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SERVICES CAN BE ACCESSED WITH OR WITHOUT A PHYSICIAN REFERRAL.

Check with your individual provider to learn the amount of coverage for your policy.

Psychological assessments are available for children, youth and adults.  Assessments provide an understanding of an individual that integrates cognitive, academic and social-emotional functioning.  Assessments include psycho-diagnostic interviewing, a developmental history, the administration and psychometric measures (tests and questionnaires; note these may also be provided to collaterals when appropriate) scoring and interpretation, generation of a formal report and feedback to the client/family. The focus of the assessment is dictated by a combination of referral question and preliminary findings.

Psycho-educational assessments focus on understanding your own or your child’s learning needs.  Results can help illuminate areas that may require additional support within or external to learning settings.  The report will include recommendations as to how to proceed post assessment, whether that be with a custom treatment program and/or involving external systems to help provide support.

Psychological/Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) assessments are tailored to meet the needs of Veteran’s Affairs clients/caseworkers.  They are also appropriate for para-military service members (e.g. police/paramedics/firefighters.) These assessments tend to focus on level of functioning prior to service, at the time of service and if relevant post-service.  The goal of these assessments are to understand the impact of service on the individual and to assist in the development of a comprehensive plan that supports the individual in returning to their optimal level of functioning.  At times this may involve further treatment address issues identified by the assessment.

Trauma is often experienced when the world that once made sense to you, no longer makes sense. The rules seem to have changed without your consent. Or perhaps they were developed in the first place without your consent.

Working with trauma and/or PTSD involves a number of stages all designed to help you to regain a sense of safety and control over your world and understand what actually took place; both in the external environment and inside of you.  It may feel out of control at the moment, but it does not have to stay this way.

Learning to live with a personal loss can be one of the most difficult tasks. The feelings associated with loss can be complex.  Sadness is often the easiest to identify.  However, loss may also be accompanied by feelings of relief and/or a new sense of hope. These emotions are often quickly followed by guilt.  Although confusing these emotions are very normal and not uncommon.  They are not a necessarily a reflection of your love and/or commitment.  Whether your grief is straightforward or somewhat complicated, working through it can help restore that sense of normality in your life again.  Things are different now, but life can go on and become healthy again. It doesn’t always have to hurt this much.

What does your depression look and feel like? For some it is experienced as exhaustion, hopelessness and helplessness.  For others it is a low level feeling of “blah” most of the time. And for others it provides powerful messages that you give yourself such as “you are not worth it; people don’t want you around; they are better off without you; stop trying.”  This is not YOU.  And it need not define you. This is depression. It can be very mean.  Depression is often difficult for those around you to understand. You may not understand it yourself.  You DO NOT deserve to be in this much pain.  Doing battle with depression takes work (for which you probably do not feel you have the energy) but the skills can be learned.  While uncovering the source of the depression may sound appealing, often the most helpful approach is to focus on the development of coping skills and establish healthy patterns that lead to a lessening of the intense feelings.

Disordered eating is often a more accurate description when it comes to how people use food to problem solve and/or cope with life events. Some people starve themselves because they feel they don’t deserve to eat.  Others are struggling to maintain some semblance of control of their life/situation by controlling how much they eat. Perhaps you are aiming for a body image believing that when you “get there” (wherever “there” is) many of your problems with go away.  You may be using food to cope with emotions that overwhelm you.  The goal of coping is a fantastic goal.  The plan of using food, may however be harmful to you.  We can come up with a better plan.

Anxiety and stress are amongst the most common reasons that people seek support. Anxiety is fear.  Feeling afraid or on edge all or most of the time often leaves you exhausted and unable to make it through a regular day. You may be triggered by events (sights/sounds/smells) that cause you to react in ways that are problematic.  At times it may feel as if you are about to panic.

Anxiety can block you from ways of thinking and problem solving  in ways that may come easily in the absence of anxiety.  One of the most common ways that people deal with anxiety is to “avoid”.  Avoiding the thing that causes the feelings of anxiety may feel like an immediate solution, however, it is rarely an effective solution over time.

