SERVICES WE OFFER

Individual Therapy

 

In therapy sessions, we’ll work together to hep you understand and resolve current problems and make meaningful, lasting change. We will help you “re-frame” your reactions and provide you with valuable tools to cope with life’s obstacles. In collaboration with you, we will work hard to help you better understand and manage your upsetting experiences, reduce distressing symptoms, and find new, more adaptive ways of relating to yourself, others, and the world around you.  We will work with you to help improve your quality of life, and obtain greater personal growth and fulfillment.  

 

We specialize in children, adolescents, and adults, and we individualize therapy to your needs, eclectically drawing from the following approaches: cognitive-behaviour therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, attachment theory, psychodynamic therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), dialectical-behavioural therapy, and interpersonal therapy. Get in touch to book an appointment.

Psychoeducational Assessment

A psycho-educational assessment is often suggested to help schools effectively program for students and to help parents better understand their child’s learning. This form of assessment provides information about a student's cognitive or intellectual ability (i.e., their IQ or their ability to engage problem solving skills to come up with solutions to problems as well as use learned information to answer questions), their academic skill development, and/or their behaviour and social-emotional development. This form of assessment involves one-on-one assessment with the child as well as gathering information from parents/guardians and the school. 

Depending on the referral information various tests may be administered including questionnaires to be completed by parents and/or educators.

 Psycho-educational assessments typically take between 5 and 8 hours of testing, and are usually completed over 2 or more days. Possible outcomes of the assessment may include: identification of learning challenges or low potential to learn grade level material, identification of gifted abilities, diagnosis of a learning disability, identification of social/emotional difficulties, identification of ADHD symptoms and/or referrals to outside agencies. Upon the completion of the assessment a meeting is scheduled to discuss the results. 

Workshops & Skills Groups

 

Our practice offers a variety of groups throughout the year, depending on the interest and the needs of our clients. Attending a group can be a good way to learn helpful skills at a lower cost per session. If you are interested in attending a group, please contact our office to learn more about what is currently being offered, and to determine suitability.  Groups and workshops depend upon a minimum number of registrations, so we are not always able to predict how often they will be held.  Not every group is appropriate for all clients, and we work hard to ensure that the group you attend will be a good match for you and best meet your needs. The following are some of the groups that we are able to offer.  

 

Re-connecting With Our Kids

This interactive workshop is designed to explore how we communicate and connect emotionally with our children. If you are experiencing resistance, rebellious or behavioural outbursts, or reoccurring statements of ‘you don’t understand!’ this workshop may be for you! During this workshop, Shauna van Niekerk, MSW, RSW, will explore common parenting traps, and communication patterns, and look at strategies that are proven to be effective in decreasing resistance, and increasing compliance, problem solving and connection with our kids. This workshop is 4 hours in length and offered in two instalments over a two week period. The cost of the workshop is $160.00 per week. Payable prior to attendance.  Please call for details.

Overcoming School Refusal and Avoidance

Knowing what to do when your child is refusing to go to school is extremely challenging. Parents often struggle with believing their child is experiencing actual physical or medical problems, but also worrying that if they push them too much it will only get worse. This often leaves parents feeling helpless and hopeless. Overcoming School Refusal and Avoidance is a two hour workshop lead by Shauna van Kierken, MSW, RSW, designed to help you, as parents of struggling kids, find ways to get them back involved with school and available for learning. We discuss the risk factors that lead to kids refusing to attend school, and some concrete strategies that you can use to help them get back on track. The cost of this workshop is $160.00 per session.

Jump Start Your Therapy (A Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Skills Group)

A 5-session psychologist-led skills group to get a head start on therapy in a small group setting (4-6 group members).  The group is led by Dr. Tracy Banks, for people who are waiting for their first appointment with her, and gives clients an opportunity to learn the skills Dr. Banks typically introduces during the first several sessions of individual cognitive behaviour therapy.  The group is primarily psycho-educational, which means clients will not be expected to share personal details unless they choose to do so.  Dr. Banks teaches the cognitive-behavioural therapy model and skills for managing mood and anxiety symptoms. Clients will work in their own individual workbooks (provided to all group members) which will include weekly readings as well as worksheets to complete.  

The group curriculum combines information and exercises from the Mind Over Mood workbook with unique content that Dr. Banks has developed over her 18 years of practice, and allows for some time in each session for clients to discuss their progress, if they choose.  Depending on level of need, some clients may find that the group alone fulfills their need for therapy and will want little to no follow-up upon completing the group.  Other clients will want to go on to continue their CBT work with Dr. Banks, or may wish to work on other issues upon completion of the group.  In most cases, attending the group will allow clients who go on to attend individual sessions, to focus immediately on deeper issues such as addressing core beliefs, self-esteem issues, or other factors that drive their symptoms.

The JYT group would not likely be a good fit for individuals with moderate to severe symptoms (e.g., those who have difficulty or cannot work or perform daily living tasks due to the severity of their symptoms); individuals with strong suicidal thoughts; individuals with a known personality disorder; or those with PTSD or Complex PTSD.

Coming in January....

Conflict & Consequences

Conflict exists in all of our relationships, but especially with our children. Conflict often leaves parents feeling frustrated, exhausted, and guilty as they continue to struggle in the same patterned rut over and over again. Conflict and Consequences is an interactive workshop designed to explore and change your relationship with conflict, by exploring conflict through an attachment lens. We will look at what is driving the conflict in your life, how you are responding, and develop strategies to help you move towards teaching and skill development, rather than focusing on punishment and consequences. This workshop will be offered in a levelled program over 2-4 weeks where each week we explore specific skills that build on each other. The workshop is lead by Shuana van Kierken, MSW, RSW and will run for 2 hours each week and cost $160.00 per week.

Talking with our kids about death and dying

Death is an inevitable part of human existence, and talking about it is never easy. What to say, how much to say, and when to say it, are all challenges parents experience when talking with kids about death. This parent workshop explores the common fears, myths, and concerns parents have around death. It will provide concrete tools and strategies for starting these conversations, and provides a space where parents can feel supported during difficult times in their lives. While talking with our kids about death and dying is not easy, when we feel supported we can be more available to our children. This workshop is lead by Shuana van Kierken, MSW, RSW and the cost of this program will be $160.00 per session.

Phone: (902) 832-5190

©2018 by Sunnyside Psychological Services.