Toronto West End Mamas Clinic

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Pediatric Mental Health in Newmarket & Toronto

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Kids have big emotions that can sometimes be challenging for their families to work through. We know how to love and care for our kids, and as much as we want to help our kiddos through those feelings, sometimes we just don’t have the tools to do so.

Our experienced team of Pediatric Mental Health practitioners care about your family’s mental well-being and offer a variety of effective approaches to help your child /teen overcome difficult situations, build resilience and thrive.

Child sitting in front of laptop on desk talking to virtual therapist

Growing up can mean big emotions. We can help.

Common Questions about Pediatric Mental Health

 

How do I know if my child needs a mental health professional?

If your child is struggling with big feelings and emotions and you feel like you aren’t equipped to deal with it, then a mental health professional may be able to help.

Going to therapy can help children and teens communicate, cope and do better!

Your child can benefit from working with a mental health professional if they have/are experiencing:

  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Covid related worry/uncertainty/loss
  • Family transitions such as new sibling, moving
  • Parental separation and/or divorce
  • Grief and bereavement
  • Difficulty with emotional expression and regulation
  • Trauma
  • Medical diagnosis/illness/treatments
  • Challenges with behaviour and/or social skills
Do I need a referral?

You do not need a referral for your child to see a pediatric mental health professional. If you have concerns about your child’s mental health or resilience, an assessment would be a great idea.

Please check with your insurance provider to see if you have coverage – we offer services under “psychotherapy” and “occupational health”.

What ages do you work with?

We work with kiddos from the toddler years right up until they’re in high school.

Working with Cher Curshen, Registered Psychotherapist:

Your child would have to be able to sit independently on a video-chat, so usually I’ll see children 8 years old and up but even as young as 6 if the parent thinks they could manage it. If your child is under 8, Cher is also able to do a consultation with you to brainstorm issues or concerns for your child.

Working with Teddie Buchner, Registered Occupational Therapist:

I am able to work across the whole lifespan and generally include parents and the whole family in the development of a plan and creation of routines and habits.

Working with Safire Naranjo, Registered Midwife and Trauma Healer:

Any age works for tapping. For babies and younger children parents would need to be involved. It will depend on the child, but likely somewhere around 6 or 7 they can sit through a session on their own.

How do your practitioners work?

Our Registered Psychotherapist, Cher, uses Creative Arts Therapies, among other tools, to enhance your child’s life as they work through difficult experiences and learn ways to express and validate feelings, learn and grow, heal and thrive to start them on a journey of healing.

Our Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Teddie, focuses on the family as a whole and works with you in creating practical routines to achieve your goals.

Our Pediatric EFT practitioner / Trauma Healer, Safire, uses the clinically-proven tapping technique to help children work through trauma and difficult feelings.

How do I get started?

If your child is younger than age 12, the first session is for the parents/guardians on their own. We have provided a 30 minute appointment for this purpose! This enables Cher to answer any questions and concerns you may have and begin to get an idea of why you have reached out for therapy for your child. It also gives an understanding of next steps for your child.

If your child is older or communicates that they want to meet the therapist on their own, then it’s up to the child and what they want. Some children prefer to meet and talk to the therapist themselves.

The best interests of your child is always in the forefront with Cher and we want the best for your child! She seeks to collaborate with parents as much as possible within the bounds of confidentiality, and balancing the building of trust in the therapeutic relationship and your child’s comfort level.

What can I expect during my Child’s first session?

For Psychotherapy: Once the child’s wishes have been established, your child’s first session will be with Cher on their own unless they have requested a parent be present for some of the session. The focus in this first session is on helping your child begin to develop trust and a sense of safety and begin to feel comfortable in this newly developing validating relationship.

Cher will also be getting to know your child in this initial and ongoing sessions. As children often do not have the ability to express their thoughts and feelings in words, they’ll get to do this in a way that’s comfortable for them, through play, art or talking if they wish.

What can I expect from a follow-up session?

In follow up sessions your child will continue to have an opportunity to express themselves and learn appropriate coping skills while resolving challenges they may be facing. Cher will continue to validate, support and help your child at this time when they need a little extra help. Your child will experience both a directive and non-directive approach with Cher.

Each session will provide an opportunity for your child to express themselves, and work through challenges they may be experiencing as they grow and learn in Cher’s child-led, strength based approach.

How quickly can I expect my child to progress and experience change?

This really depends on the child and what challenges they are facing. Some children respond to therapy very quickly in just a few sessions while others require longer term therapy at regular intervals.

How does working with a mental health professional differ from younger to older kids?

Psychotherapy and creative arts therapies are beneficial to people of all ages. Younger children respond positively to creative arts therapies as they feel comfortable and can easily explore feelings in this playful arts based non verbal means of expression. Teens can learn more about themselves, their relationships, their thoughts, feelings and experiences and tap into their inner wisdom.

Do your mental health professionals coordinate their care if I see more than one of them?

You and your child’s privacy is our priority. Confidentiality is respected at all times. Our Mental Health team does not coordinate care or maintain electronic charts documenting their appointments with you or your child.

Exceptions to confidentiality are limited to legal and ethical obligations of the therapist to disclose abuse or intention to cause harm, client’s files are released only with signed consent or a court order.

Is Pediatric mental health covered by my extended health insurance?

Please check with your insurance provider to see if you have coverage – we offer services under “psychotherapy” and “occupational health”. Tapping (a service provided by Trauma Healer Safire Naranjo) is not usually covered by extended health insurance.

West End Mamas works with insurance companies to do online billing for treatments, whenever possible. Simply ask if your insurance company is compliant when you book your appointment.

Complementary Services & Treatments

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We provide a holistic approach to treatment, and have a wide variety of services that compliment each other. Click on the links below for more information about how our other services can help you on your path to motherhood.