Services

Therapy for children, adolescents and families 

can help with many issues, including the following:

 parent-child relationships

 peer relationships

bullying

social difficulties

adoption & foster care

conflict resolution

 life cycle transitions 

difficulty adjusting to change (moving, new school, new sibling)

death of a family member, pet or friend

serious illness of a family member or friend

 frightening or traumatic experience

abuse (emotional, physical, sexual)

domestic violence

 anxiety

low moods & depression

 anger management

 parental separation and divorce

parental re-marriage, new step-parents, new step-siblings

parenting strategies

 self esteem and self-confidence issues

risky behaviour

Play Therapy

The colorful words _PLAY_ made with wooden letters next to a pile of other letters over old wooden b
Person holds piece of paper with word Bullying in his hand.jpg Close up
Abusive words written on a blackboard with a child covering his face
Conceptual image of a sad dejected little girl with a pouting lip standing holding a handwritten HEL
Photo of colorful drawing_ Little girl screaming the word NO
Colorful drawing_ father drinking alcohol and crying child
Group Coloring
concept image of parent busy or angry and child in the middle in front of
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Hand Holding Five Finger Puppets
Collection of several pieces of plastic toy food over red background
Medical Toy Instruments - Interesting Background About Health And Insurance
Bunch of toys table.
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Asian Chinese Boy Wearing Super Hero Costume
Shot of a little girl in a doctors uniform. Isolated over white background.
Confused child with cutting paper parents, family problems, divorce, custody battle, suffer concept_
Parent and child shoes - Divorce
I provide play-based assessment and treatment for children ages 4-12.  Play is an age-appropriate alternative to traditional "talk therapy".  Play therapy is a proven therapeutic modality that can help children overcome struggles and heal emotional wounds.
Play therapy can help children:
  • express themselves & improve their emotional vocabulary
  • learn healthy coping skills
  • modify challenging behaviour
  • explore emotional difficulties
  • improve communication with others
  • practise pro-social skills
  • build self-esteem
  • develop problem-solving skills 
I engage the family in the therapeutic process thus encouraging growth of individual family members and fostering long-term change within the home.
 

I use a variety of techniques that are playfully engaging and emotionally/developmentally appropriate including therapeutic games, toys, free play, art activities, mindfulness exercises, puppetry, storytelling, role-playing, sandplay, worksheets, conversation, bibliotherapy and family homework.

Therapy Process:
  • Parent/Caregiver interview - to understand the concerns and goals (1 session)
  • Assessment - meeting the child individually (2-3 sessions) and with the family (1 session)   
  • Feedback with parent/caregiver - therapist to share clinical thoughts, and provide a treatment plan with therapeutic recommendations (1 session) 
  • Treatment - can be short term or long term depending on concerns and goals; sessions are typically once-a-week

For more information on Play Therapy, please visit:
www.cacpt.com

Adolescent Therapy

Frustrated Depression Man In The Hood Sitting On Wooden Bridge, Near The Beach On Sunset. Concept Of
sad preteen boy unhappy about parents divorce, hold man and woman paper  drawing torn apart
Disappointed teenage girl covering her face with hands
Scissor cut the paper to change from HOPELESS to HOPE
Teenager girl with depression sitting alone on the floor in the dark room
Tattooed Wrists
Wooden signpost - code of ethics concept (ethics, accountability, principles, integrity, values)
Female entrepreneur climbing on the hill while pulling big stone with persistence word
Stones of Meaning
sad woman hug her knee and cry
Woman on Window Sill
Wandering Traveler
portrait of happy beautiful happy youngwoman relaxing in park

The teenage years can be both thrilling and challenging.  

Teenagers can find themselves under a lot of pressure searching for an "original" voice and identity, managing peer and family relationships, juggling academic demands, and steering social media challenges.

Teenagers may struggle with some of the following:

  • anxious thoughts

  • low moods

  • insecurities and self-doubt

  • confusion 

  • risky experimentation 

  • impulsiveness 

  • difficulty dealing with anger and frustration

  • difficulties expressing their emotional "world"

 

Therapy can help teenagers:

  • explore their life situation 

  • focus on what is important to them (past, present, future)

  • engage in problem solving and critical thinking

  • challenge unhelpful thoughts/behaviour

  • explore motivation and the creation of goals

  • develop a stronger sense of self

  • explore the power of choice, and how these choices affect themselves and others

 

My ultimate goal is to create a supportive and judgement-free therapeutic environment where I can help highlight a teenager's inner strengths, resilience and capacity for growth and healing.  

