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Of utmost importance to me is the therapeutic relationship.
My general approach to counselling is grounded in person-centered theory. I meet children where they are at and accept them for who they are unconditionally, without judgment, approval or disapproval. I help them identify personal strengths and resources in a non-judgmental and respectful way. Your child is encouraged to identify and express thoughts, feelings, perceptions and experiences in a safe and supported environment.
In addition to person-centered theory I like to use either cognitive behavioral therapy and/or play-based therapy depending on the needs of your child.
Behaviour is a child’s attempt at communication. Kids don’t have the language skills to explain what is going on for them so they communicate through their actions. As adults we talk about what is bothering us as a way to make ourselves feel better. Kids play to make themselves feel better. Children make sense of difficult life experiences or complex psychological issues through the activity of play. Kids will use toys to get to the place they need to go emotionally.
Play allows for the subconscious issues children are dealing with to float to the surface. Play is a child’s natural way of communicating issues that they may find difficult to express in other ways. Through the use of play children become more able to cope with how they are feeling, develop insight, emotional intelligence, experiment with concepts of power and control and gain self-confidence. Through the use of play children can work on overcoming and mastering their problems by trying out alternative solutions in a safe environment.
Cognitive-Behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based therapy that focuses on how you think about yourself, other people and the world. CBT is used to help you understand that how you think (cognitive) and what you do (behavior) both have an impact on how you feel.
When people suffer from anxiety or depression, they may think about situations in inaccurate ways as a result of faulty thinking. Through the use of CBT strategies, children are taught that thoughts cause feelings and moods, which can influence behaviour. The role of the therapist it to help the child replace inaccurate thinking with thoughts that result in more appropriate feelings and behaviours.
An accomplished speaker, Allison welcomes booking invitations for speaking engagements at conferences as well as workshops targeted at parents/caregivers, childcare providers, and education professionals.
Contact Allison for more information on how Grasshopper Counselling can benefit your organization.
- Parent-child relationship therapy
- Working with behaviour challenges
- The benefits of play