No two children take the same path. Due to this I use a variety of different approaches to meet your child exactly where they are.
Below are descriptions of the various therapies I have found effective for building trusting relationships and helping children. I may use one or more of these therapies in my work with your child depending on what we all decide will best serve your child and family’s needs.
Trauma Informed: My work acknowledges the impact that trauma and toxic stress has on a child’s physical, psychological and emotional development. I follow a strengths-based perspective that focuses on resilience and how to assist children to develop an integrated sense of themselves in relation to the effects of trauma. This work enables their brains to function in coordinated and more regulated ways.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT helps improve a child’s moods, anxiety, and behaviour by examining confused or distorted patterns of thinking. CBT teaches children that thoughts cause feelings and moods which can influence behaviour. As unhelpful (red) thoughts become evident, I then help your child replace them with helpful (green) thoughts that result in more appropriate feelings, thoughts and actions.
Expressive Arts Play Therapy: I use a variety of expressive tools such as art, music, drama, puppets, dance, movement, poetry/creative writing, social stories, social and emotional skill development games and sandplay within the context of counselling to help your child express themselves in ways that feel safe and fun.
Synergetic Play Therapy: developed by Lisa Dion, LPC,RPT-A, this approach honours both the healing powers of play and the science that governs relationship. Through the play itself, I support the child in connecting to their perceptions of the challenging events in their life and teach them how to increase their window of tolerance.
Emotion-Based Social Thinking Skills Education: These programs teach emotional competence and social skills while improving confidence and preventing future mental health concerns.
Some of the emotional & social thinking programs I offer include:
The Incredible Years: An evidence-based program that improves children’s social emotional competence, emotion regulation, school readiness, skills that assist in learning, problem solving, and self-control skills.
FRIENDS for Life: A social skills and resilience building program that has been recognized by the World Health Organization as an effective means to improve focus and prevent anxiety for children aged 4-11. It is proven to reduce anxiety and provide participants with the tools to rise to life’s challenges, and make the most of setbacks and adversity.
Zones of Regulation: A curriculum geared toward helping children gain skills in consciously regulating their actions, which in turn leads to increased control and problem solving abilities. Children learn to recognize when they are in different states called “zones”, with each of four zones represented by a different colour. When completed they have a toolbox of methods to use to recognize and move between zones and regulate their emotions.
Social Explorers Curriculum: A program geared for young learners with social thinking challenges. This program helps children learn how to navigate the complexities of the social world using social stories, play activities, music and guided educational activities.
Superflex: A Superhero Social Thinking Curriculum where children learn how each of them have Superflexible capacities in their brains that can overcome a Team of Unthinkables, such as Rock Brain, Topic Twister Meister and Mean Jean. It is a fun and motivating way to teach children with social and communication difficulties to develop further awareness into their own thinking and social behaviours and learn strategies to to help them develop better self regulation across a range of behaviours,
Social stories: Here we use puppets and books to describe a situation with relevant social cues, while modeling appropriate social interaction, how to process feelings, how to take new perspectives and discover solutions.
Filial Therapy: A form of family play therapy founded on the belief that parents can learn necessary skills to help their children to overcome difficulties and improve their relationships. It incorporates the power of play therapy within the family context to empower children, parents, and the family as a whole. It helps children, parents, and families make changes that lead to closer, more cohesive relationships and better individual and family adjustment.
Narrative Therapy: This approach teaches your child to move the problem (like anxiety) outside of themselves through story so they interact with, or “fight” it in a new way. This approach is a playful way to motivate children to face their struggles and gain personal strength as they solve their problems.