Child and Teen Counselling Services
Every generation parents universally comment on the challenges children and teens are faced with. In the 1960's there was a concern among many on how television, rock and roll music, and teen rebelliousness was at the core of parent worry. The 1970's saw concerns grow into teenage pregnancy, drugs, Vietnam war, bullying and children going off to boarding school. The 1980's and 90's saw a growing focus on learning disabilities, school systems falling behind in reaching children who learned differently, and the changing roles of women in the household that impacted childrearing among others. The growing influence of globalization, student loans, both parents working, digital technology, the internet and social media joined the historic concerns of drug abuse, bullying, academic stress, and employment after college since the late 1990's for parents to remain on top of.
We agree that today's world has made some things in life easier (microwave dinners, smart cars, search engines, better medicine) but we also concur that the challenges children and teens face today are a bit of the old, a bit of the new that make growing up successfully (whatever that really means) more than just "getting good grades in school." As so clearly stated by Ellen Galinsky in her book Mind in the Making; "It is clear that there is information children need to learn - facts, figures, concepts, insights, and understandings. But we have neglected something that is equally essential - children need life skills." At St. John's Cathedral Counselling Service we employ Ellen's seven essential life skills for kids and teens to learn to resolve their issues and support their developmental goals as they spend time with us. Those 7 essential life skills are: self-control, having a perspective, communication skills, making connections with others, critical thinking, taking on challenges, and lifelong learning.
Concurrently as Hong Kong's first positive psychology counselling centre, we also employ the empowering principles of positive psychology to help children be "self-sufficient, self-aware, self-assured." Traditional counselling has primarily focused on the psychopathology of a person and their deficits - negative traits whereas positive psychology address both the presenting issues that impact well-being but also we focus on building character and resilience strengths, developing attitude of gratitude mindsets, developing and sustaining good behaviors that build good mood, and accepting life's challenges and engaging with those challenges in an optimistic, realistic and positive way forward.
We have a dedicated team of clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, art therapists, play therapists, therapist and counsellors who provide services in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, French, Spanish and Hindi. Our counselling sessions are 45 minutes long (children and teen brains get easily tired in counselling!), we have a sliding fee scale for our services and also offer special package deals (minimum of 5 purchased sessions but NO REFUND). Children and teens find our counselling centre cool, comfortable and does not remind them they are in a doctor's office but instead a place where they can learn and grow. We actually try our best to make our visits fun and non-threatening.
The topics we provide counselling on include:
* bullying and social skills
* sexuality, teen dating and online dating
* anxiety, depression, eating disorders, OCD
* ADHD, Asperger's - Autism Spectrum
* substance abuse, internet addiction
* co-parenting, grief, divorce, adjustment
* phobias, social anxiety, selective mutism (MS), separation anxiety
* anger management, self-harming, school performance
* low self-esteem, shyness, mood regulation
We work closely with local and international schools, medical clinics, hospitals and other healthcare providers to ensure a collaborative and continuous quality of care. We stress to schools and parents alike that there is no quick fix when dealing with today's challenges children and teens are facing, the process can sometimes see a child get worse before she gets better, but with our Duty to Care and Risk Assessment models in place, the bumpy roads the children work though increase their resilience, self-confidence and enhance their 7 basic life skills.