Child and Family Therapy

A One-stop Counselling Service for Children and Families

Child and Family Therapy Parramatta

Bridges Counselling – Cross to a Better Life

Our 3 child psychologists, in North Parramatta, have expertise in mental health counselling and in working with children and adolescents.

When you contact us, we will help you choose the best match for your situation from our psychologists.

We are open daytime and after hours, Monday to Saturday, including evenings.

For full details on our fees see Psychologist Services.

See our full range of counselling services:

Our child psychologists

This time in your life can be confusing and you probably have a lot of questions.

All our child psychologists have extensive training and experience in family therapy. They all work with children, adolescents and families.

Our child psychologists can offer support to children and families experiencing the following issues:

  • Developmental difficulties
  • specific learning difficulties such as reading difficulties
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Opposition Defiant Disorder (ODD)
  • Anxiety disorders in children
  • Depression disorders in children

Child Therapy

Bridges Counselling - Child TherapyThere are a set of unique issues that children face as they grow and change throughout their developmental years. There’s a special kind of nurturing that they require from their parents and the specialists involved in their life. Raising children can be stressful, and parents can find themselves confused and concerned for their children and wanting some expert advice and support to ensure their children are supported during these formative years.

Bridges Counselling, as a private practice, can have the flexibility to match your child’s specific needs to one of our professionals to ensure they can meet their emotional and developmental potential. Our counsellors and psychologists have extra training and experience to ensure that they can offer the best possible treatment for your children and young people.

During childhood and adolescence, a person goes through many changes, with their learning, their physiology, their hormones and their brain development. Each stage of development sees different issues that can be focussed on during therapy. We can offer assessment, diagnosis, early intervention and psychological treatments to children of all ages from 4 to 18 years of age.

Preschool years

During these years children often need help to improve social skills, to develop pre-academic skills and to increase social and emotional competence. Some children can suffer from significant separation anxiety when transitioning to preschool and preparing for big school.

This is the stage in life where parents may begin to notice that their children are not developing at the same pace as their peers and they require support to assess their abilities. Many children at this age may be assessed as having neurological or cognitive disabilities and their parents may require support and psychoeducation to understand what these diagnoses mean and how they can be treated.

Psychologists can create individualised programs to cater to the needs of each child depending on the issues that they present with. Some interventions that are common for this age group are behavioural interventions and emotional scaffolding, developing routines and structures, treating separation anxiety and specific phobias such as fears of animals or loud noises.

Primary school years

As children develop throughout their primary school years, they are undergoing significant changes. These are the years that children are supported to develop their self-esteem and their identities. If children have suffered trauma or setbacks they will need some support to navigate these years. Some children experience significant shyness and find trying new things really scary. They often hold a lot of worries inside and don’t yet have the emotional expression to articulate how they are feeling.

They can find support to identify and communicate emotions very helpful during this time. Sadly this is also the time when some children experience grief and loss in relation to losing elderly relatives. There is also a high likelihood that children are the victims of bullying at school and this is often hard to navigate.

Children can benefit from support to develop their social skills in such areas as conflict resolution, communication and developing resilience and assertiveness. Treatment for this age group requires a specialist to think creatively, to engage with your child in a way that will foster their progress.

Psychologists often used expressive therapies such as play and art as a means to enable children to express themselves and gain understanding. A major part of the therapeutic process for children is to involve their parents in our sessions as well. Our therapists aim to educate parents, support their relationship with their children and upskill parents to work through the presenting issues with their children.

Some children require an educational psychologist to help to assess their academic potential and their academic needs. And educational psychologist can do psychometric testing to determine a childs learning profile which can help t determine what supports they need in school as well.

Family Therapy

Bridges Counselling - Family TherapyThe above mentioned issues may be dealt with in individual, one on one modality, or they may be best treated using a family therapy model whereby other members of the family may be called upon to participate in the sessions to better support the child and young person’s development towards their therapeutic goals. This may encompass relationship building, attachment building, routine setting, improving communication, or educating family members.

Our child psychologists may invite the whole family to sessions, the individual’s siblings, or a parent, both parents or a step parent. These decisions will always be mad in consultation and negotiation with the child or young person and their representing parent.

Family Therapy enables family members to:

  • express and explore difficult thoughts and emotions safely
  • understand each other’s experiences and views
  • appreciate each other’s needs, and build on strengths
  • make useful changes in their relationships and their lives

Family Therapy may cover any of these issues:

  • Anger management
  • Separation and divorce, and the impact on family members
  • Building better relationships
  • Child protection
  • Communication issues
  • Conflict resolution
  • Decision making and negotiation
  • Domestic violence
  • Emotional abuse
  • Extended family and boundaries
  • Family mediation and parenting plans
  • Family roles, power and control issues
  • Family or domestic violence and abuse
  • Parenting issues
  • Step family and extended family conflict
  • Step family parenting issues