Counselling Services for Children & Teens (4 - 19 years)

The ability to thrive in life and cope with life's challenges depends on our mental health from an early age. Young people can suffer from mental health issues just like adults, and this can negatively impact their emotional, social, behavioural and academic development.  
 
Approximately 15% of children and adolescents in BC have a diagnosable mental health disorder. Even more struggle with mental health issues that may not (yet) meet diagnostic criteria but still negatively impact their life. If left untreated, mental health issues can worsen over time and continue into adulthood.
 
Early Intervention is important! 
The good news is that mental health issues can be prevented and mitigated when young people are given the tools that they need to manage their mental health challenges early in life before they morph into more complex problems later in life.
The benefits of early intervention include:
  • prevention and mitigation of mental health problems
  • lower risk of relapse
  • reduction of suicide risk
  • better long-term physical and mental health
  • improved academic and occupational attainment
  • healthier inter-personal relationships and social functioning
  • reduced family disruption and distress

Approach:

Younger children are taught about mental health concepts through the use of stories, art and play while older children & teens often prefer to engage in dialogue & a variety of interactive learning activities.

Counselling Fees:

50 min session  $160 plus GST

80 min session. $200 plus GST

Private health insurance and employee benefit plans often provide full or partial coverage for counselling services.  Please check with your employer or benefits provider to determine whether the services of a BC Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) is accepted by your plan.  

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I specialize in the treatment of:
 
  • Anxiety Disorders
    • Generalized Anxiety (excessive worry)
    • Panic Disorder
    • Separation Anxiety
    • Social Anxiety/Social Phobia
    • Specific Phobias (dogs, blood, needles...)
    • Agoraphobia (leaving home, crowds,        elevators, open spaces...)
    • Selective Mutism 
  • Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Disorders
    • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
    • Body Dysmorphic Disorder
    • Excoriation Disorder (skin-picking)
    • Trichotillomania (hair pulling)
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Depression / Low Mood
I also have experience in the treatment of:
  • Emotional Dysregulation
  • Self-harm & Suicidality
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Behavioural Issues
  • Social difficulties
  • Low Self Esteem
  • Perfectionism
  • School Refusal
I also help young people that are experiencing distress related to:
 
  • Grief & Loss (illness, bereavement...)
  • Difficult family adjustments (divorce, blending...) 
  • Family & Peer Conflict 
  • Cultural Adjustment 
  • Gender Identity
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Bullying 
  • Academic / Extra-curricular stressors
  • Transition to Independence & demands of early adulthood

Signs that professional help may be needed.
  • Emotional distress:  tearfulness, sadness, fear, worry, irritability, anger

  • Temper tantrums, aggression or violence

  • Withdrawal from family, friends, sports or social activities

  • Drop in grades, school anxiety or school refusal

  • Increase in parent-child conflict or conflict with others

  • Frequent complaints about stomach aches, headaches or other physical ailments

  • Concerns/complaints from teachers, coaches or other concerned adults

  • Excessive reassurance seeking (What if...?  Am I going to be okay?)

  • Need for excessive accommodation from parents or teachers

  • Issues are causing parents to worry and may be causing family disruption

Other Symptoms to watch for...

  • Changes in appetite (eating more or less)

  • Changes in sleep (insomnia, nightmares, over-sleeping)

  • Changes in energy levels (fatigue / lethargy /over-activity)

  • Expression of negative and self-defeating thoughts​

  • Thoughts of death or suicide

  • Excessive worry or panic symptoms (racing heart, chest pain,

      dizziness, difficulty breathing, feeling out of control...)

  • Avoidance of feared places, things or situations

  • Unwanted intrusive thoughts, obsessions or memories

  • Compulsive behaviours (hand washing, repeating words, tapping a certain number of times...) 

  • Inability to focus attention, be organized and self-regulate 

  • Reduction in emotional expressiveness

  • Hallucinations or delusions

  • Sudden, repetitive muscle movements (motor tics) or vocalizations

      (vocal tics)

  • Self-harming behaviours (cutting, hitting...)

  • Excessive hair pulling or skin picking

  • Calorie restriction, excessive exercise, binging or purging

  • Distress caused by perfectionistic habits, fear of failure, impossibly high standards

  • Low Self-esteem

 

© 2020 Karen Hamill Psychological Services