3.

Psychotherapy for
Adolescents and Adults

Counselling and psychotherapy services are available for adolescent and adult clients. It may be a combination of cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT), eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), expressive and narrative activities, mindfulness, and relaxation training. It may also include some more playful elements like sand tray or art projects as suit the teen or adult. As with other forms of counselling, the content of each session may vary. One session may focus on how our thoughts influence our feelings and that our emotions come from our interpretation of a situation, others may also look at patterns of thinking or coping, strategies for self-care, while others may look at our relationships and how we feel connected to others. Sessions will often have a focus or task to work on during the week. 

Therapy services are available for adults and adolescents with concerns related to grief and loss, trauma, stress, anxiety, or depression. Please contact us for other referral concerns.

Information specific for adolescents:

With younger adolescents, parents may be involved in the therapy process, while older adolescents may want to have their sessions be kept private. The first session with an adolescent will include the parents and this very issue will be addressed. We will start with a discussion about providing consent to services and will review the limits of confidentiality. This will include a discussion on what harm means and who will be told if the teens is involved in harmful behaviour. Both the teen and the parents must agree to what other information will be shared between them. 

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (or EMDR)

EMDR, as you may have guessed, stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. It is an integrative psychotherapy, meaning that your therapist will use EMDR along with many other tools within their understanding of how to help. Unlike many traditional therapies, EMDR focuses less on talking about disturbing things and more on reprocessing emotions, feelings, and body sensations. EMDR was developed to treat post-traumatic stress, complex trauma, anxiety, and phobias. It has also been used to treat body dysmorphic disorders, panic attacks, complicated grief, and disturbing memories.

During EMDR, your trained therapist works with you to help you to identify a specific disturbing thought, memory, or feeling. Then, bilateral stimulation is used to reprocess the thought, memory, or feeling. We believe that the combination of bilateral stimulation while thinking about an image or memory that is disturbing, creates a state of dual attention that facilitates information processing. That is, it creates a place where the brain can finish processing (or reprocess) the images, feelings, and body sensations associated with the original memory. When your memory is reprocessed, you will still remember what has happened to you, but it will be less upsetting or disturbing to you.

You can find more information at EMDR Canada or  the EMDR International Association.

Charlene and Laure are both trained in EMDR; Charlene has additional training as a Child Specialist in EMDR.