Family Therapy

Family therapy can help the family "heal" and "grow" together. It focuses less on individual blame and more on the role that everyone plays in creating the challenging situations and problematic behaviour. When conducted in a safe, nurturing, judgement-free and supportive environment, family therapy gives members an opportunity to actively listen to each other, express honest feelings, and promotes empathy.

I am fond of using family therapy sessions in partnership with individual child play therapy sessions.  In addition to many other benefits, family therapy can help the family learn to "play" together.  Playing together through the use of fun and engaging activities, often leads to family members laughing and delighting in each other's presence.

Benefits of Family Therapy include the following:

  • allows family members to understand their role in family dynamics

  • helps family members explore the perspectives of other family members          

  • family learns together about healthy coping mechanisms

  • improved communication skills

  • improved conflict resolution skills

  • provides opportunity for family members to address present and past issues, thus hopefully leading to personal and group healing

  • greater understanding of how personal actions/choices affect others in the family 

  • skills/knowledge gained can be transferred to relationships outside of the family 

The word Family Therapy in a Gingko Tree
Happy family lying paint family words on paper in her room at home, Top view
Team Talk
Painted Heart
Team work
Holding Hands

Parent Support

Beautiful and inspiring message or quote about family, life and love
Loving Family - love on stone in family hands
Finger art of family during quarrel.jpgThe concept of parents scolded her daughter, she was crying
people, misbehavior, family and relations concept - close up of upset or feeling guilty boy and pare
Transplant
Female hands with word protection on light background
Balance - Burnout crossroad in a beach background

Parents/caregivers across the globe share something VERY important in common ... at certain times we all feel lost, confused, guilty, frustrated, overwhelmed and fed up.  

My goal is to work one-on-one with parents/caregivers to help them become the type of parents/caregivers they hope to be.  

I will help you explore your situation and work in partnership with you to navigate complicated relationships and situations, build upon your strengths, highlight your past and current parenting successes, introduce you to new skills and knowledge, and ultimately stand by your side as you strive towards emotional and mental growth and well-being.

With effort and persistence, parents and caregivers can achieve some of the following goals:

  • learn healthy ways to help your family solve problems

  • learn tools to build a strong foundation for healthy relationships (familial and otherwise)

  • increase effective communication (with family and others)

  • better understand your child's feelings, behaviours and emotional/developmental "world"

  • learn to navigate the challenging moments with less stress and less frustration

I am happy to work with parents/caregivers who are married, separated, divorced, blended, fostering, co-parenting or cohabiting. 

Sandplay Therapy (Jungian)

 statue in circle on a sand background
Miniature family constellations, toy fire.jpgSand therapy.jpgThe child is built in a sandbox world,
Miniature family constellations, toy zoo. Sand therapy. The child is built in a sandbox world, the a
Miniature houses, toy landscape objects in sandbox. Anti-stress and soothing sand therapy
Miniature ship on sand which pictures global map with continents and oceans
Miniature houses, toy landscape objects on the sand. Sand therapy
pair trace feet made of a pebble stone on the sea sand desert texture surface backdrop with copy spa
Happy feet
Zen stone
Christmass tree from shells on sand background

This unique therapeutic process uses a rectangular tray, sand and miniatures/figurines. The therapist creates a safe environment that is "free and protected".  

A sandplay therapist's disposition is one of unconditional acceptance of client, coupled with empathy, understanding and non-judgement.  A trained sandplay therapist, observes or witnesses the sandpicture-making process but does not intrude with interpretation or suggestions.  Rules do not exist when making sandpictures. Clients are welcomed to play with the sand and explore the variety of figurines on the shelves in order to create a three-dimensional picture.  Clients are free to position and reposition figures in the sand, remove figurines and/or add new ones.  

Miniatures/figurines and natural found items include those that symbolically represent wild and domesticated animals,  vehicles, buildings & man-made structures, diverse human figures (e.g., cultures, races, ages, gender, occupations), religious figures and icons, vegetation, and cosmic elements (e.g., stars, moons, suns, rainbows).

Once the client is satisfied with their sand picture, they are free to share the story of their picture, make comments and express thoughts, and share associations evoked by the sandpicture.

For more information on Sandplay Therapy, please visit:

www.sandplay.ca

Copyright © 2017 by Susin Garber  -  All Rights Reserved.