What is Child Therapy?

It can be difficult to interpret the thoughts and feelings of children. The way they process information, recall memories and react to the influence of others makes it challenging to understand how they think. Child therapy is tailored to the child's age and developmental stage. It is designed specifically for young children under 12 who are displaying mental health issues, behavioural issues or coping issues. It's a way to help them through their problems by dealing with their challenges in a safe environment where they can express themselves freely.

Signs of Distress in Children

Children who are distressed often express their emotions through their behaviour. They may act out, have tantrums, misbehave, or withdraw from their friends and family. These behaviours can be a response to the child's own negative emotions or a way to get attention from others. If you notice that your child is suddenly acting differently and won't communicate with you, counselling is a helpful option to get to the bottom of your concerns in a safe and nurturing environment. 

Chronic Sadness

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

Social Withdrawal

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

Extreme Trantrums

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

Changes in Eating

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

Physical Pain

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

Difficulty Focusing

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

Loss of Interest

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

Difficulty Sleeping

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

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.
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What Can Counselling Help With?

It can be hard for children to cope with the stresses and strains of life, especially if they are going through a tough time. Counselling can help children through a variety of situations, such as divorce of parents, school problems, depression, anxiety, bullying, loss, abuse and neglect. Child counsellors are trained to work with children to teach them how to manage their feelings better so they can deal with what's happening in their lives.
anxiety

Anxiety Disorders

Children can, like adults, develop generalized anxiety, social anxiety, performance anxiety (stage fright), test anxiety, phobias, and panic disorders. However, they often find it very difficult to express their thoughts and explain why they feel so scared all the time.
self esteem

Bullying

Children who experience bullying often suffer from low self-esteem and poor self-image. They may be more likely to have trouble with academics, social relationships, and even physical health. They may be at risk for developing mental illnesses like depression or anxiety disorders.
couples

Divorce or Separation

Children who live in a home with divorced parents are often in a difficult position. Not only do they have to deal with the emotional turmoil of their parents' divorce, but they also have to navigate the sometimes-confusing world of relationships, family dynamics, and household management on their own.
depression

Depression & Grief

Depression and grief are hard for anyone to deal with, but it is especially challenging for children. Children have not yet developed the tools to cope with difficult emotions, so they don't always know how to express their feelings. This can make them feel even more isolated and misunderstood than adults might feel in similar situations.
adhd

Learning Disabilities

Children who are struggling with learning disabilities can greatly benefit from counselling. Child therapists can help them identify their strengths and weaknesses, and develop strategies for overcoming their challenges. It also gives them the opportunity to find ways to improve their study habits and skills.
autism

ADHD and Autism

Counselling helps children with ADHD or autism spectrum disorder develop coping strategies for managing their symptoms and improving their quality of life. It also helps them develop the skills to communicate effectively, manage social situations better and make friends more easily.
assessments

OCD

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. Counselling can help reduce and even eliminate obsessions and the need to act on them.
ptsd

Trauma

Children who have experienced trauma, abuse or neglect can find it difficult to verbalize their memories, thoughts and feelings. Our therapists offer a specialized approach to help children process what had happened in a developmentally appropriate way and learn how to cope with their complex feelings.
mental health stress

School Problems

Children who feel they are not meeting the expectations of their teachers or peers may begin to withdraw from social situations and avoid certain activities where they fear they will be judged. This can lead to a cycle of poor academic performance, social isolation, and a growing sense of shame and self-doubt.

Child Therapists

Carla Hett Smith
Virtual Only

Carla Hett Smith

RSW, EMDR Trained
$200 per hour
Carla works with children (under 13), adults and families who are struggling with ADHD, anxiety, anger, depression, personality disorders, grief, life changes, trauma and more.
Accepting New Clients
Jamie Papp
Virtual & In-Person

Jamie Papp

Certified Counsellor
$140 per hour
Jamies works with children, teenagers and adults who struggle with ADHD, autism, behavioural issues, anger, depression, work issues, stress, aging, self esteem, grief, parenting and more.
Accepting New Clients
Nicole Pertich
Virtual & In-Person

Nicole Pertich

Registered Psychologist, EMDR Trained
$220 per hour
Nicole works with children (6+) who struggle with anxiety, depression, trauma, ADHD, autism, phobias, social skills, bullying, stress, performance anxiety and more.
Returning Clients Only
Shelley Campbell
Virtual & In-Person

Shelley Campbell

MSW, RSW, EMDR Trained
$200 per hour
Shelley works with youths, adults, Indigenous people, first responders and veterans who have experienced trauma, sexual abuse, anxiety, depression, bullying, grief and loss, family violence and more.
Returning Clients Only

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