Therapy Toronto Psychotherapy Definitions

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Children and Teens
It can be very challenging to be a child or a teenager, despite society's claims that these are the golden times of our lives.


Even children in relatively stable and happy families can experience difficulties in mastering the normal developmental milestones. This may begin as early as infancy, with a difficult birth or with difficulties in bonding and attachment. Family stresses add to the challenge for the child. Children are profoundly affected by what is happening in the lives of their parents and siblings. A family move, parental discord, conflicting parenting styles, illness or death in the family, family breakup or a parent beginning a new relationship can all have a big impact on the child. Sometimes, too, a parent may find one child more difficult to handle than another due to temperamental differences.

Children face a multitude of challenges outside the home, as well, for example at day care, school or with peers. They may have difficulty handling academic pressures and social relationships. They may get exposed early to alcohol, drugs or sexual experiences. This can be overwhelming. The result for some is anxiety, depression, withdrawal, difficulty sleeping, and for others anger, aggression and acting-out behaviours.

It is sometimes helpful for a child or teen to get professional help outside the family. With a younger child, therapy may involve the presence of a parent as well. With an older child, sessions on their own are better. Play and art are good avenues for children to work out their feelings and problems when they are not yet able to express them verbally. They can be avenues for older children and teens as well.
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