Child Psychologists and Teen Counselling

Structured Psychology for Your Child or Teen

Parents care about their kids. We can’t tell you how many concerned parents we have spoken to who are worried about changes in their child’s behaviour and their well-being. A lot of parents have tried out child psychologists in the past and are looking for something different. Our origin-focused and results-driven structured protocol is well suited for challenges faced by older children and teenagers, and is rooted in attachment and trauma theory. We are committed to finding the best possible way to help your child and their individualistic needs.

Child and Youth Counselling

At ShifGrit, we see children ages 12 and above. We first want to get an overall understanding of the client’s (in this case, your child) life. During the intake session, both the parent(s) and child will participate for the first 10-15 minutes. During this time, the parents, client and the clinician will discuss the important issue of confidentiality, and creating a safe space for the client. In this time, we will also do some goal setting and create a game plan to address the concerns of the client.

Following this, the rest of the intake will involve only the clinician and the client. We will talk with the client about their concerns, behaviours, thoughts and feelings and start to understand the patterns in your child’s life. We will investigate things like:

  • The child’s social history
  • Behaviours at school
  • Interactions with family and siblings
  • Interests and extracurricular activities
  • Negative life experiences

We will use this information to understand the root of your child’s thoughts and behaviours. We will also set goals for your child’s counselling and determine what success would look like. After the intake session, we will work with just the child in a way that’s comfortable for them. Your clinician will work with you to determine how much you, as the parent, should be involved in your child’s therapy sessions. Often, parents will join for a few minutes at the beginning or end of the session. It is important that both parents understand that the child is the client. We want to create a safe, open space for them where they feel supported.

Often, in fact, almost all of the time, kids are locked in a cycle of maladaptive behaviour in a response to a traumatic event or series of events. These may be subtle, and the client may not even be aware of these events. During reprocessing, we will address these traumas which give rise to limiting beliefs.

Common youth concerns that we address here at Shift include:

We understand that therapy sessions can be uncomfortable or intimidating for children, so we aim to make therapy as fun and interactive as possible! An example of this is using an ‘anger volcano’ to help children understand how their emotions affect their behaviours and ways they can cope (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) It is a way children can see and explain how their anger builds up to the point of exploding where they can’t control their emotions anymore.

How does the Shift Protocol apply to child and youth counselling?

We can help your child or teen identify certain limiting beliefs they may be having. These are negative beliefs we have about ourselves that stop us from living our full potential. Limiting beliefs often stem from childhood; specifically, from what we call non-nurturing elements, which is why it is important to nip them in the bud early on.

Common Limiting Beliefs in children and teens are:

  • I am dumb/stupid
  • No one likes me
  • No one wants me
  • I am not good enough
  • I don’t matter
  • I can’t do anything right
  • It’s my fault
  • I am crazy
  • Everything is my fault
  • I am bad at everything
  • Bad things always happen to me
  • I can’t trust people
  • I can’t trust myself
  • I am ugly
  • I am a loser

In response to these beliefs, we tend to strive for the opposite and these become our dysfunctional needs. Dysfunctional needs, often stemming from childhood, can define our lives which is why early intervention is crucial.

While we use the Shift protocol near you to target deeper issues, our child and youth counselling is adaptable. We will give your child strategies and ways to cope with their concerns, as well as reprocess the deep-rooted issues when appropriate.

We offer child counselling services on a wide range of youth-related issues: