Child, Adolescent, and Family Counselling

Helping the family thrive

Synergy seeks to provide high-quality and comprehensive psychological and assessment services for children and their families – instilling resilience, authenticity,  and healing through evidence-based approaches. 

With our holistic approach to psychological services for children, adolescents, and parents, we ensure that all needs are met in one place; fostering support in managing emotions, implementing healthy coping strategies, and meaningful connection to the self and within the family unit. 

Services offered include: 

  • Specialized Assessments (cognitive, academic, social/emotional) include assessments for learning disabilities, gifted, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. 
  • Play Therapy 
  • Talk Therapy
  • Hypnotherapy for Children
  • Family Therapy
  • Parental Coaching Therapy 
  • And more!
Child Psychologist in Cochrane & Calgary

Consult

A free 15-minute consultation session is offered to ensure we are a good fit for you and/or your family. This time is taken to learn more about your concerns and see if we are a good fit to work together.

children counseling in Cochrane & Calgary

Child Counselling

We seek to design a child-therapist relationship to assess and address the needs of the child.

Teen Counselling in Calgary

Adolescent & Teen Counselling

We seek to connect through an engaged relationship which grants a safe space for them to share their concerns and experiences.

HypnotherapyForChildren

Hypnotherapy for Children

Hypnotherapy has been recognized to be an effective and evidence-based treatment for adults for many years.

Parent-Coaching Session

Individual Counselling

We focus on making a personal therapist-client connection. It is important to us that you feel heard, respected, and comfortable within our presence.

PostpartumBaby Blues Counselling

Postpartum/Baby Blues Counselling

Becoming a mom/dad is nothing short of amazing but comes with its own challenges. It is normal for both, Moms and Dads, to feel the emotional ups and downs after a new baby or family member arrives. After a long-anticipated wait, there comes increased demands, transitions, and changes overnight.

Special Services for Children

Special Needs/Parental Grief Counselling

“Grieving the child, you thought you would have, does not mean you don’t love your child that is”

Many of us daydreamed about the child we thought we would have, pictured moments of watching them grow, and projected ideas onto ourselves of what type of parent we thought we would be.

Special Services for Children

Parent-Coaching Session (S)

We understand and can relate to the stress and chaos of what life throws at you during this parenting journey.

Resource & Navigation Consult

Resource & Navigation Consult

“You don’t know what you don’t know” is a phrase that is becoming to be quite common in this line of practice. We connect with parents, clients, and teens to support them in navigating community resources.

Parent-Coaching Session

Home-Based Package

Struggling with certain behaviours and sick of hearing your own voice over and over at home? This real-life opportunity could benefit you. 

Community Outing Package

Community Outing Package

Is taking your children out into the community challenging for you? 

Leaving the children behind to engage in activities, routines and errands is not always feasible or sustainable for the family life, and these experiences can be quite stressful for all involved.

Child Counselling

We seek to design a child-therapist relationship to assess and address the needs of the child. We believe children have a strong mind and body connection, which has a significant impact on their perspective and their ability to regulate their emotions. As research shows, strong emotional regulation abilities enhance overall well-being and performance and are essential for optimal mental health.  A child’s emotional awareness and regulation skills have an impact on how they perceive and process emotions and experiences. We believe in supporting children through ‘a birds-eye view’ which allows us the opportunity to look from a ‘child’s mind perspective’. Child counselling requires the psychologist to use specialized skills in gaining this perspective, which then is used to address the needs of the child through a tailored approach. 

In child counseling, parent(s) is required to attend the intake individually and sessions continue between therapist-child thereafter. A parent-therapist session may be requested moving forward if needed. 

children counseling in Cochrane & Calgary
Teen Counselling in Calgary

Adolescent & Teen Counselling

We seek to connect through an engaged relationship which grants a safe space for them to share their concerns and experiences. As children develop, their perspective and comfort level with expressing themselves change. Let’s face it, puberty is hard and comes with its own challenges. It is common for teens to feel uncomfortable in their own bodies during this stage of development due to hormonal and physical changes.  While this can trigger feelings of anxiety and feel blue, many teens feel isolated during this shift. Taking social pressures and expectations into consideration, teens have both internal and external forces working in synchrony. 

