems
School Problems
Social Anxiety
Medical Diagnoses
Bullying
Learning Difficulty
Phobias
Culture Shock

Help With Feelings Like:
Sadness
Anger
Stress​
Anxiety
Shame
Grief
Loneliness
Low Self-Esteem

Help With Conditions Like:
ADHD
Depression
Anxiety
OCD
Eating Disorders
Self-Harm
Behavioral Disorders
PTSD

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Anxiety in Children

Children, like adults, can develop generalized anxiety, social anxiety, performance anxiety (stage fright), test anxiety, phobias, OCD, and panic disorders for a variety of reasons. In some cases. children are genetically predisposed to developing anxiety, but in other cases, traumatic experiences, bullying, learning disabilities, or a broken home life can all contribute. Children can even sometimes absorb and mimic mental health issues observed in the adults and teenagers of the home.

Social Anxiety

Many children are shy when meeting new people; however, social anxiety is different. Children with social anxiety have a deep fear of judgement and criticism from others. In many cases, they experience extreme nervousness and often avoid social interactions all together. Children develop social anxiety when they aren't properly socialized, get bullied, or have learning disabilities that may lead to insecurities. Cognitive behavioural therapy is especially helpful in treating all forms of anxiety.

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OCD in Children

Obsessive compulsive disorder is a form of anxiety. Children with OCD show signs of obsession, which are fears that the child can't stop thinking about, and compulsions, which are rituals that your child may do to control their fears and prevent bad things from happening.

Parents may notice that the child:

  • Has trouble concentrating.

  • Gets irritated or anxious when things are not perfect.

  • Washes their hands frequently.

  • Get upset about asymmetry.

  • Needs parent to say or do exactly as they say.

  • Spends too much time getting dressed, do homework, and other daily tasks.

  • Is feeling or acting sad, anxious, irritable or tense.

Trauma in Children

Children who have experienced a trauma can often find it difficult to verbalize their thoughts and feelings about the traumatic event. Our therapists offer a specialized approach to help children process what had happened and learn how to cope.

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Play Therapy

A counselling approach that uses different kinds of play therapy techniques to help children express thoughts and feelings. It is a specialized approach made for young children. Play therapy may appear as normal play time to an outside perspective, but to a trained therapist, it offers invaluable insights into the thoughts and feelings of young children who can not properly articulate what they are going through.

EMDR for Children

EMDR is a relatively modern technique that has gained increased popularity in treating PTSD (Post traumatic Stress Disorder), anxiety, eating disorders and more. A trained therapist who works with children can effectively apply EMDR techniques on children who have previously experienced a traumatic event.

Our Child Therapists in Edmonton & Sherwood Park

 
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Nicole Pertich

Registered Psychologist, EMDR Trained

Nicole specializes in working with children and youth, aged 3-16 years old. Nicole has been helping children and youth overcome their difficulties and live full lives for over 15 years. 

New Clients - Call to Book 

Edmonton

Nicole's Fee: $200/hour

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Nadja Hansen

Registered Provisional Psychologist, EMDR Trained

Works with young children under 8 years old, as well as older children 9+. She uses play therapy techniques to help children cope with childhood trauma, anxiety, depression, OCD, bullying, family issues, autism and more. 

Accepting New Clients

Sherwood Park

Nadja's Fee: $200/hour

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Carla Hett Smith

RCSW (Registered Clinical Social Worker), EMDR Trained

Carla uses play therapy techniques as the medium for children (10+), youths and adults to process emotions in a safe and accessible way.

Accepting New Clients

St. Albert

Carla's Fee: $200/hour

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Shelley Campbell

MSW, RSW, EMDR Trained

Shelley is a registered social worker who has experience working with children who are living in challenging circumstances or experience mental health concerns.

Accepting New Clients

Sherwood Park

Shelley's Fee: $200/hour