Learn healthy and adaptive ways to understand and manage anxiety.

Everyone needs to cope.  People often simply do what they have to, to stay alive and make it through. Sometimes what was once a helpful way of dealing with something, can become a problem in and of itself.  This is often the case with addictions. Once firmly in place, the addictions or problematic pattern of functioning, can impact your life in ways that you had not intended.  It can impact relationships, your finances and your career.  This was probably not your intent when you first began whatever it is that is now a problem. Working with addictions involves dealing directly with the addiction, learning more about what you are avoiding (if anything; although often an addiction to one thing is a way of avoiding another e.g. people/feelings/events) and to develop healthy ways of coping.

Mental health begins early in life. Childhood is the time that many patterns are established. Helping children to develop in healthy ways, develop healthy coping strategies and learn the task of emotional regulation is something that most parents want for their children, but for many the “how” to do this remains a bit of a mystery. Working with children usually involves significant participation from parents. By working this way parents learn the strategies along side of their children in order to become their primary support.

This is the job that everyone wants to get right. But just as you may not know how to treat all of your child’s physical illnesses, you may not always know (nor are you supposed to) how to support your child to develop good mental health.   Perhaps you knew exactly what to do when they were 2, but now that they are 12 or 16 you feel a bit disconnected. Or perhaps you are the opposite.  You look forward to them being an age that they can express themselves in a language you understand, however currently you struggle with connecting to your infant/toddler. Either way this is a skillset that can be learned. Learn ways to develop healthy attachment relationships with your child at any age.  Set yourself up for the parent/child relationship that will work best for you and your family.

This involves talking.  The first step involves getting to know you and your life circumstances. From there we can develop ways to help you overcome/cope with the things in your life. Whether the issues involve the past , the present or a combination of the two (often our past infiltrates our present in unwelcomed ways) therapy is one way to explore the parts of life that present as challenging or painful situations.

Often people want to know “when” is the appropriate time to enter couples counseling.  The answer depends on what it is that you want to achieve.  For some, Couple’s Counselling is seen as a preventative step.  Couple’s at the beginning of significant relationships, or on the cusp of transitions (e.g. moving in together/getting married) can benefit by establishing healthy patterns of communication/conflict resolution/intimacy that serve to keep the relationship in a healthy place on a day to day basis.  Problems will arise, but having the skills ahead of time to deal with whatever life throws your way, can help your relationship be a source of support not added stress.

Once a relationship approaches a point that events/situations overwhelm the couples ability to cope, Couple’s Counselling can help to untangle issues and heal wounds.  Many relationships go through natural cycles of rupture and repair.  Learn to recognize and function through this cycle in ways that take care of you and your relationship.

The decision to end a long-term relationship/partnership/marriage is difficult.  The goal is to have two healthy (and eventually happy) people. Separation counseling can help you separate in ways that lessen harm to yourself and/or your children.

Living with other humans can be extremely challenging at times. When it is working it is fantastic!  When it is not working well it can create difficulties that can take over your life and impact every area.  The “rules” of being in a family are unique to every family.  Families today have to integrate so much information from the outside world on a minute to minute basis.  (Do you eat dinner with you cell beside you?) Families are often blended.  Grandparents/extended family may find themselves as primary caregivers. Regardless of the structure of your family, the number and/or gender of parents/caregivers, learning to live with each other in a safe respectful environment is something that most people want.  Getting there may be easier with support.

Whether you are a professional or amateur athlete what you are likely striving to be at the top of your game.  Often what can take an athlete to that next level is enhancing the mental aspect of the game.  How often have you made an error, not because you do not have the physical skill (you have likely been working on that for years) but because you made a mental error? Perhaps it was impulsively grabbing the wrong club, trying to push through a shot when should have slowed things down, stepped away and started again. Or perhaps you lost concentration and faltered on a pace, step, move. When expectations are high anxiety is often heightened. At times the daily issues of life simply get in the way of concentration. Working with a psychologist helps you to continue to work towards peak performance with an added advantage.