The foundation of who we are is informed in a significant way by our experiences in infancy and early childhood.
The science of child development has very clearly shown that the most important key to providing a child the best chance at becoming their best self is ensuring a wonderfully nurturing relationship with one or more caring adults.
Often when young children struggle, there is something about the interaction between the child and the world around them that has things in turmoil. Our clinicians are skilled in helping parents understand what is happening for their child and, in turn, supporting parents in finding a way forward.
There are also some circumstances that where it is appropriate for the clinician to work directly with your child. Your clinician will discuss your individual situation with you at length during the intake process to determine what the best options are for your child.
Some of the reasons parents of young children come to see us include:
- Postpartum depression
- Death, illness, divorce
- Foster care and/or adoption
- Highly sensitive child
- Difficult behaviours
- The feeling of not liking your child
- A child who struggles managing at preschool or school
- A child who has difficulties navigating the peer environment.
Our team is one of a select number in the country who are able to provide informed support services for infants and young children. Our therapists have a broad range of specialized training in the support of children under the age of 6 years – or what is often referred to as Infant Mental Health. Depending on individual needs and situations, support may include Play Therapy, Parent Support, Talk Therapy, and Parent & Child Relationship Therapy.
Childhood is a time of incredible growth and development. For many children, it is also a time of immense change that can feel unsettling, including introduction to the formal school system, the challenge of navigating the social world with their peers, the expectations of performance at school and in various extracurricular activities, and an increasing sense of the sometimes distressing state of affairs in the world around them.
For some children, this period of development is complicated even further by traumatic experiences, a history of difficulties in early childhood, experiences of loss through death or other separations (including divorce), and experiences with adoption and/or placement in the foster care system.
With or without such significant experiences, children in this age range can end up feeling overwhelmed, resulting in a child who:
- Is feeling anxious, depressed or is experiencing mood related challenges
- Is behaviourally challenging
- Refuses to attend school or experiences significant upset attending school
- Gets into trouble at school, regardless of the consequences
- Becomes socially anxious (even to the extent of selective mutism)
- Is generally frustrated
- Has aggressive behaviours
The North Star is able to offer support to parents and, where appropriate, their children through a variety of approaches including Play Therapy, Parent Support, and Talk Therapy. Our therapists have a wide repertoire of skills pulling from a variety of clinical applications and practice.
Our goal is to help you and your child settle into our care. We work always to ensure you feel heard, to support you as a parent in understanding and responding to your child’s needs, and to facilitate an improved level of functioning and general well-being for your child.
Adolescence and young adulthood represent unique periods in development where the child pushes forward to increasing independence while holding on to their inherent need for dependence.
This shift can be a time of wonderful discovery as well as dismal confusion. And yet, the science is clear – adolescence is not just a time to survive but rather a time to thrive.
Adolescent children and young adults are increasingly aware of the stresses in the world around them, the uncertainty of what the future holds for them, and the overwhelming task of managing in today’s social environment. The lure of social media, video games, and other digital media add yet another layer to a very complex period in development.
Our most common referrals for adolescents and young adults include:
- Heightened levels of anxiety
- The onset of depressive symptoms
- Early involvement with drugs and/or alcohol
- Experience of trauma through sexual or physical aggression
- Conflict with parents
- Conflict with peers
- Experiences with relational and/or physical bullying
- Sexual Promiscuity
The support we offer includes Talk Therapy and Parent Consultation, and for some adolescents and young adults, the use of Play Therapy is also appropriate. Our therapists strive to create an emotionally safe environment, providing nurturing support and intuitive guidance to help understanding grow from the inside out. We endeavour always to find your adolescent/young adult feeling confident and empowered to step into their independence, always with a primary focus on connection and relationships.