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Child and Adolescent Psychological Services

How does Child and Adolescent Psychology help? 

Child and adolescent psychologists play a vital role in providing support and guidance to young people navigating complex challenges, offering specialized expertise to help them thrive. Our psychologists can help by:

  • Understanding and Assessing Needs: Child and adolescent psychologists are trained to assess and understand the unique needs of each young person they work with. Through comprehensive evaluations and assessments, they can identify underlying issues such as behavioral problems, learning difficulties, or emotional concerns.

  • Providing Individualized Therapy: Once needs are identified, child and adolescent psychologists develop tailored treatment plans to address specific concerns. They utilize evidence-based therapeutic techniques to help children build coping skills, manage emotions, and overcome obstacles.

  • Supporting Families: Child and adolescent psychologists recognize the importance of family dynamics in a child's development. They work closely with parents and caregivers to provide guidance, education, and support, helping families create a nurturing and supportive environment for their children.

  • Managing Mental Health Concerns: Child and adolescent psychologists play a crucial role in identifying and treating mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, and trauma-related disorders. Through therapy, counselling, and intervention, they help young people develop resilience and improve their overall well-being.

  • Collaborating with Schools and Communities: Child and adolescent psychologists sometimes collaborate with schools, pediatricians, and community organizations to provide comprehensive support to children and families. They advocate for the needs of young people within educational and community settings, promoting inclusive and supportive environments.

  • Promoting Positive Change: By empowering children with the tools and skills they need to navigate life's challenges, child and adolescent psychologists in Calgary facilitate positive change that extends beyond the therapy room. They inspire confidence, resilience, and a sense of empowerment in children, laying the foundation for a bright and promising future.

Gillian, Scott, Misha and Caitlin work with young people of all ages.

Marissa and Sydney work with young people from the age of 12. 

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Child and Adolescent Psychoeducational Assessments

Are you concerned about your child's learning, behaviour, or emotional well-being? Our Child Psychoeducational Assessment is a comprehensive and compassionate evaluation designed to provide valuable insights into your child's cognitive, emotional, and educational development.

At Solasta, we understand that each child is unique, and their needs should be addressed individually. Our team of experienced psychologists specializes in assessing children of all ages, helping parents and educators gain a deeper understanding of their strengths and areas that may need support.

Our assessment process combines standardized tests, clinical interviews, consultation with your child's teacher and other relevant individuals, and observation, ensuring a holistic understanding of your child's abilities and challenges. Whether your child is struggling with academics, social interactions, or emotional regulation, our assessment will provide a roadmap for tailored interventions and support, empowering your child to thrive in school and life.

Some of the benefits of completing a child and adolescent psychological assessment are as follows.

  • Identification of Learning Styles and Strengths: Child and adolescent psychoeducational assessments help identify a young individual's unique learning style, strengths, and areas of academic proficiency. Understanding these factors allows educators to tailor instruction to meet the student's needs, maximizing their learning potential and academic success.

  • Early Detection of Learning Disabilities and Developmental Concerns: Psychoeducational assessments can detect early signs of learning disabilities or developmental disorders, such as ADHD. Early intervention and support can help mitigate the impact of these challenges, helping young people reach their full potential.

  • Accurate Diagnosis and Intervention Planning: By assessing cognitive abilities, academic skills, and socio-emotional functioning, psychoeducational assessments provide clinicians with valuable information to make accurate diagnoses and develop targeted intervention plans. These plans may include specialized instruction, accommodations, or therapeutic interventions to support the student's academic and emotional well-being.

  • Guidance for Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and Accommodations: Psychoeducational assessments inform the development of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) for students with additional learning needs or learning differences. Additionally, they provide valuable data to support requests for accommodations, such as extended time on tests, preferential seating, or assistive technology, ensuring that students have equitable access to education.

  • Support for Transition Planning: For adolescents transitioning to post-secondary education or the workforce, psychoeducational assessments offer valuable insights into their academic readiness and areas of strength. This information informs transition planning and facilitates the development of personalized goals and supports to promote success beyond high school.

  • Enhanced Self-Understanding and Advocacy Skills: Psychoeducational assessments empower young individuals to understand their learning strengths and challenges. Armed with this knowledge, students can advocate for themselves, seek appropriate support services, and develop self-advocacy skills that will serve them throughout their academic and professional lives.

  • Promotion of Positive Mental Health and Well-Being: Addressing academic challenges and providing appropriate support can have a positive impact on a student's overall mental health and well-being. Psychoeducational assessments identify factors contributing to stress, anxiety, or low self-esteem, allowing for targeted interventions to promote resilience, coping skills, and emotional regulation.

  • Collaborative Approach to Support: Psychoeducational assessments facilitate collaboration among educators, parents, and other professionals involved in the young person's care. By providing a comprehensive understanding of the student's needs and strengths, assessments promote a team-based approach to support that maximizes resources and fosters student success. 

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Child Therapy

Child and Play Therapy

Child and Play Therapy, including Sand Tray Therapy, is a dynamic and effective approach to helping children navigate complex emotional challenges. This therapeutic method recognizes that children often struggle to express their feelings and experiences through traditional talk therapy. Instead, it provides them with a safe and non-verbal outlet for self-expression.

