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Child Therapy

Therapy to gently guide your child through challenges and understand their feelings so they can enjoy being a kid!

East Lake Centre offers in-person services in Oakville and online services across Ontario.

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Therapy Can Help Your Child

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Do Better In School

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Develop Self-Confidence

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Get Along With Others

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Work Through Trauma

Kids show their feelings differently.

Rather than explaining how they feel with words, a child who is feeling stressed, lonely, or overwhelmed might show it through changes in behaviour, such as increased moodiness, withdrawal from others, or acting out in school or at home.

Whether your child is facing difficulties at school, or has gone through something stressful, such as a parent separation or an accident, we can help them understand their emotions and find ways to cope with life’s challenges in a supportive and nurturing environment.

We can help them express their emotions in a healthy way.


How do I know if my child needs therapy?

Each child handles challenges and stress differently. For some, it may show up as acting out, while others get quiet and withdraw. Some signs that indicate therapy may be beneficial are:

We can help them sort out their feelings.


How Can Therapy Help Your Child?

Just like adults, children are impacted by their daily experiences. While occasional moodiness and challenges are expected as a part of childhood, prolonged stress can affect their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, impacting their mental well-being. In therapy, we help children make sense of their feelings and experiences, creating a safe space to express themselves and learn coping strategies for a happier, healthier childhood.

At East Lake Centre, parents are a crucial part of the process. During parent sessions, we help you better understand your child’s behaviours and needs and how to support them best. We also equip you with tools and strategies to manage your child’s big feelings and become more confident as a parent.

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Through approaches including:

Individual Session

In individual sessions, the therapist talks and works individually with your child to help them share feelings and learn how to handle problems.

Parent Session

During parent sessions, we discuss your child’s progress and answer your questions to help you understand how to support them.

Play Therapy

Play therapy is a structured approach that uses games, activities, and toys to help your child express their emotions and work through issues.

Therapy can help your child work through:

Children often struggle to express their emotions clearly. When they can’t find the right words or ways to show how they feel, their feelings might be less positive. This can look like anger, sadness, or acting out. It’s not that they want to be difficult; they’re just trying to communicate in the only way they know how. Understanding this can help us be more patient and find better ways to connect with others and help them express themselves.

Children experience anxiety just like adults, but they often show it differently. They might not have the words to describe the anxious feelings bubbling inside them. Instead, it can appear as restlessness, irritability, or physical symptoms like stomachaches. Some kids might become unusually quiet or withdraw from activities they usually enjoy. Recognizing these signs can help us understand that their behaviour is not just acting out but a call for help and reassurance. In therapy, we can equip both you and your child with the tools you need to gently manage their anxiety.

Social and peer challenges are part of growing up and can have a significant impact on a child’s well-being. They might feel left out, struggle to make friends, or need help fitting in with their peers. These experiences can lead to loneliness, frustration, or even fear of social situations. As a result, some children might become shy or reluctant to participate in group activities, while others might react with anger or aggression. Understanding these behaviours as reflections of their social struggles can help us support them in building healthier relationships and social skills.

School can present a range of challenges for children, impacting them in various ways. They might struggle with academic pressure, difficulty understanding lessons, or coping with the expectations of teachers and peers. These challenges can manifest as a reluctance to go to school, complaints about headaches or stomachaches, or a drop in academic performance. Some children might even act out in class or show a lack of interest in schoolwork. Recognizing that these behaviours may be signs of underlying school-related issues is crucial in providing them with the appropriate support and guidance they need to succeed.

Family dynamics play a crucial role in a child’s development and well-being. Children might not know how to cope when there is tension, conflict, or changes within the family, like a divorce or a new sibling. This confusion and stress can show up in various ways. They might become withdrawn, exhibit changes in eating or sleeping patterns, or display increased irritability and mood swings. Some children might regress to behaviours they had outgrown, signaling their struggle to adjust to the shifts in their family life, and they need patience, understanding, and support to navigate these changes.

Traumatic experiences that occur during childhood can have a lasting impact later in life. The results of going through a traumatic experience may impact a child right away, or may not show up until later down the road. Following an event, children may start to struggle in school, have night terrors, avoid certain situations, develop attachment issues, or begin to exhibit behaviours that are uncharacteristic for them. If your child has experienced a
traumatic event, or a potentially distressing event, getting support early can help them express their emotions in order to restore or maintain psychological well-being.

Dr. Karina Zorzella, Clinical Psychologist & Director at East Lake Centre Psychological Services, speaking English and Portuguese

Dr. Karina Zorzella, Ph.D., C.Psych.

Clinical Psychologist & Director


Why Work With East Lake Centre Psychological Services

We are passionate about the work we do and are dedicated to helping clients reach their full potential.

Our team of therapists is committed to helping you identify the challenges that are keeping you stuck and nurture the strengths that will be the stepping stones to lasting change.

We provide the therapy and assessments that will guide you to understanding yourself better so you can live a life that feels right - for you.

Find The Therapist For You


How Child Therapy Works

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we meet for the first time

We meet with you and your child to learn about their history, symptoms, and current coping strategies so we can better understand the challenges they are facing.


we put together a plan

Using talk and play therapy, we provide the tools and support your child needs to understand their feelings and learn effective ways to cope with the challenges they are facing.


we help you take action

Throughout the process, we keep you updated, assess what’s working, and adjust our approach so that your child continues to build confidence and stronger connections.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do we attend therapy together?

How therapy sessions go depends on your child’s and family’s needs. Sometimes your child will have sessions alone, other times you’ll have sessions without your child, and sometimes you’ll come together. Our goal is to provide the most effective support we can.

No, you are not! In fact, seeking therapy for your child is actually a proactive and positive step that shows that you care for your child’s well-being. Parenting is a challenging journey, and all parents face moments of doubt and can benefit from extra support.

First of all, it’s important to understand that there is nothing wrong with your child. While it’s true that some stigma about mental health still exists, society has come a long way in understanding and accepting mental health issues. Challenges are a normal part of human life, and getting extra support shows that you care enough to do everything you can to give your child the best chance at happiness and confidence in life.

That’s a great question. That really varies from person to person and depends on a number of factors. Many children and parents feel a sense of relief and hope as soon as they find a therapist who feels “right” for them. Consistency in practicing the strategies we talk about and commitment to showing up will help you see positive changes in your child and family over the coming weeks and months.

If you still have questions, reach out! We’d love to hear from you.

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Positive Outcomes of Child Therapy

Every person and situation is different, and while we are unable to guarantee specific outcomes, over time you may notice improvements in your child such as:

As a parent, therapy can help you gain a deeper understanding of your child’s needs, feelings, areas of difficulty, and strengths.

East Lake Centre

How You Get Started

Our team is here to support you every step of the way.
Get started using one of the methods below.

Book An Appointment Online.

You can book an appointment directly online using the button below. If you have questions or would like to be matched with a clinician, please reach out to us via the contact form or over the phone.

Reach out!

If you prefer to send us a message, please complete the form below. Our team will be in touch within one business day.

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East Lake Centre


Helping them love being a kid again!

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