Watching your child struggle is something every parent eventually faces. Supporting your child through life's challenges is something you were ready for. Knowing when to seek professional support may feel more uncertain. It takes wisdom to know when your child needs the help of a psychologist and courage to reach out and find someone you trust to build a realtionship with your child. At Eckert Centre our passion is to join you in helping your child, offering skilled support when they need it most. We offer a range of child counselling services in Calgary, AB to help your kid gain a better understanding of themselves, their relationships, and their environment.
What is child counselling?
Child counselling is a form of therapy geared towards young children and adolescents struggling with mental, behavioural or emotional disorders. Our licensed counsellors treat a range of issues that cause social or emotional distress, hindering a child from living a fulfilled life. Common problems treated by child counsellors include:
- attachment disorder
- behavioural problems
- bereavement of a pet, home, or loved one
- cognitive and developmental difficulties
- depression and anxiety
- physical, sexual and emotional abuse
- psychological distress
- relocation issues
- separation anxiety
- substance abuse in the family
At Eckert Centre, we break cognitive and behavioural issues into manageable chunks so children can better understand and manage them. Our counselling services offer a supportive and trusting environment for kids to talk about their thoughts and emotions without fear of judgment. We provide the right tools and coping techniques to help them make changes within their own lives.
We understand that seeking professional support can be overwhelming, which is why we ensure you and your child feel safe and comfortable every step of the way.
How child counselling can help
Child counselling benefits not just your child, but your entire family, too.
It is common for conflicts and jealousy to arise between siblings. If they are not resolved immediately, they can lead to broken relationships in the family.
Effective counsellors can help your child learn better ways to communicate and empathize with others. Through counselling, jealousy and tension can be replaced by trust and patience. Your children will be in a better position to resolve problems on their own and be more understanding of others.
Lack of self-confidence may prevent your child from building meaningful relationships and maximising their potential. People with high self-esteem, on the other hand, have higher chances of reaching their goals and succeeding in life.
Our experienced counsellors help craft strategies to boost your child’s sense of self-awareness and emotional well-being.
Children rarely open up to family members due to fear of judgment or ridicule. Suppressing intense feelings, however, can damage relationships and have serious consequences on the mind and body.
Speaking to a counsellor can reduce some of the pressure. Counselling provides a safe and welcoming space for children to gain control of their thoughts and express them in healthy ways.
Develop coping skills for major life changes
Every parent wants to ensure their child is prepared for anything life throws at them. Counselling can help your kid manage expectations, develop resilience, and accept change. This way, they can deal with both present and future hardships more effectively
See our therapeutic techniques and options for your child below.
Play therapy is part of the child counselling services we offer in Calgary Unlike other approaches, it focuses on the therapeutic benefits of play. It leverages children’s natural ability to express feelings, solve problems, and interact with others through games, toys, and other creative activities. Although play therapy is especially appropriate for children ages 3 through 12 years old, it can also benefit adolescents and adults.
Types of play therapy
Therapists use varied approaches depending on the age and specific circumstances. They may focus on one type of play or use a combination of treatments.
- Expressive arts. Activities like drawing, painting, dancing, and singing provide a medium by which a child can freely communicate their emotions and experiences.
- Imaginary play. By acting out relational scenarios, children can practise coping strategies for social conflicts. This often involves playing with real-life toys such as play kitchen, doll house, and costume jewellery.
- Sand tray. Allows a child to tell stories that reflect their own life using miniature toys and colored sand.
Play therapists can take a directive approach where they actively participate in the activity. Other times, they may follow a non-directive approach, where the child takes the lead while the therapist guides and observes. Therapists may also ask the family to participate in specific games designed to address specific conflicts.
How can play therapy benefit children?
Children’s play can assist in:
- Uncovering internal conflicts
- Rectifying the effects of trauma and loss
- Cultivating new problem-solving strategies
- Practising accountability for behaviours
- Creating new and creative solutions to problems
- Developing respect and acceptance of self and others
- Learning new social skills and improving self-esteem
How long does play therapy last?
It’s usually best when sessions are held weekly, usually lasting about 30 to 50 minutes. Most play therapists recommend minimum 12 sessions for lasting results. Some children may show significant gains in a shorter time frame, while more complex issues may take longer to work out.
Speak to our trusted therapists today
Worried about your child’s behaviour or mental health? Eckert Centre offers effective play therapy in a warm and nurturing setting. Schedule a consultation today.
What can art therapy do?
Art offers a visual language and meaningful form of communication for children, partiulalry when making sense of their own experiences and challenges. Through the process of creating art and working with an art therapist, a child can:
- Explore their feelings
- Process emotional conflicts
- Build self-awareness and increase self-esteem
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Celebrate strengths and enhance natural coping capacities
- Safely confront difficult topics through metaphor and symbolism
- Enhance problem-solving, improvisation, flexibility, and mastery; and
- Address the challenges that brought them to therapy.
What if my child is not artistic?
It is important to note that no artistic skills are required! Art therapy is not about creating beautiful final products or museum-worthy masterpieces. Instead, the focus is on the child's process, which (just like life) can be messy, awkward, and outside our comfort zone. Ultimately, however, it can also be incredibly rewarding. Trying new materials, discovering interesting techniques, learning more about oneself, and confronting difficult life circumstances is all part of growth.
Who can benefit from art therapy?
Children as young as 3 years old can participate in art therapy. Sessions are held weekly at 50 minutes each, although the length may vary depending on the child’s unique needs. Most clients are advised to attend at least 12 sessions to ensure optimal results.
Has your child or adolescent experienced early trauma (e.g., abuse, neglect, bullying, accidents, etc.) and is having difficulty coping? Maybe they are experiencing feelings of anger, guilt, powerlessness, depression, anxiety, numbness, sleep problems, concentration problems, or extreme physical and emotional responses as a result of these traumatic experiences or reminders of these experiences (i.e., triggers).
Trauma Focused-CBT is a short-term (16-25 sessions), evidence-based intervention that incorporates cognitive-behavioural therapy and family therapy with trauma-sensitive approaches to help children, adolescents, and their families overcome the negative impacts of traumatic experiences. The role of the therapist is to work collaboratively with the child and family to address their unique needs. TF-CBT teaches children and their caregivers about the impact of trauma; helps children and their caregivers identify and manage difficult emotions in a healthier way; helps children and families identify unhelpful thoughts and behaviours, challenge/modify those beliefs, and implement healthier behaviours; helps children and their caregivers to talk with each other about the traumatic experiences; and helps families develop skills for optimizing their children’s emotional and behavioural adjustment.
Who is TF-CBT for?
Children between the ages of 3 and 18 can benefit from our child counselling services in Calgary. Whether the child has experienced a single occurrence or repeated episodes of trauma, TF-CBT can help in developing proper coping techniques. Treatment generally involves around 12 to 18 sessions with each meeting lasting from 60 to 90 minutes. If you would like to know more about TF-CBT and child counselling in Calgary, AB, visit our FAQs page today.