Our Services - Treatment

Child and Family Services

Overview

The child, adolescent and family services team at FVB Psychologists offers a wide range of assessment, consultation, and therapy services for a variety of problem areas including; 

  • Depression
  • Separation, divorce, and blended family issues
  • Family violence
  • Sexual abuse/assault
  • Posttraumatic stress disorders
  • School or community-based violence or bullying
  • Adjustment to a life-threatening illness
  • Death of a family member or friend
  • Adoption-related issues
  • Anxiety/panic attacks
  • Phobias, including social phobia
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorders
  • School refusal
  • Behaviour problems
  • Aggression and anger management
  • Parent-adolescent conflict
  • Transitional issues for older adolescents and young adults
  • Psychological issues related to motor vehicle accidents (children or adolescents who were in an accident, or those who are significantly impacted by the death or serious injury(ies) of a family member who was in an accident).
  • Psychoeducational assessments and consultations about underachievement, learning disabilities, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or developmental delays
  • Psycholegal assessments of children, adolescents and families.
  • Challenges experienced by transgender and gender non-conforming youth (TGNC)

Psychoeducational Assessments

A variety of issues may lead to the recommendation for a psychoeducational assessment.  There may be concerns about a child’s ability to focus and attend, about their follow-through with tasks, their organizational skills, or about the level of disruptive behaviour he or she displays in school.  Sometimes there are more general concerns about a child’s acquisition of language skills, reasoning and problem-solving, or difficulty in coping with the academic and social demands that are typical for their age-group.  Some children appear bright in many ways but experience difficulty in specific areas such as learning to read or spell, sounding out words, or understanding what they read, or developing skills in mathematics.  Some children are very reluctant to write, or their written productions are far weaker than one would expect given their oral language abilities.  Other children have a lot of difficulty with aspects of memory, or with understanding complex language; and yet other children have difficulty with gross or fine motor tasks and tasks that use visual-spatial skills.  These kinds of issues can lead to conflicts, behavioural and emotional symptoms at home and school, and problems with self-esteem. Moreover, these various issues can be indicators of underlying learning disabilities, or attentional problems, or delays in aspects of development.

Parents, deeply concerned that their child is struggling, are often worried that a school system or busy practitioners will rush to provide a “label” for their child, with few useful ideas about what one can actually do to help the situation.  At FVB Psychologists, we take the time to listen to your concerns, and strive to provide a sensitive and thorough assessment of a child’s strengths and weaknesses.  If a child does qualify for a specific diagnosis, the meaning and implications of this diagnosis are discussed with you in detail.  Problems such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Specific Learning Disabilities are based on neurobiological factors, and they are no one’s fault.  We strive to start you on a path to better understand your own child’s unique learning needs, so that you can better advocate for them in the school and community.

If you enquire about a psychoeducational assessment for your child, a clinician will discuss your concerns in a telephone consultation prior to booking.  We will then meet with you for the first session to obtain your child’s developmental history information, develop an understanding of your current concerns, and provide an overview of the assessment process.  Several sessions will then be booked for your child, usually two or three hours in length.  Typically, five or six hours of testing time is required for most school-aged children and adolescents.  The selection of the tests depends on the nature of the referral and the questions that need to be answered.  These may include measures of thinking, reasoning or problem-solving (tests of intelligence) and tests of various areas of academic achievement; the assessment may also include tests of memory, visual-spatial skills and fine-motor skills, and tests of attention. If required, we will explore social and emotional issues in more detail as may ask parents and school staff to complete questionnaires.  After the results are analyzed, we meet again with the family to discuss the results and implications in detail, and provide guidance around school-related programming issues.  A detailed assessment report is provided with recommendations for school and home; these recommendations can be incorporated into a student’s Individual Education Plan at school if required.

If you have further questions about the psychoeducational assessment process, or wish to make a referral, we invite you to contact our office.

Therapy

On occasion, parents or guardians contact FVB Psychologists with a request for a specific kind of therapeutic intervention based on their concerns regarding their child.  On other occasions,  parents are worried that their child is unhappy and they may be unsure what the problem actually is. Generally, this will become a counselling or therapy referral, with consultation also provided to the parents.  Initially, our receptionist will ask that the parents attend the first meeting without their child in order to discuss their concerns in detail, to discuss the child’s developmental history, and to determine how best to proceed.  In some cases, the clinician may speak with you before the initial meeting.  After the initial parent meeting, we generally meet a couple of times with the child or children and then meet again with the parents to provide them with the clinician’s impressions and conceptualization of the issues and formulate a treatment plan.   Often this treatment plan will include a series of sessions for the child/parents/family.  However, if we believe you and your child need other forms of intervention or consultation, we will make specific recommendations to you (e.g., consultation to the school team, a medical consultation, community-based services referral).

A number of treatment approaches may be implemented depending on the needs of the child/adolescent and their family, and the clinician’s judgement about what approach will be most helpful for the particular problem(s).  These approaches include individual therapy for the child or adolescent, play therapy for a young child, family therapy, parent-child sessions, and guidance and behavioural management sessions for parents.

If you have more questions about the general referral process, or wish to make a referral, we invite you to contact our office.

Meet Our Team

Our assessment and therapy services are conducted by an experienced team of clinicians who joined FVB Psychologists after gaining many years of valuable experience in the public sector; for example, working in hospitals, universities, rehabilitation centres, social service agencies, and community-based clinics.

As a team, we are able to offer a rich, experience-based range of clinical services.

Meet Our Team