While communication can be difficult for teens, we can grant the support needed to learn how to regulate and express their emotions during these changes. We support teens while they adapt to change, cope with curveballs, gain insight and guide emotional development. We work collaboratively with teens to develop healthy relationships and increase their quality of life during this new phase.

Hypnotherapy for Children

Hypnotherapy has been recognized to be an effective and evidence-based treatment for adults for many years. More recently, studies have emerged showing that hypnotherapy for children, teens, and young adults has been helpful in alleviating a variety of issues including chronic headaches, pain management, and other emotional, and self-regulation skills. 

Hypnosis techniques can allow children to more readily access the subconscious mind, giving the child a safe place to address the presented issues and gain profound insight, with long-lasting emotional and behavioural therapeutic transformations. 

Parents with children experiencing a wide range of issues can benefit from hypnotherapy, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Nail Biting
  • Bedwetting
  • Behavioural issues
  • Academic motivation
  • School/sports performance issues
  • Night terrors
  • Fear of the dark and other phobias

Is Hypnotherapy Effective for Children?

Hypnosis, self-hypnosis, and hypnotherapy have been shown to be effective in helping children and teens with many emotional and behavioral issues.  The following are useful studies regarding hypnosis for children:
  • A study published in 2020 looks at the hypnotic process through a lens of imagination and play, making it an especially effective way to help children, including very young kids. By maintaining an atmosphere of novelty, creativity, respect, and trust, children are more easily able to discover their innate strengths and resources to help create the changes they want.1
  • A 2007 study of 144 participants showed that children and youths who learned self-hypnosis for recurrent headaches reported a reduction in the frequency of headaches from an average of 4.5 per week to 1.4 per week, and a reduction in average duration from 23.6 hours to 3.0 hours. The study also concluded that there were no adverse side effects for self-hypnosis.2
  • A 2016 study assessed the efficacy of self-hypnosis in a therapeutic education program (TEP) for the management of chronic pain in 26 children aged 7 to 17 years. Of those patients, sixteen decreased their pain intensity, 10 reached all of their therapeutic goals, and 9 reached them partially. Self-hypnosis was the only component of the TEP associated with these improvements. The current study supports the efficacy of self-hypnosis for chronic pain management in children.3
  • A 2014 review article looked at the efficacy of hypnosis as a therapeutic treatment for children. It concluded that hypnosis is a powerful tool for teaching young people self-regulation skills and suggested more training in pediatric hypnosis be made available.4
  • A promising study done in 2010 showed that hypnosis lowered the anxiety and pain associated with dental anaesthesia. Thirty children aged 5 to 12 were randomly assigned to 2 groups receiving hypnosis (H) or not (NH) at the time of anesthesia. Significantly more children in the H group had no or mild pain. This study suggests that hypnosis may be effective in reducing anxiety and pain in children receiving dental anaesthesia.5

Resources

Individual Counselling

“You are exactly where you are supposed to be to get where you are going”

We focus on making a personal therapist-client connection. It is important to us that you feel heard, respected, and comfortable within our presence. Through an empathetic approach, we tailor individual sessions according to your concerns and goals. We strive to accompany you on life’s crooked path; granting support and tools during times of distress, granting guidance to embrace the journey, and overcoming defeat through fostering empowerment.

Postpartum/Baby Blues Counselling

Becoming a mom/dad is nothing short of amazing but comes with its own challenges. It is normal for both, Moms and Dads, to feel the emotional ups and downs after a new baby or family member arrives. After a long-anticipated wait, there comes increased demands, transitions, and changes overnight. After birth, both parents can experience feelings of anxiousness and depression, aka ‘experiencing the baby blues.’ It is common to experience excessive worry about yourself or the baby, self-doubt related to parenting, feeling overwhelmed, insomnia, irritability, and frightening impulsive thoughts. 

No new mom is immune to sleepless nights, hormone swings and lifestyle changes. Research shows that approximately 23% of mothers are affected by postpartum depression. From a clinical lens, the baby blues are expected to last up to 6 weeks, beyond that is considered postpartum depression. While this is common and treatable, we encourage you to avoid going through feelings of darkness and isolation alone. Allow us to embrace and support you on this journey.

