Children and Teens

Child, Youth

Adolescence is a time when it can be expected your child will experiment, forming strong peer attachments as they move towards maturity. Sometimes, they will make poor choices in the process. This may manifest in friendships you don’t approve of, high risk behaviours and a tendency to aggressively push towards more independence, often against your wishes. For you, the parent, this can create real fear and concern.

Conflict, estrangement, and high risk behaviour can be concerning. Teen issues may include poor self-image, substance use, sexual activity, self-harming behaviour, depression, aggression, illegal activities, and distancing from family and stable influences. Sometimes they may be open to help from others; sometimes the best way to help them is to first help you as a parent.

At Associates Counselling, we have many years’ experience working with youth who are coping with the hurdles that come with adapting to change. We also work with parents towards finding ways to connect with their adolescents, to give direction to them in a meaningful and receptive way.

Childhood Anxiety & Panic

Anxiety has been described as an ongoing sense of dread or apprehension. Accompanying physiological symptoms may include shortness of breath, rapid pulse, tightness in the chest, a knot in your stomach and, in extreme episodes, can lead to a heightened panic experience. In Anxiety/Panic, the fear may be irrational but the sense of being threatened and/or unsafe is very real.
While a certain amount of anxiety is normal for everyone, we seem to live in a particularly anxious time. Anxiety, and/or panic, is now the most common mental health concern in Canada. For most of us, we are normally able to keep our anxiety and worries from becoming too great, however, there can be times in our lives when our anxiety starts to interfere with our lives and/or work. We seem unable to control our anxiety, worries, and/or sensations of panic. While medications can be used to help control anxiety, they are often a short-term solution at best. Counselling, on the other hand, has been found to be very effective for the treatment of anxiety and/or panic sensations, and can help to prevent anxiety and/or panic attacks from recurring after successful treatment.
Our experienced counsellors can help you manage your anxiety symptoms, both when the early warning signs appear, and when the anxiety becomes ongoing and limits you from engaging in everyday life.

Childhood Self Esteem and Confidence

Do you spend a lot of time thinking about the things you don’t like about yourself? Are you afraid to engage in conflict? Do you get intimidated by others easily?

Many of us struggle with self-acceptance. When we have a hard time facing others because of insecurity, we may need to deal with what counsellors call self-esteem. Self-esteem refers to the way we view ourselves. When we have a negative impression of ourselves, it can be hard to engage in daily life with confidence. Everybody has areas in their lives that they wish were better. Some of us have been told that we don’t quite measure up by parents, siblings, or so-called friends. When we begin to suffer from overwhelming feelings of discouragement and shame because of these issues, we may need someone to talk to.

A trained counsellor can help identify destructive patterns in our lives. Sometimes these patterns can be changed with practice; other times, we need help to learn how to accept the things that we truly have no control over. In either case, we can improve our self- esteem by taking action over the thoughts and beliefs that contribute to a negative self-image. In so doing, we can face the world with greater confidence than ever before.


Youth Food and Body Image

Disordered eating is a complex mental illness that affects many people. Given our society’s hyper-focus on body image, there is an incessant pressure to look a certain way. There are a number of struggles people can have with food and/or body image: overeating, anorexia, and bulimia are just a few. Initially the behavior may develop out of a desire to cope. Some may feel that their body is the only source of control they have in their currently overwhelming life. Disordered eating can have life-threatening complications, but it is also treatable with the proper interventions and supports.

Here at ACS, we have skilled counsellors who work from a client-centered perspective to help individuals struggling with challenges related to body image or disordered eating. Treatment approaches are offered in coordination with other health care professionals (e.g., physicians, nutritionists, etc.).

Divorce and Separation Recovery

Divorce may be a daily occurrence in society. However, it is by no means an easy event for any family to face. Couples certainly do not plan to divorce when they marry. Divorce is considered a trauma and it leads to a grieving process that is comparable to that of death. Each person must face the loss of the relationship and all of the dreams that were carried with it. Divorcees may also lose relationships with former in-laws and friends, as people tend to take sides in facing divorce.

Children often face great insecurity at seeing their parents’ marriage end. Not only is the family stability disrupted, but they must face economic changes, visitation schedules, and relocation as a result of the divorce. Divorce recovery is a long process that involves a variety of emotions including denial, despair, anger, and grief. It is important that you and your family members work through the process thoroughly.

A professional counsellor can help you and your family face divorce and its aftermath. They can help you work through your feelings, make empowering decisions, and communicate effectively with other family members.


Youth Substance Abuse and Addiction

Substance abuse and other addictions can have devastating consequences for both the people who struggle with addictions and their family members and friends who seem unable to help. Someone suffering from an addiction – whether it be to alcohol and/or drugs, gambling, sex/relationships/pornography, the internet, or many other addictions – is caught in a painful trap, where addictions temporarily take away boredom and pain, but eventually can destroy everything important to them.

A skilled and trained counsellor, working in conjunction with other resources and multidisciplinary team members, can form a trusting and effective relationship with persons suffering addictions. They can assist the person and their family in dealing with such issues as denial, cravings, recovery, relationship repair, relapse prevention, spirituality, and eventual freedom from addictions.

At Associates Counselling, we have the capacity to assess and make recommendations with regards to a personal treatment plan.


Having children is usually a very natural process. Parenting them is a different matter altogether. Today’s society presents tremendous challenges to parents. Meeting our children’s needs in an age that is characterized by divorce, substance abuse, and other forms of relational chaos can be a very demanding task.

There are many obstacles that can hinder our ability to reach our children effectively. Some of them can be dealt with easily; others are more serious. If you suspect that your child or teen is struggling with a learning disability, depression, substance abuse, or a behavior disorder, you may need extra help in meeting his or her needs. Your child may also have a hard time facing the death of a loved one, a divorce, relocation, or a remarriage. When your family faces situations like these, it can be difficult to face the challenge alone.


Counsellors with this Specialty

We are proud to offer a diverse and experienced team of counsellors. Whether you require the services of a psychologist or social worker, we have someone ready to help.

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