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Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is the most common anxiety disorder in children under 12, and it can negatively impact the whole family system. It is normal and developmentally appropriate for young children to experience anxiety during separations when they are between 18 months and about 15 months old, and again when it...
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Blended Families

Blended Families

How To Blend Your Family - 11 Steps To Success   Family dynamics have changed over the years and blended families are becoming more common in our society. With this change, it’s important to understand how the blending of two families can affect the children involved, and how you can...
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PACEful Parenting: How To Build A Healthy Relationship With Your Child (At Any Age)

PACEful Parenting: How To Build A Healthy Relationship With Your Child (At Any Age)

Parenting is hard. As parents, we avoid this difficult truth because we feel it somehow reflects our quality of parenting, but it doesn’t! It’s one of the most difficult (yet rewarding) thing’s you’ll ever do in life. One thing that many parents struggle with is building a positive relationship with...
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10 Easy Holiday Activities for Kids and Families to Build Strong Connections and Lasting Memories (without breaking the bank).

10 Easy Holiday Activities for Kids and Families to Build Strong Connections and Lasting Memories (without breaking the bank).

The Holidays are normally a time to de-stress, take a break, unwind and reconnect. This year feels a little different though as we are on this pandemic roller coaster. Families are still feeling stressed. Kids are still struggling. Parents are carrying a LOT. Our team has come together and we...
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5 Ways You Can Support Your Teen with Social Anxiety

5 Ways You Can Support Your Teen with Social Anxiety

Has the pandemic amplified your teen's fears of being in social settings? Are they experiencing an increased fear of being at school and avoiding certain situations?  You are not alone, and they are not alone. Social anxiety has increased greatly amongst all ages and groups since the world went into lockdown, and potentially way...
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6 Essential Characteristics of a Strong Family

6 Essential Characteristics of a Strong Family

  How we define ‘family’ is entirely based on our values and personal experiences in life. There is no set way to describe a family, and none are more valid than any other, whether it’s made up of step-parents, single parents, foster parents, adoptive parents, or anyone of your choosing....
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Paediatric Occupational Therapy

Paediatric Occupational Therapy

We have recently welcomed a Paediatric Occupational Therapist, Arohi Atre, BOT, MSOT, OT Reg. (Ont), to our team at Acorn Counselling. What is her role and what can you expect when working with a Paediatric Occupational Therapist? What is Occupational Therapy? Occupational Therapy (OT) works to improve function in daily...
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Resources: COVID-19 Supports for Children and Families During Social Distancing

Resources: COVID-19 Supports for Children and Families During Social Distancing

During this challenging time, I wanted to have a space to share resources about Covid-19 and children with the kids and families in our community. This page will be updated on an ongoing basis, as resources are found and developed. You will find stories, workbooks, colouring pages, and other general...
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COVID-19: SPECIAL UPDATE

Dear Clients and Parents, You are no doubt aware of the current situation with COVID-19/Coronavirus in our country and the recent diagnoses in Hamilton. As information about the COVID-19 is reported, we want you to know that we are closely monitoring the news about the evolving situation. At this time,...
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Child Anxiety – Part 4 – What DOES Work!

What DOES Work? This is a loaded question, since child anxiety manifests differently for different people. Usually, it is not just one answer either, and a number of things together can be most effective. These things should touch on each aspect of anxiety you read about so far, including biological...
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Child Anxiety – Part 3 – What Doesn’t Work

What doesn’t work? There are a number of things that parents or caregivers try to do to help their anxious child. Some of the things that may not be the most helpful, and I will address why, include: Reassurance (alone) Everyone benefits from a vote of confidence, for sure. However,...
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Child Anxiety – Part 2 – What does Anxiety Do?

Anxiety recruits the whole family through "accommodation" What does Anxiety Do? Anxiety causes all of us to try to keep ourselves safe. There are a number of behaviours that kids can engage in when they are feeling anxious. When kids are able to tolerate the uncomfortable feelings of anxiety, they...
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Child Anxiety – Part 1

More than 1 in 3 children between the ages of 3-17 have anxiety symptoms that could be classified as problematic. Anxiety is one of the most common reasons that people come to us for help. We often hear things like: “My child is afraid of doing things they used to...
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The Magic of Play Therapy

When my daughter was a young toddler, we went through a phase where bath-times became a nightmare. Especially hair washing. It was so hard. She would scream, and cry, and hide, and refuse to let me wash her hair. And I would inhale deeply, try not to get frustrated, and...
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Tips for Success

Here are some ways to help you prepare your child for therapy and support them throughout the treatment process. 1. Introduce the topic during a calm and connected moment. When we are upset, we have less access to our thinking brains. We might be more likely to use words we...
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More than just a bad habit: Skin picking, hair pulling, and other BFRBs, and 5 things that will help you stop

Have you ever pulled out a stray hair, or picked a scab, or popped a pimple? If you are like most humans, then of course you have. But what if you pulled a LOT of hair, from various areas on your body? Or spent a whole lot of time focusing...
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5 things parents of teens needs to know about marijuana

It’s a big week in Canada. The government is selling recreational cannabis, as well as pipes, bongs, and other paraphernalia. Some folks are celebrating; while others can’t believe what is going on. Regardless of where you may stand, the changes to the marijuana laws have some parents of teens concerned....
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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (C.B.T)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT, is an evidence based treatment modality. This means that it has been proven to be effective for many different mental health challenges. CBT is widely used to treat anxiety and depression, but can also be applied to many of life’s other challenges. CBT focuses on...
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16 Mental Health Apps Recommended by Counsellors

16 Mobile Apps for Mental Health Mental health apps can be a great tool. As summer comes to a close, the buzz of back to school excitement is in the air. While some folks may be super excited, others may be more hesitant and making plans for getting through the...
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Is my child depressed?

What depression looks like in children and teens, and what parents can do to help. As many as 1 in 5 children and youth in Ontario are affected by mental health challenges, such as depression (CMHO). Because normal behaviours in children and teens vary depending on developmental stage, it can...
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