child therapy Archives - A Step at a Time

Posted by | Adventures of Brian, anger, anxiety, bereavement, boredom, child therapy, confidence, depression, disordered eating, grief, mental health, self-belief, self-esteem, self-image, sensitive children, separation anxiety, Stress, Teenagers, trauma | No Comments

As lockdown eases in some places, and starts round two in others, the world feels like a strange place to navigate. For the many parents that I am speaking to on a daily basis, the concern for child and adolescent mental health grows. The uncertainty of the world, the disruptions to education and the distortions to social lives, for many, has created a wealth of mental health issues, ranging from low level to crisis. But, as a parent, what do you need to be looking for? And at which point should you be stepping in and looking for help?   Signs and symptoms: Seeing signs of mental ill-health as warning flags is a great way to keep things in check. I frequently work with children who, in the face of adversity, coped like a trooper. However, in the months/years after, then began to struggle. Because life had resumed to a…

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5 tips to supporting children in separated families

Posted by | anxiety, child therapy, Children's Therapy, loss, parent separation, relationships, sensitive children, separation anxiety | No Comments

Family separations bring with them a great deal of emotions, for parents, children and the wider family. As parents adjust to co-parenting finding ways to connect, interact and support children in an optimal way is paramount. Whilst some families glide into co-parenting, others can find that the transition is more difficult and the uncertainty of the best ways to support children can feel difficult to navigate. So, whilst the list of strategies and approaches is endless, here’s five ways that you can underpin your behaviours and reactions to co-parenting to best support children in the transitions. Keep child centred – work at their pace Co-parenting is an adjustment for parents and children, however, for children, the transition can be fraught with anxiety, worry and uncertainty. Particularly around when they will see their parent again and what will happen next. In many cases, parents may have been planning or been aware…

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10 Resources to support children with anxiety

Posted by | anxiety, books, child therapy, Children's Therapy, confidence, life coaching, self-belief, self-esteem, separation anxiety | No Comments

If your child is prone to anxiety, offering them support and knowing what to say, can feel really difficult. Offering children an environment where they feel able to talk without judgement, feel accepted and have their emotions respected becomes fundamental to helping them to grow their confidence and resilience. At its core, for children to feel more in control we need to help them build their resilience skills. Resilience is all about our ability to manage situations and bounce back from difficulties. In order to foster resilience we need: To develop children’s awareness of what their emotions mean To support children to develop the vocabulary for their emotions To help children to recognise their triggers and know what the feelings are that occur when faced with them To support children to learn positive coping mechanisms to manage their feelings In this blog, i’ll be sharing ten resources that you can…

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Supporting introvert and sensitive children

Posted by | anxiety, boredom, child therapy, Children's Therapy, confidence, introverts, self-belief, self-esteem, self-image, sensitive children, Teenagers, well-being | No Comments

Having a child who is not the first in queue to do new things, meet new people or sit and chat, can feel that there is something wrong. However, for some children, being introverted or sensitive can mean that rather than think that there is something wrong with them, we need to identify how we can adapt our routines and behaviours to help them thrive. Introverts, are by nature, quieter, more reserved and happier to spend alone, whilst extroverts enjoy socialising, being active and larger groups. Whilst this is only the tip of the iceberg, we can often see in children we know, those who are happier in their own, peaceful worlds, and those who quickly become bored in their own company. The concern is often, whether the introverted behaviours are introverted or something to be concerned about. Signs of introverted child Deep thinkers and processors Self-sufficient Insular, reserved and…

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Supporting toddlers through separation anxiety

Posted by | anxiety, child therapy, Children's Therapy, confidence, self-esteem, separation anxiety | No Comments

So many parents contact me regarding separation anxiety. In some cases, the anxiety is a normal developmental stage, in others it is part of a separation issues which is causing the child anxiety symptoms. So, how do we know the difference? Around 7 to 8 months old, children develop a concept called object permanence. This means that they understand that something still exists even when it is out of sight. Think about young children for a moment, and how, if you hide a toy they do not go looking for it, and may even cry when it is not in sight? Once a child has object permanence they will seek out toys or people when they are not visible. It is therefore natural, that at around this stage children can want to stay with primary carers and not want them out of sight. Most children will naturally work through this…

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Teens, mental health timelines and cabin fever (How to cope)

Posted by | anxiety, boredom, child therapy, confidence, depression, low mood, self-belief, Stress, Teenagers, trauma | No Comments

Over the last week, I have spoken to more teens and parents who are experiencing the impact of the emotions rollercoaster created by cabin fever. This can include feelings of: Increased anxiety Decreased mood Heightened frustration Increased feelings of being trapped Increased feelings of anger, annoyance and irritability The realities of cabin fever, are that many of us are feeling exhausted, trapped and annoyed right now, and the quicker we put in place constructive systems to help us manage the feelings and build our resilience that better the outcomes for our mental health. Some early signs that we need to be aware of, that may indicate your teen (or you) is beginning to struggle are: Sleeping more – or using sleep to avoid things Motivation has dropped Avoidance of activities, interactions or learning Increased screen time Use of electronics to avoid, distract or escape Increased or decreased eating habits Less…

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How do we support boredom when we are stuck at home?

