Parent and Child Counselling Ottawa

Parents and their children may love each other but when they clash, it can be distressing. When disagreements occur often, if not at seemingly every turn, it can create a stressful home environment.
Parents and their children may not always see eye-to-eye, especially in this ever-changing and complex world, and communication and problem-solving can be an ongoing challenge, however, these are skills that can be learned and can be improved upon. As well, professional help may be invaluable should things get out of hand and when emotions flare and conflict threatens to become the new norm.

Psychologists with Expertise in Family Conflicts

Contact Gilmour Psychological Services® in Ottawa to schedule a consultation with a psychologist who has an expertise in  parent and counselling .

Iris Jackson

Dr. Iris Jackson

Dr. Iris Jackson is the founding psychologist of Gilmour Psychological Services® in 1983. She works with adults in individual or couples’ therapy. Although she treats a wide spectrum of issues and disorders, she has special proficiency in the treatment of substance abuse problems, identity problems, adult survivors of childhood trauma, anger management, mood and depression, anxiety and self-esteem disorders and relationship conflicts.

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Frances Smyth

Dr. Douglas Scoular

Dr. Scoular has been a Psychologist since 2006. He has expertise in treating adults, adolescents, children, parents, and families. Dr. Scoular believes in collaboratively forming therapeutic goals utilizing the latest psychological research. He helps his clients to realize their goals through the use of Cognitive Behavioural or Interpersonal therapies, as well as employing other well-researched therapeutic modalities. Dr. Scoular closely monitors client progress using psychological questionnaires and client feedback. His interpersonal approach is highly engaging and interactive, providing a calm, positive, and professional therapeutic presence.

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Karen Davies

Dr. Karen Davies

Dr. Karen Davies provides psychological services to adults, adolescents and children. She treats people individually, in couples, or in families for a wide range of presenting problems, including: anxiety disorders, dealing with depression, anger management, substance abuse, identity and self-esteem issues, difficulties with communication, and relationship conflict resolution.

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Sandy Ages

Dr. Sandy Ages

Dr. Sandy Ages provides psychological services to children, adolescents and adults with a wide range of psychological problems. Depression, anxiety, anger, stress management, relationship issues, low self-esteem, sexual abuse, grief, and adjustment to life change are some of her areas of interest.

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Qadeer Ahmad

Dr. Qadeer Ahmad

Dr. Qadeer Ahmad provides general psychological services to adults, couples and their respective families. Anger management, health psychology, hypnotherapy, addictions therapy, grief/bereavement, family difficulties and conflict resolution are some of his areas of interest.

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Deanna Drahovzal

Dr. Deanna Drahovzal

Dr. Deanna Drahovzal provides psychotherapy and assessment services to individual children, adolescents, and adults; couples; and, their families. In her practice, she assists those with a wide variety of challenges, including: anxiety, depression, anger, low self-esteem, health problems, learning difficulties, memory training (Cogmed) and adjustment to major life changes.

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Dr. Angelina Chupetlovska

Dr. Angelina Chupetlovska works with children, adolescents, adults, and families. She provides counselling, short- and long-term psychotherapy, and psychoanalysis. She works with clients with a wide range of presenting problems such as depression, anxiety, trauma, grief, shame, loneliness, relationship difficulties, separation, career dissatisfaction, self-esteem issues, impaired creativity, substance abuse problems, and issues pertinent to LGBT individuals. She also aids with parenting issues and dealing with effects of parental conflict and divorce on children.

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Dr. Karima Lacène

Dr. Karima Lacène

Dr. Karima Lacène provides psychological services, including assessment and individual therapy, to children, adolescents and adults. She works with clients experiencing a wide range of challenges including anxiety, depression, trauma, relationship issues, grief, adjustment to life stressors, self esteem and stress management. She also provides psycho-educational assessments for children, adolescents and adults, including testing for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Learning Disabilities. Her therapeutic approach is both integrative and holistic. She provides a nurturing, accepting and client-centered atmosphere, and draws upon Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Existential/Humanistic, Mindfulness and Solution Focused Approaches to therapy. Dr. Lacène will tailor her approach to meet the needs of each client.

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Developing a Happy Family: Dealing with Parent/Child Conflict

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Family Counselling Ottawa

Sometimes the conflict is such that the communication between the parent and child is so strained that the two parties cannot communicate and problem solve together. Seeking professional help from a family counselor can be beneficial to bridge this gap. The important message to both the parent and the child is that we need to seek professional family counselling to be able to improve our relationship. The parent does not focus on the child being the problem.
In the latter scenario the child will be a hostile non-participant in the counselling process. There is no set rule when a parent should seek professional help from a counsellor. For some parents, when the conflict and stress becomes pervasive to their everyday encounters with their child then they seek professional counselling. An important point to remember is that it is never too early and it is never too late.

What to expect when you call the counselor?

If I receive a phone call from a parent who wants to make a counselling appointment for his/her child, I tell the parent that the child can choose to see me alone or with the parent; the choice is the child’s. Oftentimes the child feels more comfortable meeting alone because he/she has an opportunity to talk with me without the parent sitting in judgment. If the child wants to see me alone for several sessions to work on some of the conflict issues, that is acceptable to me. I inform the parent that he/she will be involved at a later date.
The therapeutic alliance between the counsellor and child is an important component of therapy. This also gives the child some sense of ownership of the problem and a chance to develop some strategies with the counselor on how to communicate with the parent.
There have been some cases that the child, particularly an adolescent has not wanted to come to my office. I have worked with the parent alone in terms of his/her parenting and communication skills. With most cases, the adolescent has later decided on his/her own to come to my office. If the parent starts to make positive changes to his/her behaviour, the adolescent becomes interested in the process and wants to be involved. With reluctant adolescents, I find it effective for the adolescent to interview me on the telephone to decide if he/she wants to make an appointment.
The role of the counselor in working in the area of parent/child conflict is not to be the decision-maker to settle the disputes. Refining parenting and communication skills is the focus of therapy. In fact, I like my clients to know that they will be learning techniques that will benefit them with peers and other adults.

Read more about the author of this chapter, Dr. Sandy Ages Gilmour Psychologist in Ottawa