Counselling for Children and Adolescents

Children who have experienced considerable change in their lives or who have survived traumatic events need to express and understand their feelings.

It may seem that your child isn’t upset by the recent divorce,  or the loss of a loved one, or the fighting by Mommy and Daddy. (verbal, psychological, emotional, physical etc.) But don’t be fooled.  Then months or years later she/he may start to:

–       exhibit aggressive behaviours and show anger.  Behaviours may include: throwing things, destroying toys, anger at certain people, hurting siblings or pets etc.

–      Have nightmares,

–      Be afraid or exhibit anxiety of things that she/he was not afraid of in the past, like events, visits, going to school, etc.

By this time your child may or may not be an adolescent.  They may not even be aware of the reason for their unhappiness.  This is where having the opportunity to engage in creative therapies helps them to become aware of their inner process, put a meaning to the unhappy feelings and then have the opportunity for grieving and letting go of the pain, for forgiveness and for healing.  Through the therapeutic use of play, children (and for that matter, adolescents and adults) are given the opportunity to express their feelings naturally, and safely, thus enabling the healing process to begin. When an individual is helped in this way, a clear message is sent: receiving help is okay. Therapy allows people of all ages to internalize this nurturing message and learn healthy self-care skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

I am trained in the following therapies which have been shown to be highly successful in helping children to heal and realize their childhood and grown-up dreams.

1.  Play therapy:  Games for children and adolescents to help eliminate anger and help the individual to have control over their emotions.

2.  Art therapy: I provide a course for children and adolescents that is called “Circle of Encouragement”.  This course is very interactive and has helps children and adolescents to reduce their anger, work through the grieving process, become more in touch with their feelings, help to heal from the affects of abuse and the witnessing of it (mental, physical sexual etc) It uses a combination of:

–  creative arts and gaining access to their imaginations including the use of various mediums of paper, projects, colours.

–  psycho-educational training by teaching them tools such as assertiveness, versus passiveness, aggressiveness and passive-aggressiveness, personal boundaries, emotional boundaries, and many other good things to help them to navigate life.

–  cognitive-behavioural therapy which basically consists of helping them to access the part of their brain that reasons through a problem before they act on it, versus acting on an angry impulse, for instance.

3.  Sandtray Therapy is a wonderful way to access the distressing impacts of events that many of us tend to ‘forget’ so that we can continue to survive.  It is a SAFE, GENTLE AND EFFECTIVE way to bring these memories into our awareness……so we can have the chance to experience healing and an ability to move in a positive direction with our lives.

I love this therapy and know from personal experience when I took the training, that it truly brings awareness and solutions to help to heal from whatever pain you are suffering from.  So for this reason I recommend this therapy for all age groups.

Ten Sandtray Therapy Facts

  1. The most effective non-medicated method of treatment.
  2. Originally created for and has been proven most effective with children
  3. Minimal verbal expression of feelings
  4. Allows the child to feel comfortable in a familiar environment.
  5. The counselor is the witness and the child is the builder.
  6. The counselor observes the child as they build and create.
  7. If the child feels safe, then they will be able to project what their thoughts, issues, and feelings are through the world they create which leads to awareness and healing.
  8. Stories can be created about the world they create and the counselor helps the child to process what they build.
  9. This will allow the child to independently express any feeling they have with the miniatures and the sand.
  10. The therapist will become more aware of the child’s traumatic experiences and in what way it has affected them.

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