Treatment is available for children and youth from ages 6 to 21. Presenting issues may include depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, school stress, perfectionism, OCD, anger, trauma, loss and bereavement.
Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach. CBT describes how our thoughts, feelings, and actions are all interconnected and how through learning healthy coping strategies we can break negative cycles that lead to maladaptive thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. It is one of the most effective treatment methods for anxiety and depression and has proven effectiveness for a variety of issues. An eclectic approach may be taken depending on the presenting concerns, with elements of positive psychology, mindfulness, emotion focused, or narrative therapy tied into sessions.
The first session is typically just for information gathering. Depending on the nature of the concerns, treatment may aim to be 12 to 16 sessions, or longer for more complex or long-standing issues; however, short-term therapy options may also help to target more specific goals.
Many children and teens go through difficult times and may experience mental health difficulties. Left untreated, some children will be able to bounce back on their own or with support of friends, family, and loved ones; however, others will not. Children and youth experiencing mental health difficulties who receive psychotherapy have been found to be better adjusted than 80% of those who do not.
Treatment methods are adapted based on the developmental level of the child. For younger children, crafts or role playing may help to visualize concepts and create opportunities for engagement. Whereas for older teens typically respond better to a talk therapy approach. In treating anxiety, we will practice relaxation techniques and exposure exercises may be done with the help of the family.