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January 22nd, 2021

Children and Youth Psychotherapy

Child Therapy

When providing children and youth psychotherapy, it’s necessary to choose a Child Therapist who uses specific developmentally-appropriate techniques. Traditional “talk therapy,” which is often used in adult sessions, simply isn’t suitable when working with kids. 

The classic image of a person laying on a couch while the therapist sits off to one side, quietly taking notes, is not the most effective method of reaching a child. 

First off, kids generally will not sit still for long. They easily become bored and often talking is not their preferred form of communication. 

Secondly, most kids do not have an extensive past. Kids live out and process their past and present simultaneously, and in the moment, often occurring very fluidly throughout their day. 

Kids are often able to clearly communicate and express what they are living through. However, this may not always be in ways adults typically understand and sometimes not using the English language. 

Working with a Child Therapist

Our child therapists uses a wide variety of techniques and models, some geared specifically towards children and only used with children, whereas others are more standardized therapeutic techniques used across all age groups. 

Therapists often use creative means to connect with and understand children, as well as assist children in processing and moving through their healing journey. 

For example, a parent may play with their children, whereas a Registered Social Worker, trained to work with children, will encourage the child to lead the play while analyzing the play (play direction, theme, symbolism, etc.). 

Whether the therapist is a registered play therapist or a child therapist supplementing traditional therapy methods with play, the child will be able to commence processing their past in a safe, controlled, creative, and engaging way.

The awesome part of therapy – compared to going to a dentist or visiting the paediatrician – is that most kids will want to come back.

Getting Started

When meeting with your Psychotherapist it is important that you as the caregiver like, get along with, and respect the therapist. If the people closest to the child are not in tune with the therapist, then the child will pick up on this and the sessions will not be productive. 

Ask the child, do they like the person? Do they want to come back? Sometimes a child warming up to someone can take a little while. Generally, kids enjoy being in charge and making their own choices, and if they feel comfortable, they will say so. 

Lastly, kids are really smart – they will pick up on the person who will help them the most!

Ohana’s Psychotherapists for Children, Youth, and Teens

Our diverse team of Psychotherapists includes counsellors trained as Registered Social Workers or Registered Psychotherapists.

Alina Philip, RP provides counselling for adults, children (10 years and up), teens, and families. Alina has almost two decades of counselling experience and uses a variety of therapy tools. Such as CBT to help cope with anxiety, depression, and OCD. For emotional dysregulation and children needing support and skills to deal with emotional situations she prefers DBT. Whereas EMDR is often utilized for chronic trauma.

Andrew Goldstein, MSW RSW provides individual counselling for both adults and teens (15 years and up). His experience includes supporting those who suffered from substance abuse, anxiety, physical and sexual trauma, OCD, anxiety, depression, and life transitions. Andrew effectively creates a safe space to express concerns, work on behaviour changes, and build on your own growth and resiliency. 

Shannon Burton, MSW RSW, has dedicated her practice to working solely with children, youth, and families. She has experience in a multitude of settings including education systems, hospital settings, as well as private practice. Sessions range from working with the child individually, or with the parents, or with the parents on their own. Shannon works with children aged 4 years to 19 years old.

Find the Right Therapist and Approach

Book a free 15-minute Meet and Greet with one of our professionals to find the right type of therapy and therapist for your needs.