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Counselling for Children and Youth

Did you know children and youth develop their social skills and emotional intelligence as they’re growing? This can lead to healthy, happy lives; however, some children experience emotions and/or behave in ways which disrupt their happiness. Our team of child therapists at Bright Star Counselling are proud to provide child counselling to those struggling with life's big challenges. We offer culturally respectful and culturally informed services.


Therapy is a safe space for children and youth to process their thoughts and emotions with each stage of their development bringing specific challenges. Though children and youth most often work through these big feelings naturally as a part of growing up, mental health conditions can increase and make these challenges more difficult. They may surface due to an event in a child’s life, which could have been traumatic, or also be routine, such as moving into a new home. 

What are the benefits of counselling for children and youth?

At Bright Star we understand that life is a challenge for the entire family, whether it's about daily work, school, or extra activities. We enjoy being considered a circle of care for all children, helping them thrive in and out of the house. 

Each individual child responds differently to life’s big changes, and sometimes developmental age, family living circumstances, and social and peer relationships can influence their ability to manage these life changes. 

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​Issues and events that children would benefit counselling from include:


  • Behavioural issues

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Physical abuse

  • Sexual abuse

  • Domestic violence

  • Witness a tragic event

  • Parenting schedule

  • Divorce or separation of parents

  • Loss and grief—death of a loved one, such as a family member or pet

  • New school and community adjustment difficulties

  • Step-parenting

  • Separation from primary caregivers 

  • Relationship/friendship difficulties

  • Birth of a sibling

  • Poverty or homelessness

  • Being bullied

  • Taking on more responsibility than is age-appropriate

Counselling for children and youth can also help you and your family recognize the signs to look for in a child or youth who can benefit from counselling, which can include one or several of the following reasons:

  • Avoiding or disruption to routine

  • Changes in sleeping or eating

  • Excessive worry and anxiety

  • Unusual fears

  • Aggressive behaviour(s)

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

  • Social withdrawal

  • Tantrums and excessive or intense emotional upsets

  • Low mood or persistent sadness

  • Frequent stomachaches, headaches, or other physical "grumbles"

  • Refusal to go to school

  • Reduced academic function and/or significant upset at school

  • Excessive accommodation by parents/caregivers

  • Increased stress in the family

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How does our approach work?

At Bright Star, we work with you to strengthen the family bonds, whether via short-term, solution-focused child counselling, or longer-term counselling. We work within a collaborative problem-solving framework so that you have a strong support system as you learn new coping skills with your child. 

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​Following our child-led approach, we use various therapeutic modalities to support our clients:


  • Art and play therapy

  • Narrative therapy

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

  • Trauma-focused CBT

  • Self-regulation (Schenker method)

  • Social skill (Garcia-Winner)

  • Individual and group therapy

  • Coping skills

  • Resilience model

  • Collaborative problem solving

  • Relaxation and visualization

  • Progressive muscle relaxation

Using one or even more of these therapies allows children to explore their emotions, behaviour, and thoughts in a safe and trusting environment. Your child will learn how to feel safe, express themselves, and move toward their ability to self-regulate their big feelings. 

Do you still have questions about our service, or what it fully entails?

Book a free phone consultation with one of our child therapists today.

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