SERVICES

Assessments

It’s normal to experience emotional ups and downs as we learn and grow throughout life. To an extent, this isn't always a concern. But sometimes, the difficult times outweigh the good ones, to the point where it feels like you or your child/youth haven’t been happy and unburdened for some time.

 

It’s the exact same thing for children and youth. If you've noticed your child is struggling in new ways with their emotions and mental health, it's time to offer them some support.

Sometimes we simply need a trusted person to talk to. And sometimes we need a little extra support with mental health, which is where counselling and other related services are great options to have. Your child may need professional help if you notice they're experiencing:

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  • Attachment issues

  • Prolonged bouts of isolation/withdrawal

  • Changing sleep habits (over or undersleeping)

  • A constant need for reassurance/consolation

  • Issues with personal hygiene

  • Issues with eating (over or undereating)

  • Avoidance or disruption to routine activities

  • Excessive worries and anxiety

  • Unusual fears

  • Aggressive behaviours

  • Conflict with peers and/or difficulty/making and keeping friends

  • Tantrums and excessive/intense emotional upsets

  • Low mood or persistent sadness

  • Frequent stomachaches, headaches, or other physical complaints

  • School or work refusal

So if you've already noticed these issues in your child, you may be wondering what the first steps are. While talking it out is a great help, sometimes children need to see an objective point of view, to confide in someone they can trust  who isn’t a friend or family member. That’s where a psychological assessment comes into play.

How does the assessment process work?

At Bright Star Counselling, we're committed to helping your child work through  obstacles that stand between them and mental wellness. 

 

One thing we’ve learned as therapists is that no two people’s recovery should be approached the same way. Everyone’s brain is different, and this is doubly true for children and youth, since their brains are still growing and developing. 

 

That’s why an assessment is so crucial—it allows us to get an objective view of your child’s mental health, informing us on the best ways to help them with their mental health needs.

 

Every psychological assessment begins with an in-depth conversation. For children and youth, we begin by interviewing their parent(s) or caretaker(s). As the person who likely knows them better than anyone else, your perspective is invaluable for properly supporting your child’s mental health. We cover a lot of ground in this first assessment, gathering as much information as possible so we can provide the best care for your child. We’ll ask you about your child’s struggles and strengths and your concerns as a parent or caregiver, as well as identify their needs and potential stressors. These can include:

  • Bullying 

  • Parental divorce, blending new families, and conflict within the family system

  • Loss of friends/conflict with friends and peers

  • Academic struggles

 

Getting to know clients on a personal level is fundamental for us here at Bright Star Counselling. That’s why, if you decide to proceed with further counselling for your child, we’ll have our second session with them alone. Using our child-led approach, we further deepen our understanding of their mental health and make more informed decisions on treatment. Depending on your child’s age and mental health situation, we may make use of toys, puppets, games, art, music, and more to learn about them. 

 

Once the assessment is finished, we’ll be able to share our findings and make recommendations for treatment. 

What can a psychological assessment help with?

With a complete assessment, we’ll be able to relay our observations to you about your child’s mental health, as well as provide recommendations for the next steps forward. We love helping families recenter and rebalance their lives and mental health, while identifying and supporting them through challenges such as:

  

  • Behavioural issues

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Physical abuse

  • Sexual abuse

  • Trauma

  • Custody issues

  • Divorce

  • Loss and grief

  • New school and community adjustment difficulties

  • Separation from parents/caregivers

  • Relationship/friendship difficulties

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Though we don't do assessments for learning challenges and autism, we are well connected in the community so we're able to refer you on to various child psychologists who specialize in that.

 

Using one of our many modalities of counselling services, we can help you and your child explore their emotions, behaviour, and thoughts in a safe and trusting environment, so they can better express themselves and thrive.

Do you still have questions about our assessments?