Children & Teens

Children can present very different when they are overwhelmed, due to their unique personalities and their stress response. They can become anxious with trouble to sleep or to play with their friends. At the Child and Family Counselling Center, we will do an in depth assessment of what might be troubling your child, to develop a comprehensive treatment program with the help of Parents who know their child the best.

Children are like emotional sponges. They can sense stress and conflict in their environment very early, even before birth. There are various life circumstances that can create stress for a child. Sometimes they are born with a very sensitive nervous system which can result in emotional breakdowns due to too much stress or stimulation for the brain and the nervous system. For other children there are periodic or constant stress or conflict in the environment or the family. Children can experience teasing, exclusion or bullying at school, which can affect their self-esteem and make them feel unsafe and very anxious at school and at home. A severe illness, transition or loss in a family will affect every member of the family. Various factors can lead to anxiety and emotional stressors for children and teens. It usually shows in their challenging behavior towards parents or teachers. Anxiety and depression in children and teens have increased at an alarming rate the past ten years.

Teenagers are in a very important time of their lives. The normal physiological changes of growth, combined with hormonal changes are happening very fast, which brings social pressures and expectations. Teens also have additional pressure from peers, school and parents to perform academically for their future careers. They also are in the phase of life where they have to manage relationships with friends, which can be much more complicated and challenging in this era of social media and exposures to various television and internet material. Teenage suicide is one of the biggest challenges of our time and early intervention is urgent. The diagnosis of teenage depression is also very complicated as parents usually see the teen’s withdrawn behavior, secrecy, lack of communication, late night activities and emotional irritability as normal teenage behavior.

Sophia has worked with children and teens for the past 25 years. She has treated children and teens to help them with the following emotional challenges:

  • Low self-esteem
  • depression
  • anxiety, panic attacks, separation anxiety
  • acting out behavior, anger outbursts, oppositional behavior
  • grief and loss
  • eating disorders
  • suicidal thoughts and behavior
  • traumatic experiences, abuse or neglect or violence
  • school phobia
  • Self-harm behavior.

Sophia uses a variety of Client –centered Psychotherapeutic methods to guide children and teens to emotional recovery.

  • Play Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
  • Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Somatic Experiencing Therapy
  • Attachment Adaptation Therapy

Sophia supports children/teens with psychotherapy to develop their self-esteem and learn self-regulation skills. Children are empowered to learn how their emotions are their radar to manage relationships in life, when they develop the ability to self-regulate their nervous system as well as their emotions. When children/teens learn that they can regulate their thoughts, their feelings and their behavior and with practice widen their emotional window of tolerance, they are empowered to develop a strong authentic sense of self to negotiate their choices and needs with their friends and family for the rest of their lives. Research shows that children and teens with a healthy self-esteem, supportive parents and connected family life are less vulnerable to get involved in drugs and alcohol experimentation and addictions.

Contact our office today if you are concerned about your child or teen.