Children learn through active play and interaction with others. Thus, therapy with children is most effective when you speak to them through the language of play. At Thrive, therapy sessions include play, physical activities and talk therapy to achieve therapy goals. Parent/ guardian participation and support greatly improves a child's ability to use new skills and to manage tough emotions. At Thrive, parents/ guardians are considered very important partners in all treatment planning. I have recently trained in a structured play therapy called Theraplay. This modality is evidence based and grounded in attachment theory. In Theraplay, parents/ guardians are co-therapists and specific play activities are used to address a wide range of emotional and behavioural concerns, including trauma/ attachment issues. For more info on Theraplay, please go to www.theraplay.org
It has never been easy being a teenager and today's teens are faced with a constant flow of information, situations and experiences that may be confusing and stressful. Adolescence is a time of starting to figure out who you are and getting comfortable with that, as well as gaining some independence from parents/ caregivers through making more independent choices and living with the consequences of those choices. At Thrive, a safe space is provided for teens to feel comfortable to talk about and work through tough emotions and confusing thoughts. New skills can be gained as well as a new outlook on life. Parents/ guardians are included whenever possible though there is a balance sought that honours a teen's need for privacy and independence.
Overcome Anxiety Clinic is an evidence based program that blends the ancient wisdom of yoga with modern Western knowledge in treating symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression and PTSD. Elements of the program are used in individual sessions when appropriate. The Overcome Anxiety Clinic is also offered as a group program and will be held in locations in the community. If you are interested in having your child or teen attend an Overcome Anxiety group or if you are interested in offering Overcome Anxiety in your community based program please contact me for more information.
Family therapy can look different depending on the goals a particular family has. For children and some teens, a family therapy session may be a meeting between parents and therapist in order to discuss ways to support the youth and to make sure we are all on the same page. For some older children and teens, it may be a session where the parents, youth and therapist meet to work through issues that have come up in individual sessions. These sessions allow the youth to have a voice as well as allow the therapist to facilitate productive communication between family members. At times, a family might participate in family therapy only, working as a family to identify issues and ways to improve family relationships.
I have spent much of my career working with youth and families involved with child welfare systems, here in Cape Breton as well as in Ontario and the US, and I am passionate about improving access to trauma specific services that offer healing and hope to families. As an approved provider for Policy 75, I provide attachment based, trauma informed, culturally sensitive therapy services for youth and their caregivers involved with a child welfare service, including Department of Community Services and Mi'kmaw Family and Children's Services. Specific therapeutic services include child focused EMDR, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Theraplay and Circle of Security Parenting.