In Child and Play Therapy, trained psychologists engage children in play-based activities, art, and storytelling, allowing them to communicate their thoughts, emotions, and concerns. Sand Tray Therapy, a specialized component, involves using a tray of sand and miniature figures to create symbolic representations of their inner world.

These therapies foster emotional growth, resilience, and self-awareness, helping children develop coping strategies and build healthier relationships. It's a powerful tool for promoting healing and personal development in young individuals.

We have psychologists specially trained in Theraplay ®, EMDR for children, adolescents, and adults.

Services for all ages provided by Gillian, Misha, Caitlin, and Scott

Services for ages 12 and up provided by Sydney and Marissa

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Adoption and Fostering Counselling

We offer Attachment-Focused Family Therapy, Theraplay and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy to support families to connect and deepen their relationships.  

 

Sometimes we need help to connect.  All families can struggle with this.  An approach that builds connection, attunement, and shared enjoyment can help your family repair and reconnect.  
 
Special challenges can arise when children have experienced trauma and loss. 
 
We are experienced in helping families to connect, including adoptive families, stepfamilies and families including a child with additional or special needs.

Gillian and Scott have over 20 years of professional and personal experience with adoption and fostering.

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Parenting Support

Parenthood is a rewarding journey filled with love, joy, and countless challenges. From navigating sleepless nights with a newborn to managing tantrums and teenage rebellion, every stage of parenting presents its unique set of joys and hurdles. Our psychologists can help you make a positive difference in your family's life by providing: 

  • Personalized Guidance and Strategies: Whether you're facing behavioral challenges, communication issues, or parenting dilemmas, a psychologist can provide evidence-based strategies and solutions to help you address them effectively.

  • Understanding Child Development: Psychologists have expertise in child development and psychology, allowing them to provide valuable insights into your child's behavior, emotions, and needs at different stages of development. By understanding your child's developmental milestones and challenges, you can parent with greater empathy and insight.

  • Effective Communication Skills: Effective communication is key to building strong, healthy relationships with your children. Psychologists can teach you practical communication skills and strategies to foster positive parent-child interactions, improve listening and empathy, and resolve conflicts constructively.

  • Managing Parental Stress and Burnout: Parenting can be stressful and overwhelming at times, leading to parental burnout and mental health concerns. Psychologists offer support and strategies for managing parental stress, setting realistic expectations, and practicing self-care to prevent burnout and promote overall well-being.

  • Navigating Family Transitions and Challenges: Family transitions such as divorce, remarriage, relocation, or the arrival of a new sibling can disrupt family dynamics and pose unique challenges for parents. Psychologists provide support and guidance to help families navigate these transitions with resilience, communication, and cohesion.

  • Promoting Positive Parent-Child Relationships: A strong parent-child attachment is essential for your child's emotional well-being and development. Psychologists can help you strengthen your relationship with your child by fostering trust, connection, and emotional intimacy through nurturing, responsive parenting practices.

  • Empowering Parenting Confidence: Parenting support from psychologists empowers you to trust your instincts, build confidence in your parenting abilities, and embrace your unique parenting style. By providing validation, encouragement, and practical tools, psychologists help you feel more competent and capable in your role as a parent.

Let us support you with your unique parenting needs. 

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A Guide to Conversations: How to Talk to Your Child or Adolescent About Going to Therapy

Initiating a conversation with your child or adolescent about starting therapy can feel daunting. However, open and supportive communication is essential in helping them understand the benefits of therapy and feel comfortable seeking help. Here's a guide on how to approach this important conversation with your child or adolescent.

  • Choose the Right Time and Setting: Select a time and place where you and your child can have a private and uninterrupted conversation. Ensure that both of you are feeling calm and relaxed before broaching the topic.

  • Normalize Therapy: Normalize the idea of therapy by explaining that it's a common and helpful resource for many people. Emphasize that therapy is a safe space for expressing emotions, learning coping skills, and finding support.

  • Highlight the Benefits: Discuss the potential benefits of therapy, such as feeling happier, less stressed, or more confident. Share examples of how therapy has helped other people overcome similar challenges and achieve their goals.

  • Validate Their Feelings: Validate your child's feelings and concerns about starting therapy. Acknowledge any fears or uncertainties they may have and reassure them that it's okay to feel nervous or unsure about trying something new.

  • Be Honest and Transparent: Be honest and transparent about why you believe therapy could be beneficial for them. Share your observations of their struggles or changes in behavior and explain how therapy can provide them with the support and tools they need to feel better.

  • Involve Them in the Decision-Making Process: Involve your child or adolescent in the decision-making process by asking for their input and preferences. Offer them choices, such as selecting a therapist or deciding on the frequency of sessions, to help them feel more in control of the process.

  • Address Any Concerns or Questions: Encourage your child to ask questions and express any concerns they may have about therapy. Listen attentively to their concerns and provide honest and reassuring answers to alleviate any fears or misconceptions.

Remember, every child is unique, so tailor your approach to their individual personality, age, and developmental stage. By approaching the conversation with empathy, understanding, and support, you can help your child or adolescent feel empowered to seek the help they need and embark on a journey of growth and healing through therapy.

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