Helping Your Anxious Child
During the New School Year
Tanya Clemens, M.S.W., R.S.W.
Trauma and Treatment
Brenda Hudson, RSW, MFT
Back Pain and Referred Pain
Greg Kerr, M.Sc., D.C.
Young Worker Health and Safety
Jessica Burroughs, B.A.Sc., CRSP, CHSC, CRM
As this new season begins, we are pleased to present our fall 2010 newsletter. Demands both personally and professionally continue to increase for employees in today’s world and assistance through programs such as our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) are increasing. The Employee Assistance Program provided through Quinte Counselling Services Inc. is a short term counseling program which provides assistance to employees and their families for specific personal, family and work related issues.
In this fall issue, you will find articles provided by three of our new associates. Articles in this issue provide information on the symptoms and treatment for children, adolescents and adults who have experienced trauma in their lives; valuable health and safety information
for young workers entering the workforce; and a child focused article timely for the
beginning of the school year.
Virginia Palmer, Editor
Tanya Clemens, M.S.W., R.S.W
During the fall and early winter we receive many referrals from parents concerned about their child’s anxiety, particularly related to the new school year, new curriculum, new teachers, and new classmates. We have put together some ideas to help you assist your children through this difficult transition.
The first thing to do is ensure that you are connected to your child. Try to have an open relationship which promotes communication so you are aware of what is going on in your child’s life. Ensuring that your children feel heard when they talk will encourage them to let you in and keep talking.
If your child lets you know that he or she is worried or afraid of something to do with school, make sure to acknowledge and not disregard that worry or fear. Help them to know that they are not alone and that everyone worries a little bit at the start of the school year, even teachers and parents. Especially parents!
Remind your child of past successes when he or she was able to attend school or a school like setting and did well. Remind your child that he or she had been nervous in the past but had made it through and been successful.
Help your child tell you about the specific things that they are worried or scared about and then help break the issue down into smaller more manageable pieces and problem solve those smaller issues.
If you think that your child is having learning, attention, behavioural or emotional difficulties which are interfering with school success then it might be good to talk to your child’s teacher or your EAP counsellor about a Psychoeducational assessment.
Parents can also help ease their children into new situations by planning in advance. If you know that your child gets nervous before change or new situations like new events at the beginning of the school year, try to help manage this by preparing as much as possible. Meet with the teacher during the first few weeks of the school year and talk about what is to be expected and to address any concerns that you or your child may have. Attending school events with your child will also build on your connection to their world and lead to a greater sense of confidence and understanding when discussing issues with you.
Each time that your child is successful at being brave, no matter how small, ensure that you praise them. Let your child know that you are proud of the progress they are making. You are then reinforcing moments of success that you can draw upon in future situations to remind your child that he or she can and will be successful again.
If you think that you or your child need some help dealing with school or other developmental issues contact your EAP counsellor and arrange for a confidential appointment to talk about the options available to you.
Tanya Clemens has a Masters in Social Work and is a Registered Social Worker who provides therapy to children and adults through our Employee Assistance Program.
Trauma and Treatment
Brenda Hudson, RSW, MFT
Trauma is a result of an experience that causes emotional pain, distress and/ or shock which then results in negative physical or emotional effects. Some examples are a car crash, an earthquake or natural disaster or simply a very young child being reprimanded in front of his or her class. Some symptoms resulting from experiencing a traumatic event are sleeplessness, anxiety or nervousness, isolation, depression, and emotional numbness to name just a few. All of these reactions or symptoms are normal responses for people who have experienced an abnormal or unexpected event. The problems arise when the symptoms do not dissipate after a period of time and continue to cause emotional and/or physical discomfort to the individual.
Two common diagnoses for people who have experienced a traumatic event and are seeking help are Acute Stress Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Acute Stress Disorder is diagnosed when a person exhibits symptoms such as flashbacks, difficulty sleeping, avoiding anything that causes a reminder of the trauma, irritability, hypervigilance, lack of concentration; feeling like the traumatic events are still happening and/or a feeling of being detached from self or others and begin shortly after the event but not longer than 4 weeks. If the symptoms last longer than 4 weeks, the diagnosis is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
There are several types of therapy that can be used to treat trauma such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Exposure Therapy, Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (effective if done 1 – 3 days after traumatic event), Play Therapy (with children), and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). A medical doctor may prescribe medication to aid sleep and lower anxiety while the person receives one of the above mentioned therapies.
