Navigating Families through Separation & Divorce
Navigating a separation or divorce in your family can be overwhelming, and filled with emotions. Here is how one mom described the start of her journey:
I had read all the books. Done all my homework. I knew, in my heart, it was the right decision. But no one told me how lonely and lost I would feel everyday. Even the little things, like deciding where the dog would stay, seemed like climbing a mountain alone in the dark. ~P.L.
Here’s how I can help guide you and your family:
- Parent Consultation & Coaching (Together or Separately) to assess and provide guidance and evidence-based supports for your family;
- Individual play-based sessions for children experiencing access visits and parental separation;
- Emotion-focused therapy to support children and youth through parental separation;
- Work collaboratively with your family’s legal team (including Ontario Child Lawyers, OCL) to insure the emotional needs of both parents and children are being supported.
Play-Based Therapy for Young Children
Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.
Kay Redfield Jamison ~Contemporary American professor of psychiatry
Do you have a young child who is experiencing these types of concerns?
- Early trauma
- School worries
- Social struggles
- Family conflict
Families that come to me are looking for an age-appropriate way to create growth and change for their child. Taking a playful approach to your child’s challenges creates a space for them to grow that is fun, safe, and nurturing.
Here are some of my favourite ways to foster change through play:
Tip: Many parents I see find it useful to show children these pictures before coming to see me. Here is what one child told us…
I was nervous to come. My mom showed me the pictures. I saw you had some cool toys. I saw that other kids play with you too. My nervous felt more excited after that. Kinda like going to a play-date. ~ T.O.
Navigating Parent & Childhood Transitions
Parenthood marks the time where you will face countless life transitions. Not only are you facing times of change, you also have the task (and pleasure!) of helping your child navigate through transitions. Here is how one mom describes the challenges that can arise during a transition:
When we moved, and my son started his new school we saw a big difference in him. He was moodier and spent a lot of time in his room. It was hard for us to know how to help. When we did try to talk to him, we always seemed to say the wrong things. He seemed mad at us. But then he wouldn’t want to leave us to go to school. We felt completely confused and lost. To add to this, we also had are own emotions and difficulties to deal with. Our marriage was strained with our new family dynamic. And I certainly felt the sole responsibility to ‘fix’ all the emotions in the house- but I was dealing with my own sadness. I was exhausted. ~ K.E.
Parents have shared hundreds of stories with me about the challenges they face during transitions. Here are some the themes that come up again and again for the family’s I support:
- challenges with preschool/school transitions and Integration (separation anxiety & school refusal),
- social-emotional challenges for students working with the support of IEP’s,
- family conflict and challenging behaviours surrounding change