CHILD AND ADOLESCENT SERVICES (offered in our Cranbrook office only!)

Family ServicesParents often seek consultation to assist them in helping their children or teenagers become happier, healthier and more confident. Children and families can benefit from a psychologist’s expertise in transitioning through challenges such as divorce or separation, sibling conflicts, bullying, tantrums, struggles with sleep, toileting difficulties, and eating problems. Some children and adolescents may need guidance to access their resilience as they overcome depression, low self-esteem, fears and phobias, social anxiety or attention/hyperactivity problems (ADHD). Within the school setting, parents and teachers may seek assistance to address problems children might be having with bullying, avoidance of school, strained peer relationships or learning difficulties.

In providing services to children or adolescents and their families, we begin with general assessments of emotional well-being and social functioning. When indicated, formal assessment of a child’s intelligence and capacity for learning may also be conducted. Results of assessments are shared with parents, and when appropriate, with the child. When school functioning is an area of concern, information obtained from testing can be used to characterize the child’s learning style. A firm knowledge of the child’s strengths and weaknesses can be employed to assist the child’s school to plan a learning program suited to the individual child’s needs. With the consent of both parents, we are pleased to meet with teachers to explain the assessment results and help them identify the most effective teaching methods for the child.

We employ a range of evidence-based treatment approaches in helping children, adolescents, and their families achieve their goals. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) employs practical and collaborative strategies that adults and children can use to help them improve the way they feel by changing the way they think. Behavioural Therapy uses a variety of techniques to change a child or adult’s behaviour. It encompasses relaxation and anxiety management skills to help a person feel calmer and think more clearly. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) can be helpful for adolescents for the development of skills in Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation and Interpersonal Effectiveness. Brief Solution Focused Therapy draws on the strengths of children and adults. By making the best use of their resources this therapy aims to build effective solutions. Finally, Parenting Skills Training promotes parents’ self-confidence and competence in using parent management strategies. The aims are to improve their children’s behaviour and to make home life happier by enhancing children’s social skills, improving limit-setting techniques and developing better communication skills between parent and child.


In the first appointment we want to get to know you and your family. It is helpful for your psychologist to meet the child, the child’s parent(s)/guardian and anybody else at home or in the family whom you would like to bring, such as brothers and sisters. The aim of the first appointment is to talk about the concerns you have and the reasons you decided to come. Who attends subsequent sessions will vary according to what you, and your psychologist, decide will be most helpful. In the first session we would decide together what issues to begin addressing, what type of treatment is likely to be most effective, how long treatment might be expected to take, and how frequently sessions should be scheduled. The frequency and number of appointments will vary according to the nature of the challenges you are facing and the type of assistance being requested.

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