Children & Teens

I understand and appreciate how much you as a parent want the best for your child. If you are seeking therapeutic help for your child,  it is likely with concern regarding your child’s behaviours and emotions. Children and adolescents can struggle with confidence, social skills, expressing emotions, and other concerning behaviours for a variety of reasons. Child and teen counselling provides the opportunity for kids to express themselves in a safe environment with a therapist who is attuned to their challenges and needs. It is my goal to work with your child in a way that helps them gain a strong sense of self, while learning new methods of communicating and healthier ways of coping with the challenges they are facing. Raising a child takes a village, so I hope to support you in the journey of parenting: 

With Understanding          Without Judgement          With Compassion

Although there is no denying that counselling can dramatically improve a child’s well-being, research has clearly shown that the best and longest lasting outcomes occur when counsellors work to improve the functioning of the family unit as a whole. “When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” Family counselling and parenting resources are available in order to ensure the best service possible for your child.

 

Should My Child See a Therapist?

 

Signs that your child may benefit from seeing a therapist or child psychologist include:

  • Developmental delays (speech, language, or toilet training)

  • Learning or attention problems (such as ADHD)

  • Behavioural problems (such as acting out, excessive anger, or inappropriate speech)

  • Social withdrawal or isolation

  • Mood swings (happy one moment, then very upset the next)

  • Sudden change in appetite, refusal to eat (particularly in teens)

  • Decreased interest in hobbies and other previously enjoyed activities

  • Bullying (either the victim of bullying or bullying other children)

  • A significant drop in grades, especially if your child normally maintains high grades

  • Your child is often tearful, sad, or depressed. (see signs of depression below)

  • Insomnia and other sleep problems

  • An increase in or development of physical complaints despite a normal physical exam

  • Signs of drug and alcohol use

  • Bereavement and trouble transitioning after a large change in the family system such as a death, separation, divorce, or a move

  • Experience of a traumatic event (sexual, physical, or emotional abuse)

 

Teen Issues

 

The adolescent years can offer the opportunity for some of the greatest growth, influence, and change. It is a period of time where teens often struggle to find their place in the world; who they are and how to fit in. They face dramatic physical, emotional, and intellectual changes and encounter questions and pressure around their identity, education, sexuality, and their role in the family. It is also a common time for the early beginnings of learned or inherited mental health issues to arise. The overwhelming stress of navigating through adolescence can lead to negative psychological, physical, and social consequences such as:

  • Strained relationships

  • Risky behaviour

  • Poor academics 

  • Anxiety

  • Depression 

  • Eating disorders

  • Drug and alcohol use

This is an opportune time, before negative patterns of coping become entrenched or lifelong habits, to teach teens the skills they need to challenge self-defeating thoughts, learn healthier ways of coping and set them up to succeed in life.

As a parent of an adolescent, you may not know how to help or the best way to get through to them. You are not alone! I understand that there is no possible way parents can know all there is to know about teen eating disorders, teen bullying, self-esteem issues, teen sexting, and teen addictions. However, by reaching out to a professional who can guide your family along this journey you are taking a great first step. I would love to help your teen learn skills to navigate peer pressure, make healthy decisions, and regain the confidence they need to grow into the amazing individual they are meant to be. 

Serving Nanaimo, Parksville, Ladysmith, Duncan, and Region.

Nanaimo, BC     |     nicmft@gmail.com     |     250-802-6547