Frequently Asked Questions
Children & Families
Childhood is the period of greatest growth and development, and early support counselling can be useful when a situation affects your child to the extent that it interferes with their daily functioning or general well-being. Kids who are struggling with big feelings can take a little while to warm up to the idea of seeing a "feelings doctor". We will help you introduce the idea to your child.
The early years are a time when, through their relationships with others, kids are building expectations about their world and the people in it. Kids are developing their first:
Social skills to get along in life with others
Sense of self including feeling good about themselves and what they can do
Emotional skills such as recognising, expressing and managing a wide range of feelings
Counselling promotes the development of these skills and young people and families are supported to learn strategies that will help them feel empowered. These first skills are so important as they form the foundations for ongoing development and affect mental health and wellbeing of kids and families, now and into the future.
Kids may benefit from counselling when they appear to have:
Difficulty regulating (controlling or managing) their feelings and behaviours
Distress when leaving a parent or home
Anxiety or worry
Social interaction issues
Persistent refusal to go to school
Poor concentration or difficulty completing schoolwork
Nightmares or changes in sleep or appetite
Persistent flat affect and withdrawn behaviours
How Counselling works
At the first counselling session the parent and psychologist meet to discuss specific concerns and the nature of the counselling sessions. The child and parent then spend time with the psychologist to build rapport, discuss confidentiality boundaries and to begin goal-setting activities. The number and frequency of sessions however, can vary widely depending on the issue.
Sessions then include both parent and child, sometimes together, sometimes separate, as we understand that it is important for you to be a part of your child’s therapy, so you can support and encourage them at home and in the world. It can at times be helpful to have families have sessions all together. However, children are also offered a degree of confidentiality for themselves as well. This helps to build trust, and gives them a space to talk about things they may not be ready to share otherwise.
By working individually with the psychologist, children are able to develop their skills with a positive and supportive role model. At the end of each session, we briefly summarise what was achieved and often small homework tasks may be set to complete before the next session. Feedback will be provided to parents either at the end of session or during parent feedback sessions booked in at generally 6 session increments.
Things we do
We use fun, engaging activities and games to encourage kids to talk, learn, and explore new ways of coping. Role-plays, games, worksheets, discussions, active learning and problem solving activities may be used to help kids explore and manage difficulties. Coping and emotional management strategies may be taught and practiced, cognitive strategies may be used to address unhelpful thoughts (such as negative self-talk), and specific scenarios acted out to learn how to problem solve and self-manage any negative behaviours.
Let your child have a look at the pictures of our clinic space to help them to see what they can expect. We use Play-Therapy with kids and it is fun and engaging (parents often can't resist joining in on the fun!)