Posted by | Adventures of Brian, anxiety, boredom, child therapy | No Comments

When we choose to stay at home all weekend, lounging round and catching up on things we rarely get bored. However, when staying home is enforced and we lose the choice to go out, flit between shops and run errands we suddenly begin to feel very differently about things. In many cases boredom quickly sets in, and brings with it new levels of destructiveness. So, what is boredom? In its simplest sense, boredom is mental fatigue that is created by monotony (doing the same things over and over again) which creates a lack of interest in tasks and an empty feeling. What triggers boredom? Doing the same things repeatedly Lack of variety Too much predictability *It should be noted that we all NEED some predictability, boredom is created when there is little to no variety or no option for variety What does boredom look like? Boredom affects everyone differently, but…

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5 things to do to keep your mental health more stable whilst staying home

Posted by | Adventures of Brian, books, boredom, child therapy, confidence, depression, low mood, self-belief, self-esteem | No Comments

As the world faces a new challenge, and we are in a position of needing to stay home to protect others, ensuring that we take steps to protect the mental health of our family, and ourselves, becomes vital. Having spoken to many people over recent days, here are 5 things that you can action right now to support you and your family. Plan a routine – Whilst we have energy and focus, making a plan for the next 6-8 weeks can help give you structure and focus. For those with home learning to do with children, this will give structure to some of the day, for those working from home, this will cover some of the weekdays, but for all of us we need to consider the time around this. Consider activities you have been procrastinating about at home, jobs you want to complete, home learning you could do as…

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Simple strategies to support Fussy Eating

Posted by | anxiety, child therapy | No Comments

In June I was at the Connective Parenting Conference run by Sarah Fisher. Sarah works with a multitude of families using the NVR approach to support parents to connect with their children. If you haven’t heard about it just click on her name and it will take you over to her page. Whilst at the conference I was talking about managing stress (see my blog here) and also managing fussy eating at home. I promised that I would share some of the content so here’s a run through of fussy eating and some strategies you can implement today to start supporting your child to widen their food choices: So where does fussy eating come from?  Past history of physical reasons for difficulty in eating – some children genuinely have physiological reasons why they cannot eat some foods or particular textures of foods Changes in appetite associated with overall growth –…

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10 top revision tips to reduce exam stress!

Posted by | BWRT, child therapy, hypnotherapy, Responsive Therapy | No Comments

Having spent 15 years working in education teaching 16+ I’ve seen my fair share of exam and assessment stress. However whilst some stress is motivational (it shows us that our exams matter to us) we can reduce the unnecessary stress by taking control early on and being prepared. For parents, the exam season can be just as difficult. You want the best for your children and the best opportunities. However keeping home life peaceful and planning opportunities for time out, as well as offering a quiet space where they can revise without distraction can make the whole home more peaceful. So I’ve collated my top ten tips for revision to make home and study a little more peaceful and under control: #1 – Get your notes in order  Spend some time getting your school/college/university notes in order. Having everything together means that you can get organised and have everything at…

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Lego® Based Therapy – how can it help my child?

Posted by | anxiety, child therapy | No Comments

If you follow my social media page (it’s here if you don’t) you would have probably seen me post about Lego® Therapy recently? Contrary to belief it is more than just an opportunity for me to practice my lego skills… here’s what it’s all about: Background of Lego® therapy  The Lego® Based Therapy model was first developed in the 1990s to offer a social development intervention for children with spectrum conditions which affected their social competence. It was found that in using a Lego® based approach children were more enthusiastic and engaged than in traditional therapy models. it was previously found that children were resistant to group activities using traditional methods but in Lego® based therapy groups/clubs they felt safe, engaged and interested. Lego® Based Therapy aims to offer children social skill interventions that they can use in a wider context. Lego Therapy uses Lego models as a core opportunity…

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Brains, filing cabinets – and why noone is coming to do your filing!

Posted by | anxiety, bereavement, BWRT, child therapy, hypnotherapy, Responsive Therapy | No Comments

Is your brain talking to you? Just take a moment and scan this communication list…. My head hurts all the time… I have a permanent headache…. I just can’t turn my brain off… I can’t sleep… I am permanently exhausted… I had to take a day off as my neck and shoulders hurt so much… I can’t concentrate… I keep forgetting things… The smallest thing makes me angry… I can’t deal with being around people… I’ve suddenly developed anxiety about things I used to find easy… I feel so fragile all the time.. My family are getting really fed up with me being so helpless… (If you didn’t tick off anything on this list then I can only say well done, you either have fantastic coping strategies in place, a support system which is second to none, are in therapy regularly or have had a peaceful year or a combination…

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Child Therapy – From a child’s perspective… (testimonial)

Posted by | Adventures of Brian, anxiety, books, BWRT, child therapy, Uncategorised | No Comments

I really love my therapy and coaching work with young people, their imaginations and willingness to open up and explore the child therapy techniques I offer means that they often experience big breakthroughs in 1-6 sessions (depending on the reason for attending). So you can imagine how touched I was when I received this beautiful story from one of my 12 year old clients which she submitted to a local radio station story writing contest, it looks at the session we completed to help her find some inner peace and joy…. she even had the chance to meet Brian my therapy dog! I’ll let her say the rest…    “Once there was a girl named Poppy and she was a big worrier for many reasons that cannot be explained. One day something life changing happened; she was going to see her one and only hero, worry expert Nicki Edwards and her…

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