CBT for Children and Teens

Using a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approach, I offer support to children age 7 and over, teens, and their families.

CBT has shown to be an effected approach to decreasing anxiety, stress and worry, anger, fears and phobias, school avoidance and OCD.

Mary Cross, MSW RSW
Mary Cross, Therapist

My approach to working with children and teens

I help kids and teens understand themselves better and offer them insights and coping tools . We then work on any changes they feel ready to make in order to ease their way through life.

I try to make it engaging for younger kids as their attention span online is short. I might share my screen to show a handout geared to children, ask them to draw me something or we might watch a video together. There is often CBT “homework” to try out at home or at school as well.

Often parents can help their child’s progress by backing up or assisting with the CBT homework or coping tools their child is trying out.

Session Length

Children and Teen therapy sessions usually start out with one 60 minute session and then move to 30 minute sessions.

There is no set number of sessions. I like to play it by ear as therapy is only effective if the person doing it is engaged in it.

Support and Coaching to Parents

I use a blend of therapy modes to support parents, including CBT.

Together, we look at not only the problematic behaviour – but what might be causing the behaviour? What is underneath it?

  • I offer parenting support and counselling to help parents learn new ways to communicate and resolve conflict with their children and teens.
  • We work on skills and techniques that are evidence based.
  • We may discuss attachment theory and how it may play out in parent child communication or conflict.
  • We may try out new communication skills.
  • We may use CBT to look at assumptions about parenting or about your child. I help you to re-frame these thoughts to be more helpful.
  • We may use CBT and DBT approaches to help you de-stress, remain calm and focused.
  • Parenting support can also be strategies for parents to help ease their child’s symptoms of anxiety, anger, or depression.
  • Parenting support can also help a conflict situation with your children, by looking at ways parents can change their approach in order to affect changes or create compromise and a more peaceful home. This approach can be helpful when a child does not want to engage in therapy.

Children and Teens in Crisis

For children and teens who seem to be in great distress over their mental health, or who are having difficulty functioning day to day due to it, I suggest:

  • A visit to your family doctor to rule out physical causes.
  • Your doctor may be able to refer your child to a child Psychiatrist in order to obtain a diagnosis.
  • The Community Mental Health Association (CMHA) has offices in almost every major city in Canada and may have children’s mental health experts. https://cmha.ca/find-your-cmha.
  • The Children’ s Help Phone offers crisis support. to children and youth up to age 5 – 26. They offer support by phone or text – https://kidshelpphone.ca/
  • If a child cannot keep themself safe, and is at immediate risk of harming themself or someone else, then a visit to the emergency department of your local hospital may be needed.

Visit my HOME PAGE for more about me, my fees, length of therapy, payment methods etc.