Adolescents

Psychodiagnostic Assessment

A psychodiagnostic assessment aims to clarify, and if appropriate, diagnose, concerns in the areas of behavior, emotional functioning, mood, anxiety, and personality traits. Typically, the process involves a combination of clinical interviews, observations, and questionnaires to collect all pertinent information. In some cases, cognitive tests may also be appropriate. Based on the findings, a comprehensive report will summarize the assessment activities and findings, as well as provide recommendations for treatment and management of symptoms at home and in other contexts (e.g. school or work).

Psychoeducational Assessment

A psychoeducational assessment aims to clarify, and if appropriate, diagnose concerns related to academic functioning. Typically, the process involves a combination of clinical interviews, observations, behavior and symptom questionnaires, as well as cognitive, memory, and academic testing. Cognitive testing involves assessing cognitive skills, such as verbal reasoning, spatial reasoning, problem solving, and more. Memory testing involves assessing specific memory skills, such as visual and verbal recall and recognition. Academic testing involves assessing specific academic skills in the areas of reading, writing, math, and oral expression. Based on the findings, a comprehensive report will summarize the assessment activities and findings, as well as provide recommendations for addressing these difficulties at home and at school. The recommendations outline specific strategies to use to support a child’s learning by relying on their areas of strength. If necessary, school consultations may also be provided to assist in the implementation of the recommendations.

Giftedness Assessment

A giftedness assessment aims to identify children and adolescents who would be considered gifted. Giftedness is a term that applies to individuals who perform in the extremely high ranges compared to others of the same developmental level. Importantly, it is possible to display giftedness in some areas and not in others, and this can actually cause some academic, social, and emotional challenges, making it important to assess. Similar to a psychoeducational assessment, a giftedness assessment involves a combination of clinical interviews, observations, behavior and symptom questionnaires, as well as cognitive, memory, and academic testing (described further above). Based on the findings, a comprehensive report will summarize the assessment activities and findings, as well as provide recommendations for supporting the individual’s needs at school and at home.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder is a diagnosis that describes individuals with difficulties in social communication and social interaction, as well as difficulties with restricted behavior, interests, and/or activities. It is important that a child who displays difficulties in these areas be specifically assessed for these symptoms. Usually, an assessment involves in depth observation, clinical interviews, and symptom rating questionnaires. In some cases, cognitive measures may also be used. Based on the findings, a comprehensive report will summarize the assessment activities and findings, as well as provide recommendations for supporting the individual’s needs at school and at home.

Neuropsychological

A neuropsychological assessment aims to comprehensively understand a child or youth’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses. Compared to a psychoeducational assessment, a neuropsychological assessment involves measuring additional cognitive abilities, such as auditory and visual processing, sensory perception, motor functions and executive functions. Based on the findings, a comprehensive report will summarize the assessment activities and findings, as well as provide recommendations for supporting the individual’s needs at home and in other contexts (e.g. school or work).

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Individual therapy is a process by which clients work with a trained professional in a warm and supportive environment to help them understand how their thoughts, beliefs and past experiences may be contributing to their negative emotions and maladaptive behaviours. With the professional, clients identify personal goals and work towards attaining those goals through evidence-based approaches. People seek individual therapy for many reasons. It can treat specific mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, it can provide an understanding of how past experiences contribute to an individual’s current state, or it can be used as a means for growth and self-actualization.

At CAFCO, we provide individual therapy for the following presenting problems in adolescents:

  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Depression
  • School refusal
  • Trauma
  • Opposition
  • Aggression
  • Emotion regulation
  • Self-esteem
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Social skills
  • Learning Disorders
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Intellectual or developmental delays
  • Giftedness
  • Grief
  • Parent-child conflicts
  • Adjustment difficulties
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An alternative to individual therapy is group therapy. Group therapy is an effective way to deliver evidence-based treatment.  In group therapy, one or two therapists facilitate a group of individuals dealing with similar issues. Group therapy can be as effective as individual therapy and it offers many benefits, including support, encouragement and understanding of other people who are overcoming similar problems. Groups are typically covered by most health care benefits and private insurance plans.

Please click below for a list of groups being offered for adolescents at CAFCO.

Walk and Talk is a group for teens who are experiencing moderate anxiety and/or depression. This group combines the evidence-based benefits of exercise, being in nature and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The group is led on a walk to and from a green space in the CAFCO neighbourhood, where CBT therapy takes place. The idea is that the group experience will be a springboard to enduring positive change.   To register for the next group, click here

In this group, teens will explore a unique blend of mindfulness meditation, yoga, relaxation techniques, self-compassion and gratitude practice that will help youth build better coping strategies for life’s challenges – be it school, everyday hassles, stress, or dealing with illness, anxiety or low mood.

safeTALK is a three-hour training program developed by a multi-disciplinary team through LivingWorks, originally based out of Calgary, Alberta. Developed as an extension of the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, safeTALK prepares helpers to identify persons with thoughts of suicide and connect them to suicide first aid resources. Most people with thoughts of suicide, either directly or indirectly, invite help to stay safe. Alert helpers know how to identify and work with these opportunities to help protect life. Throughout the training, videos illustrate both non-alert and alert responses. Discussion and practice stimulates learning.

The safeTALK program has been used across Canada as well as in the United States and Australia. Research into the effectiveness of safeTALK has shown its effectiveness within a variety of populations and community settings.

Braswell, W. J. (2011). Does safeTALK equip airmen to intervene when a fellow military member is having suicidal thoughts? [Thesis – Columbia International University, Columbia, SC].

Eynan, R. (2011). Preventing suicides in the Toronto Subway System: A program evaluation. [Thesis – University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario].

Forward for Life & Common Unity. (2014). Suicide prevention training in Hertfordshire: An overview of delivery of the combined approach for suicide prevention implemented on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council Public Health Service 2014.

Gullestrup, J., Lequertier, B., & Martin, G. (2011). MATES in construction: Impact of a multimodal, community-based program for suicide prevention in the construction industry. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 8, 4180-4196.

McLean, J., Schinkel, M., et al. (2007). Evaluation of the Scottish safeTALK pilot. Edinburgh, Scotland: Scottish Development Centre for Mental Health.

Mellanby, R., Hundson, N. P. H., et al. (2010). Evaluation of suicide awareness programmes delivered to veterinary undergraduates and academic staff. Veterinary Record, 167, 730-734.

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