Child and Family Counselling
Michelle has completed Level II and III in Expressive Play Therapy, as well as training in Emotion-Focused Family Therapy
Information about Play Therapy with Younger Children
Younger children communicate their thoughts and feelings through behaviour more naturally than they do through verbal communication. In play therapy, Michelle treats the behavior of play as the primary language of communication. She will use play-based interventions to help your child work through difficulties; this may include the introduction of art materials, sand-tray, puppets, books and other toys. Her goal is to engage your child in the counselling process and introduce new ways of coping. Michelle will also support your child in naming emotions instead of acting them out in order to decrease overall emotional and behavioural challenges.
The Role of Family in Child Therapy
As the primary attachment figures for their child, parents have a significant impact on their child’s progress in counselling. As such, Michelle takes a team approach when working with children and consults with parents periodically throughout the course of therapy (typically every 3 sessions). In addition to child sessions, she can meet with parents so that they will be equipped with the tools to best support their child.
Typical Concerns Addressed in Therapy
Michelle can assist parents, children and youth in coping with the following concerns:
- Dealing with trauma, such as physical or sexual abuse
- Anxiety, worries and fears that impact functioning
- Peer relationships and bullying
- Parental divorce and/or remarriage
- Self-esteem and identity
- Self-harming behaviours such as cutting
- School adjustment and other transitions
Michelle will schedule a parent intake session first in order to learn more about the family dynamics and concerns for your child or youth. This intake sessions also provides time to create a plan for therapy. Your child does not attend this session.
Subsequent sessions will be booked for the child or child/parent depending on the needs of each client.