For concerns regarding children under the age of 12 it is often useful for us to first meet with a parent or caregiver to obtain relevant background information and ensure that seeing the child is the best course of action. Sometimes, especially with younger children, we may be able to assist parents to help their son or daughter without ever having to see the child. As some children may become anxious about meeting with a stranger, it is important to re-assure them that a counsellor or psychologist is someone who can help them feel better. It is not necessary for children to speak about traumatic events, rather the focus is on making sense of feelings and managing symptoms. We may use a combination of talking and play therapy to achieve this.
Children and adolescents can experience stress which can be triggered by exams, performances, social situations, family crisis, and change, to name a few. Certain personality types are more prone to stress than others. Helping children learn strategies to effectively manage their stress levels from an early age can have long term benefits to their health and well-being.
If your child has symptoms such as loss of interest in normal activities, prolonged periods of sadness, sleep disturbance, withdrawal from friends and family, changed appetite, or suicidal thoughts then it is important to consult your GP and a psychologist as soon as possible. Counselling can help children identify and change negative thought patterns, understand the link between thoughts, feelings and behaviour, and develop effective coping mechanisms.
Some studies have shown that high levels of anxiety during childhood can lead to depression, anxiety disorders, phobias, or substance abuse problems in adulthood. Early intervention with a qualified psychologist can reduce anxiety by assisting children to develop effective tools to manage anxiety levels and prevent later difficulties.
Recovery from Trauma or Abuse
Unfortunately, some children and adolescents will be the victim of physical or sexual abuse or have experienced a traumatic event. Trauma and abuse can result in low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, difficulty managing emotions, sleep disturbances, social difficulties and school problems. Counselling with an experienced psychologist can help mediate the negative effects of trauma and abuse.
When children have a low opinion of themselves it can lead to a host of personal and social difficulties. Counselling can assist children and teens to develop a more positive outlook about themselves and life in general. Parents and caregivers are pivotal in the development and maintenance of children’s self-esteem. At Live Well Now we can also provide parents with the skills, techniques and resources to boost their child’s self-worth.
If your child or teenager is experiencing problems at school such as bullying, truancy, detentions, poor concentration, social or behavioural problems then talk to us today. Children spend many years and a large part of their day at school, so it is important to resolve any school issues as quickly as possible. We are experienced in working with children, their parents and the school to reduce the incidence and impact of school problems.
Mood changes are a common occurrence in childhood and usually pass with time and parental guidance. If tantrums, extreme mood swings, excessive crying, anger outbursts, or irritability have become an ongoing issue and are causing stress in your family then it may be time to seek help.
Many children suffer from a range of sleep problems such as nightmares, sleep walking, and difficulty falling or staying asleep. Chronic sleep difficulties can cause long term health problems and place children and their parents under considerable stress. Counselling can help with many sleep problems but it is important to see your GP first to assess whether there are any underlying medical problems before seeking help from a psychologist.
There is an increasing awareness of the impact of bullying on children and teens. If your child has been a victim of persistent bullying or has been engaging in bullying tactics then we can help your child develop effective strategies for managing peer relationships, build their self-esteem and improve their resilience and positive coping mechanisms.
Would your child or teenager benefit from additional skills to combat peer pressure and make good decisions? Having a strong sense of self, clear values and a positive self-esteem can assist children and teens to be able to stand up for what they believe in and resist peer pressure. Counselling can assist in identifying values, building self-esteem and developing strategies for dealing with difficult situations.
Separation, Grief and Loss
Sometimes children and adolescents need help with situations such as separation of parents or death of a friend or family member. Talking to a caring professional can help children understand and process grief and loss and enhance coping strategies.