Special Needs/Parental Grief Counselling

“Grieving the child, you thought you would have, does not mean you don’t love your child that is”

Many of us daydreamed about the child we thought we would have, pictured moments of watching them grow, and projected ideas onto ourselves of what type of parent we thought we would be. It is common for that vision to look quite different from what you have now. Grief does not need to be associated with death, but rather a transition from one reality to another. It is important to process and grieve the idea of the new reality which includes riding the waves of emotion when they arise. These waves include conflicting emotions which often contribute to feelings of shame and hopelessness. Allow us to help you process these emotions and embrace the unique journey that is new to you.

Consult Services

Parent-Coaching Session(s)

We understand and can relate to the stress and chaos of what life throws at you during this parenting journey. Each parent grew up in different houses, with different rules and expectations, and has different views of what parenting would be like. Let’s face it: Not many of us out there ended up with that picture-perfect family we once dreamed of having by the age of 30…..And that is okay. Moreover, many of us were focusing on our relationships, careers, and school along with having fun before having children, which doesn’t make a lot of time for couples to discuss family differences. Long story short, parenting can be hard on a good day, but the years are short and pass by fast. Our goal is to increase the connection between parents by focusing on their strengths and decreasing gaps between parenting styles. Research continues to emphasize the importance of parents being on the same page to set up children for success.

Resource & Navigation Consult

“You don’t know what you don’t know” is a phrase that is becoming to be quite common in this line of practice. We connect with parents, clients, and teens to support them in navigating community resources. There are many free and low-cost community resources available that most are unaware of but could utilize on a consistent basis. Allow our counselling professionals to guide you through the process of finding resources to support you and your family. Our professionals have a strong connection within the community and have extensive experience working with families and children with special needs.

Unique Family Services

Home-Based Package

Struggling with certain behaviours and sick of hearing your own voice over and over at home? This real-life opportunity could benefit you. 

We understand that behaviours at home can look totally different from behaviours out in the community; it is common for children to behave differently when they are home in their comfort zone, which is most likely when resistance and emotional meltdowns occur. While children’s bodies and minds are working hard to develop emotional regulation abilities, home is their safe zone to let it all out. Therefore, as parents, we get the brunt of the emotional collapse. 

This Home-Based Package includes an intake session, home observation, follow-up counselling session and take-away session to support your family with the resources and tools needed to support everyone in the home. For example, if the morning routine is difficult, then a morning observation will be scheduled. This can be tailored to after school, bedtime, supper/dinner, etc. Many families find this unique experience helpful as it grants tools that can be utilized long term in real-life.

Community Outing Package

Is taking your children out into the community challenging for you? 

Leaving the children behind to engage in activities, routines and errands is not always feasible or sustainable for the family life, and these experiences can be quite stressful for all involved. Ultimately, we shouldn’t have to give up our quality of life for such community outings when we have children. 

This Community Outing Package includes an intake session, community outing/session, follow-up counselling session and take-away session to support your family with the resources and tools needed to support everyone on the outing. For example, if restaurants or grocery shopping is difficult with children, then scheduling a community session would be implemented. Many families find this unique experience helpful as it grants tools that can be utilized long term in real-life.

Practitioners

Melanie Marsh

Contact Us For An Appointment
Synergy Collaborative Health – Cochrane, AB
Questions?
Contact us at:403-981-1999

  1. Linden, J., (2020) Relationship Factors in the Theater of the Imagination: Hypnosis With Children and Adolescents, American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, Vol. 62, Issue 1-2 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00029157.2019.1568961
  2. Kohen, D., Zajac, R., (2007) Self-Hypnosis Training for Headaches in Children and Adolescents, The Journal of Pediatrics, Vol. 150, Issue 6 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022347607001333
  3. Delivet, H., et. al., (2016) Efficacy of Self-hypnosis on Quality of Life For Children with Chronic Pain Syndrome, International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Vol. 66, Issue 1 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207144.2018.1396109
  4. Kohen, D., Kaiser, P., (2014) Clinical Hypnosis with Children and Adolescents—What? Why? How?: Origins, Applications, and Efficacy, Pediatric Integrative Medicine: An Emerging Field of Pediatrics https://www.mdpi.com/2227-9067/1/2/74
  5. Huet, A., et. al., (2011) Hypnosis and Dental Anesthesia in Children: A Prospective Controlled Study, International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Vol. 59, Issue 4 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207144.2011.594740
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