Kids constantly experience life transitions and have to learn to navigate their changing world. The growth and change process has been made even more difficult as the entire world changes throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Childhood, in general, is changing - children are growing up in an increasingly anxiety-provoking, technological and achievement-focused world.
That's a lot of change.
My aim is to help children and youth adjust to these changes without adding more stress to their lives. Art and play are easily recognizable, comforting and natural ways for children to express themselves. Children are drawn to work through change and stress by colouring, scribbling, roleplaying, dancing and singing. If your child is struggling to cope during these times, counselling and expressive therapy can help build resilience, offer positive coping strategies and offer an outlet to explore the changing world in a space free of judgment - where your kid can be a kid.
WHAT TO EXPECT
working together looks like:
caregiver interview: before meeting with your child one-on-one, I require a parent/guardian intake interview (ages 9-12). In this meeting, we discuss the needs of your child and the wonderful qualities that they possess. If your child is a teenager, you can choose to have a caregiver meeting, or allow your teen to complete the intake session themselves.
feelings check-in (ages 9-12): we begin each session with circling our feelings on a chart. Everybody in the room circles how they are feeling and has the option to say more about their feelings if they choose. This emphasizes that we all feel a range of emotions and introduces neutrality. No one feeling is good or bad, just as your child is not good or bad when they are experiencing this feeling.
art-making and play (ages 9-12): children are drawn to work through change and stress by colouring, scribbling, role-playing, dancing and singing. We use art materials like coloured pencils, felt markers, crayons, watercolour paint and plasticine and toys like dolls, puppets, nature items and blocks to explore the themes coming up in your child's life.
art-making (teenagers): We create art to explore themes on a deeper level. Art-making is therapeutic in itself; sometimes we might just pay attention to how it feels to create.
trust: to build trust in the therapy room, it is emphasized that "what you say in here stays in here" (barring limits to confidentiality). While caregivers are welcome to request check-ins, any communication with parents/guardians is discussed with your child beforehand.
coping skills: therapeutic work does not just stay in the therapy room. We will explore coping skills together, and create plans to practice these skills at home and school.
brain/body understanding: learning about stress responses in the brain/body facilitates a deeper understanding of feelings and behaviours.
a place for you to rest: while your child is in session, you are welcome to sit in the adjoining room. Find comfort on the couch (seriously, have a nap!), connect to wifi, grab a book from the bookshelf, or hang out with your other kid(s) during your child's session time.
coaching sessions: if you are in need of parenting support, we can meet on Zoom to discuss strategies and form a deeper understanding of your child's behaviours/support needs from the perspective of developmental interpersonal neurobiology.
$175 + GST per 50-minute session.
When beginning the therapeutic process, sessions are weekly or every other week. After establishing a working relationship, monthly booking is available.
Expect to invest in 10 or more sessions.
I am invested in my clients and take active steps to ensure that I show up to sessions fully and authentically. I maintain a small client base and book only a few clients a day to prevent burnout.
I invest in consistent professional supervision, personal therapy, peer support and advanced training. In the therapy room, you will find quality art supplies, and abundant take-home resources.
My clients receive discounted rates on the therapeutic groups/workshops I facilitate.