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  • Writer's pictureCW Therapy

Our Compassionate Approach to Child & Teen Mental Health

Navigating school, friendships, and personal challenges can be pretty overwhelming for young minds. Understanding and addressing your children’s mental health is crucial. 

Our team believes in creating a safe, supportive, and caring environment where your children feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, fears, and emotions, which can help them face mental health challenges with more confidence and resilience. 

At CW our team provides individualized treatment approaches as we recognize each person's needs are unique. Each child mental health counselling session prioritizes the inclusion of the circle of care for this person, whether it be the parent, caregiver, or other professionals in their life.

We often hear that it can be difficult as the parent to acknowledge your child or teen may require further support and sometimes this can get in the way of doing so. Seeking out professional support for your child or teen does not reflect on you as a parent, it is an opportunity for learning, growth and creating a stronger relationship. Seeking support shows strength, love, and commitment to your child's well-being. It shows you're willing to do whatever it takes to ensure they thrive.

cw therapy - teen mental health

Signs of Mental Health Struggles in Children

Mental health challenges can appear in many ways. Parents, caregivers, and teachers need to know and recognize potential signs. While every child is unique, some common indicators of mental health struggles may include:

Sudden behavioural changes

Abrupt shifts in behaviour, such as more aggression, withdrawal, or clinginess could signal underlying issues. Children or youth experiencing emotional upheaval may act out or disengage.

A decline in academic performance

Noticeable declines in grades or an abrupt lack of interest in education and going to school are other signs to watch for. Even formerly enthusiastic learners may grow apprehensive or uninterested in going to school.

New physical symptoms

Mental health issues often show up as physical symptoms, like headaches, stomachaches, or changes in sleep patterns. Children and youth might not always have the language to express their distress, so their bodies will “speak” for them.

Mood swings

If you notice your child is experiencing frequent or intense mood swings beyond what is typical for them, this could indicate mental health struggles.

Withdrawing from social situations or relationships

Avoiding friends or family or a reluctance to participate in activities they once enjoyed can also be signs of mental health challenges. When children feel overwhelmed or anxious, they may choose to isolate themselves.

Recognizing these signs and seeking help can make a big difference in your child's well-being.

Mental Health Counselling For Children

cw therapy - mental health counselling for children

Our child therapy approaches at CW Therapy are rooted in empathy and understanding. Mental health counselling for children is a specialized field that requires patience, creativity, and an understanding of childhood development. 

Depending on the child's age, we can explore different methods. These include meeting with the parent(s) alone, having sessions with both the parent and child present, individual sessions with older children, or having the parent join for the last 15 minutes to discuss tools and skills to reinforce between sessions. 

Our therapists use various techniques to help children and youth process their emotions and develop coping strategies.

Play Therapy

We use play therapy with younger children. This widely used approach allows children to express themselves through play, a natural form of communication for them. Through games, toys, and creative activities, children can explore feelings and experiences.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

We often use CBT for older children. This evidence-based approach helps children identify and challenge negative thought patterns and develop healthier ways of thinking as well as tools to soothe intense emotions.

Family Therapy

Family therapy involves addressing concerns that could be causing the child's mental health problems in collaboration with the child's family. This approach creates a nurturing atmosphere for the child by promoting understanding and communication among all members of the family. Parents, primary caretakers or guardians, spouses, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins can all be considered family.

Teen Mental Health Challenges & Why It's Important

cw therapy - clinic office for teens

We want to help children and teens learn to cope with their emotions—it will set them on a positive path and build a brighter future. We're helping establish a foundation. Children and teens are developing the minds and bodies they'll have for the rest of their lives! Early intervention is the best way to ensure their long-term health and happiness.

The transition from childhood to adolescence brings physical, emotional, and social changes that can be overwhelming or confusing.

Common youth mental health challenges include:

Anxiety and/or Anxiety disorders

Children and teens may experience increased anxiety about school, social situations, or uncertainty about the future. Anxiety can interfere with daily life and impact academic performance or relationships. Children can also develop phobias such as fear related to throwing up, public speaking, or of certain animals.

Depression and/or Seasonal Affective Disorder

Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder often manifests within the winter months, and as a lack of interest in activities, impatience, sorrow, engaging in self-harm or expressing thoughts of suicide. Early treatment of both can be extremely important since it can have long-term effects on the daily life of a young person.

Eating disorders

Adolescents who experience pressure to meet unattainable societal beauty standards may develop disordered eating patterns and show or develop an unhealthy relationship with food. Eating disorders are serious mental health conditions that require specialized treatment.

Substance Use

Some adolescents may turn to substances as a way of coping with emotional pain or peer pressure. Substance abuse can have devastating effects on mental health and overall well-being.

Confidence and self-esteem

A lack of confidence or low self-esteem are two mental health issues that many young people deal with. These problems may arise from a number of things, such as peer pressure or stress in school. A lack of confidence can make it hard to want to try new things, make friends, and go after opportunities.

Bullying and cyberbullying

Bullying, both face-to-face and online, can have detrimental effects on a young person's mental health. It's so important to address bullying behaviour and support victims in recovering from these experiences.

Addressing children and teen mental health challenges is important for the well-being of the young person. When they receive the support and care they need to thrive, they’re better equipped to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.

Our team of therapists is committed to helping children navigate mental health challenges with compassion and understanding. Our caring and supportive approach to mental health counselling creates a safe space for young minds to heal and grow. By addressing each kid's unique needs, we can foster resilience and empower them to face life's challenges more confidently.

Children and youth therapy is available in Oakville and Georgetown. Additionally, virtual sessions are accessible to all Ontario residents. If you have concerns about your child, schedule a free 15-minute consultation with our therapists today to explore how we can assist and discuss available support options for your family.

We also provide parenting coaching in Georgetown and through virtual sessions, which is a great resource for determining when child therapy is needed or for learning the tools to support yourself.



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