A very effective combination of therapies to treat trauma is CBT and EMDR. Cognitive Behavior therapy allows the client to understand fully how their thinking and behaviors influence one another and to learn to challenge some of the ineffective beliefs and behaviors that have resulted from their experiencing the traumatic event. EMDR therapy allows the client to completely process the area of the trauma that is ‘stuck’ and negatively influencing their daily activities. Both therapies are highly effective in treating PTSD, phobias and other anxiety disorders. EMDR provides safety and distance from the traumatic event which allows the client to completely and successfully move past the most distressing area in their memory of the traumatic event and to make peace with their present situation. For more information about EMDR, please visit EMDR Canada at www.emdrcanada.org.
As a Registered Social Worker, a Marriage and Family Therapist and an EMDR trained therapist, I look forward to providing clients with the tools that will aid their healing and promote their resilience after a traumatic experience. Brenda Hudson, RsW, MFT
did You know…
- Appointments are scheduled at a time that is convenient for you and usually within two to three days?
- No one at your place of employment will know that you have used your EAP unless you tell them?
- Counselling is provided for a broad range of services, including marital and relationship; parenting; stress; separation/ divorce trauma; workplace; and personal issues?
- Counsellors can help you access community resources and support groups?
- A comprehensive description of the services provided through your EAP is available through your EAP brochure or on our website at www.qxplore.com?
Jessica Burroughs, B.A.Sc., CRSP, CHSC, CRM
Based on these facts, we should all be talking about workplace health and safety to young people that we know who are entering the workforce or who may already be in the workforce.
A new job is an exciting time that presents many opportunities and the beginning of independence but it can also present new hazards. Like many of us that are at work in Ontario, young workers have the right to know about workplace health and safety hazards, the right to participate in dealing with health and safety issues and the right to refuse work if they feel it will endanger them.
In recent years, the WSIB launched their “Prevent-it” campaign. The goal was to send out a strong message that in the workplace, there is no such thing as an accident and that each workplace “accident” can be prevented. This campaign was known for providing graphic video reenactments of deaths and injuries that have occurred in different Ontario workplaces. An important components of this campaign was the launch of the website www.prevent-it.ca, which presents information about the prevention of workplace injuries and illnesses to informs employees, supervisors, workers, health and safety committees, teachers and parents about the right and responsibilities of workers in Ontario workplaces
Injury prevention is about reducing the likelihood of being hurt, the number of persons who are hurt and/or reducing the seriousness of the injury received. When we engage young workers in conversation about workplace health and safety hazards, rights and responsibilities we are creating an opportunity to be a part of preventing an injury of someone who may be close to us. If you know a young person that is entering the workforce or who is already in the workforce initiate the “workplace health and safety conversation” and help them to prepare for all aspects of being at work.
- Ministry of Labour, WorkSmart Ontario www.worksmartontario.gov.on.ca/scripts/default.asp Young and New Workers…Are yours ready? Ready…Safe…Work
- Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
Jessica Burroughs has a B.A.Sc. in Occupational Health and Safety. She is an Associate of the Qxplore Group and has a particular interest in providing workplace services focusing on Wellness and the Prevention of Injuries in the workplace.
***PSYCHOEDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT SERVICES***
Are you a worried parent whose child or adolescent is experiencing difficulty with:
*not achieving at the expected level?
*Mathematics, Reading, Spelling, or Writing skills?
*paying attention and/or concentrating?
*managing emotions and getting along with others?
A Psychoeducational Assessment by Quinte Assessment and Treatment Group Inc. can identify causes of your child’s problems and recommend what can help.
Sara Kapler, M.A., C.Psych. Assoc., Brian Kong, Psy.D., C.Psych.,
Eva Mourelatos, M.A., Carl Sordoni, Ph.D., C.Psych.,
Shannon Mossip M.A., C.Psych., Mohammad Nikkhou, Ph.D., C.Psych.
Quinte Counselling Services Inc.
208 John Street
Belleville, Ontario, K8N 3G1
Toll Free: 1-800-527-7793
QUINTE COUNSELLING SERVICES INC.