We offer general counselling for children and teens and their parents, adults, couples and families, and we have a particular interest in helping people of all ages who struggle with eating, weight and body image issues.
Counselling for Children and Teenagers
If you’re worried about your child or teenager, we can help. Children and young people usually respond very well to counselling, and it is best to nip issues in the bud, before they become longer term problems.
Children’s counselling utilised evidence-based counselling approaches such as art and play therapy, as well as modified use of mindfulness psychology, acceptance and commitment therapy and other cognitive-behavioural approaches, depending on the child’s age and ability.
We can help your child and you with:
- Disordered eating – under eating, over eating, emotional eating, binge eating etc
- Body image or self esteem issues
- Worry, anxiety and phobias
- Sleep difficulties
- Coping with stress
- Anger, aggression and sudden mood swings
- Grief and loss
- Adapting to parental separation and divorce*
- Adapting to step-family life*
- Difficulties with friendships
- Sadness and depression
*Please note that we do not provide psychological assessments or reports for family court or criminal court matters, or academic and learning assessments for schools, TAFE etc.
How we work with children, teens and parents
At Finding Balance Psychology, our approach is to engage and involve parents as much as possible in the counselling of children and teens. We believe that parents play a vital role in their child’s life and are best-placed to offer the ongoing support and encouragement children need to implement what they learn in counselling into their everyday life. Generally speaking, the younger the child, the more parents will be involved in sessions.
For children in primary school, the first meeting is attended only by the parent/s, to enable an honest and open discussion about the concerns. The child attends the second session with parents, and during that session the ongoing involvement of parents is discussed.
For young children aged 6 – 8, or for children with severe anxiety or behavioural issues, it is likely that we will offer you parent behaviour management training, rather than counselling for your child. This doesn’t mean that you have caused the issue or that you are a bad parent!. At Finding Balance Psychology, we think that any parent who is willing to ask for help is a great parent. Although this may not be what you were expecting, years of research consistently shows that the best way to resolve these issues is to teach parents these very specific strategies for managing the child’s behaviour at home, outside the counselling session.
For teenagers, the parent/s and teenager attend the first session together, and the ongoing involvement of parents is negotiated at the end of the first session. You child’s doctor (GP) may be willing to refer them with a Mental Health Care Plan, which enables you to receive a Medicare rebate for sessions attended by your child, up to 10 sessions per calendar year. This rebate does not apply to those sessions attended only by the parent, however these sessions are an essential part of best-practice counselling for children. Alternatively, please contact your private health insurance provider regarding your ability to claim for services by a registered psychologist.
Counselling for Parents
Being a parent is hard work, and each child is different. At Finding Balance Psychology, we believe that any parent who is willing to ask for help is a great parent who wants the best for their kids. We can support you as a parent from the time of pregnancy onwards to help you manage or improve:
- mental health during pregnancy an early parenthood, including post-natal depression
- Improving your relationship with your child /teen, or finding the ‘right way’ to talk to your child/teen
- Managing co-parenting after separation / divorce
- Supporting a teen with depression, anxiety, eating distress and/or body image issues
Counselling for parents can be very helpful for parents whose child or teenager refused to attend counselling. In these cases, parents are often able to make specific, small changes to their interactions with the child which can reduce the level of distress and tension in the household, at least to some extent.
Your doctor (GP) may be willing to provide you with a Mental Health Care Plan referral if they feel your parenting difficulties with your child are significantly effecting your mental health, which then enables you to receive a Medicare rebate for up to 10 sessions per calendar year. Alternatively, please contact your private health insurance provider regarding your ability to claim for services by a registered psychologist.
Counselling for Adults
Modern life can be quite challenging, and it’s no surprise that 1 in 5 people in Australia experience depression and/or anxiety. Help is available and you don’t need to keep suffering by yourself. If you’re ready for things to change, we’re here to help. Counselling can help you address issues such as:
- Restrictive eating, emotional eating and other eating concerns
- Body image, weight and self esteem concerns
- depression or low mood, anxiety or worry
- Relationship difficulties
- general life stress
- Grief and loss
*Please note that we do not offer counselling, assessment or reports for criminal or family court matters, for any legal matters, or for any medico-legal claims such as motor vehicle injury, worker’s compensation, personal injury etc. Your solicitor may be able to suggest a local psychologist who offers these services.
Your doctor (GP) may be willing to provide you with a Mental Health Care Plan referral, which enables you to receive a Medicare rebate for up to 10 sessions per calendar year. Alternatively, please contact your private health insurance provider regarding your ability to claim for services by a registered psychologist.
Being in a relationship can be difficult sometimes, and problems can escalate quickly. Ify ou’re tired of how things are and want to get things back on track, we’re here to help. Couples counselling or marriage counselling can help you address difficult relationship issues such as:
- Deciding whether to live together or get married
- Feeling closer and more connected
- Fighting less
- General relationship stress
- Affairs / infidelity and trust issues
- Step family dynamics
- Deciding whether to stay together or separate
It is quite normal during couples counselling for the psychologist to meet with each person once individually, however the main focus will be on working with the couple together. If one partner does not wish to attend couples counselling we are more than happy to provide individual counselling to the other person.
At Finding Balance Psychology, you have the option of a standard 50 minute session or an extended 80 minute session for couples. Extended sessions give you more time to talk about difficult topics and to practice new skills, and can be very helpful if the issues are long-standing, if there has been an affair, or if one person works a FIFO roster and can’t attend fortnightly.
Please note that couples are not entitled to claim a Medicare rebate for couples counselling, even if one partner has a mental health care plan – care plan referrals for adults can only be used for individual counselling. Alternatively, please contact your private health insurance provider regarding your ability to claim for services by a registered psychologist.
Couples counselling ‘for one’
If your partner won’t come to couples counselling we are more than happy to see you by yourself. Couples counselling ‘for one’ can give you the support and strategies you need to start feeling better, and can be what is needed to get out of a rut, and to stop things getting worse.
Counselling for Families (family therapy)
Family life can be complex. It is often difficult to talk about or resolve issues in the family at the best of times, but even more so when hurts from the past resurface, when people feel tense and misunderstood, or when a crisis occurs and sudden, important decisions need to be made.
Family therapy simply means that several people from the family are attending each session. The could mean that parents and children are attending together, siblings are attending together, step families are attending together, adult children and their parents attend together, or any other combination.
Generally, if individual children or teenagers are attending counselling then parents will also be involved in those sessions to some extent – please see the information in our ‘counselling for children and teens’ section.
Some common reasons to attend family therapy are:
- Adjusting to parental separation / divorce / step family life
- The serious illness or death of a family member
- Relocation / migration
- Adult children who live with parents
- Adult children managing the serious illness of an older parent, or moving an older parent into care
It is unlikely that you will be eligible for a mental health care plan from your GP for family counselling, however you are welcome to call us to discuss this.
If you wish to claim a rebate from your private health insurance, please contact your private health insurance provider regarding your ability to claim for services by a registered psychologist.