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Child Counselling Process

The Counselling Process with Children

After the initial contact and consultation an intake session will be scheduled. This is when we will review the Minor Client Informed Consent Form and the Minor Client Intake Form. Therapy goals in general will be discussed, however specific goals will be better formulated after assessment sessions. After this initial (paid) 60 - 75 min intake session with parents/guardians, child-counsellor sessions will be scheduled.


It will be important for parents to prepare their child for counselling sessions by explaining to them where they are going and why they are going there. It is better to be upfront with kids than to delay talking to them, or being wishy-washy about what's happening. You can access the illustration below to read to your child to help with this. Also, for any pre-counselling jitters the child can look at Kindred Counselling’s Instagram or Facebook page, as well as any pictures or videos on the website. Sometimes seeing what their therapist looks like helps them feel more comfortable.

My professional recommendation for all families seeking therapy for their child is to commit to a minimum of 12 counselling sessions in order for the assessment and treatment phase to have any meaningful therapeutic impact. This is good advice in general whether or not you decide to work with us and is based on research and personal clinical experience.


Furthermore, for children who experience ongoing challenges or have earlier developmental challenges, or trauma, several more sessions will likely be needed. If parents/guardians foresee long-term counselling as being unachievable we should discuss whether or not starting treatment at this time would beneficial for the child. And a referral to a public counselling service would be a good option.


What happens? For the first 8-10 sessions the child and therapist are in a rapport building, assessment and stabilizing phase. During this time, there will be a mix of directive and non-directive play-based assessments to get a better understanding of the child's strengths and challenge areas. There will also be stabilizing, resourcing and preparation activities to prepare the child for more challenging therapy sessions during the treatment phase in which EMDR is used. This assessment phase allows the therapist to get to know the child and get a sense of re-occurring themes to better form a comprehensive assessment of the child's specific concerns and needs which will then lead to relevant goal setting for treatment.


Part of the treatment plan may also include family involvement in some way in the child’s therapy. Research shows that parent/guardian participation in therapy increases therapeutic progress and successful outcomes for the child. Even if this at-home participation with direction from the therapist, or for the parent/guardian to engage in their own therapy.

Prepare your Child for Play Therapy & EMDR (1).png
Prepare your Child for Play Therapy & EMDR (2).png

Read this to your child before they start therapy

Why am I going to therapy
and what's going to happen?

Prepare your Child for Play Therapy & EMDR (3).png
Prepare your Child for Play Therapy & EMDR (4).png
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Kindred Counselling is located at:

Boundary View Plaza

The Enterprise Centre, Suite 201 3701 E Hastings St, Burnaby, BC

T: 604-637-2074


Kindred Counselling acknowledges and thanks the Coast Salish Nations of Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish on whose traditional territories we work, learn and live.
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