Counselling for children & adolescents

Anita's practice offers counselling for children and adolescents experiencing a wide range of challenges and difficulties. Counselling assists the child to recognise, change and manage their thoughts, feelings and behaviour effectively. Anita’s training and her therapeutic approach is grounded in evidence-based counselling methods and techniques. Her work with children centres on positive psychology, behavioural therapy, positive behaviour support, cognitive behavioural therapy, strengths-based and creative arts therapy approaches. Therapy may include structured programs aimed at promoting resilience and building of specific skills.

For preadolescent children, an initial consultation with parents is scheduled to allow parents and counsellor to talk about their issues and concerns, and to identify therapy goals. A treatment plan is carefully developed, taking into account the developmental age and capability of the child, the nature of the presenting issue, and the child's difficulties, strengths, and needs. Parental support and coaching is offered to identify strengths and expertise within the family, and as an effective way support lasting change. Parents are involved in a brief review and summary at the conclusion of each session, and home tasks are offered to assist the child to master new skills.

Adolescents usually attend the first session with their parent(s), and are encouraged to be involved in the therapeutic goal setting process. After the initial session, older children and adolescents may choose to attend counselling without their parents. This is discussed during the first session and reviewed throughout the therapeutic process. Ongoing parental involvement is encouraged for consolidating new skills and managing difficult emotions. Adolescents are invited to share a review of each counselling session with parents.

Multidisciplinary Referrals

Anita is experienced in case management for children and adolescents, and in working alongside other professionals in a multidisciplinary team, to optimise positive and lasting change. In some cases Anita may discuss referral to other practitioners for further assessment to assist your child’s progress. For example, should your child be experiencing severe and ongoing developmental difficulties, a referral to a paediatrician, an educational or clinical psychologist, a speech pathologist or occupational therapist may be advised. This will help to identify specific difficulties that may be contributing to the problem, as well as provide further recommendations for support.

If your child is experiencing severe mental health issues, such as psychosis (any severe mental disorder in which contact with reality is lost or highly distorted), Anita may discuss referral to a paediatrician or child psychiatrist who have specialist medical training and can prescribe medication and other medical interventions.

Written or verbal parental consent is always sought when sharing information with other practitioners or school personnel.