Marguerite McCarron, BA, Dipl. TCPP, Registered Psychotherapist
Children 0-9 years
We can understand children better if we understand their play. ‘Toys are words and play is conversation.’(Schaefer) The therapist uses play materials within a safe, interpersonal relationship to assist the child become aware of and express their thoughts, feelings, motivations, wishes and worries. Play therapy activities help children reduce fear and anxiety, increase empowerment and self-esteem and enhance problem-solving skills.
Parents’ involvement in the treatment process is key to the child’s progress. Parents will be included in the assessment phase and throughout the treatment process with regular feedback, parent support and coaching as required. Parent-child sessions are also an integral part of the treatment process to help parents and children build better relationships.
Children 7-9 yrs. and Tweens ( 10-13yrs)
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
Some children experience high levels of worry and anxiety. These feelings and the associated behaviors can interfere with their enjoyment of everyday activities, family relationships, interactions with peers or with recreational pursuits. Therapy is aimed at helping the child build skills to manage their fears and anxiety and the situations that evoke anxious behaviors.
Parents are actively involved as ‘coaches’ to their child to help the child plan and implement their new skills. Parents are also provided ways to interact differently with their child‘s anxious behaviors and to effectively support and encourage their child though the program of skill- building activities. Family sessions are also included to facilitate open communication between child and parent and to identify and address interactions of concern.
Individual Counseling: Adolescents (14-18yrs.)
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Adolescence is a time for significant emotional, social, cognitive and behavior development. Challenges can be expected along the way. For some adolescents mood or anxiety problems can lead to daily struggles to contain their fears and worries, to manage persistent feelings of apprehension, panic, sadness or depression.
Counselling with adolescents begins with an assessment of their identified concerns and the development of a plan for continued support, education and therapy. Cognitive Behavior Therapy(CBT) combined with Mindfulness strategies and other techniques can assist youth build skills to cope with and manage problematic feelings , thoughts and experiences. Additional concerns addressed can include, self –esteem, peer and family relations, problem solving.
Adopted Children, Youth and Families
At any point during the post adoption period challenges may occur. Attachment Focused Family Therapy is aimed at helping children/youth develop security of attachment with their adoptive parents. Assistance to the child/youth to resolve past relationship loss and/or trauma and become more adaptively integrated into their new family, school and community settings is an integral part of the counselling provided.