Children and teens often have their own stresses and benefit from an opportunity to address them with an understanding counsellor. Low self-esteem; depression; anxiety; peer issues; addictions; eating disorders; grief and loss, and adjustment issues are some of the more prevalent reasons for engaging young people in individual therapy. I have seen children in therapy as young as 8, though I tend to see adolescents much more frequently. For young children, expressive therapies are helpful, and I recommend that parents seek the services of a good play or art therapist to work with their preschoolers and early school-age children should the need for individual therapy arise.
I very much enjoy working with teens. Given that this is such a profoundly growthful stage in life, it lends itself to self-examination. For many teens, this amounts to painful self-consciousness and critical self-judgment, so I welcome the opportunity to teach them to view themselves with more self-understanding and compassion. I also assist them to use practical, effective tools to manage stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression which in the past may have led to reactive behaviors which perpetuated their symptoms. Drawing on modalities such as cognitive therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy has been particularly useful, as well as assisting teens to incorporate relaxation and mindfulness practices into their daily lives. My goal is to foster a greater view of themselves beyond their symptoms, one that allows them to have faith in themselves and in their gradually unfolding future.
But you are the cure
You suppose that you are the lock on the door
But you are the key that opens it
It’s too bad that you want to be someone else
You don’t see your own face, your own beauty
Yet, no face is more beautiful than yours.Rumi