Child & Family

penticton_Calgary_Family_CouncelingChild & Family Counselling

Overcome child and family issues & create harmony at home! Your family has the potential to be transformed once we can unlock the underlying dynamics and you learn to practice the strategies that work to overcome child and family issues. If you are battling resistance from your child at every turn and have run out of effective strategies, the pathway to harmony will surprise you.  Our counselling services cover a wide range of issues from child behavioural concerns, bullying, anxiety and depression, child sexual abuse, family life transitions such as separation, divorce or bereavement.

Phoenix Rises has 30 years of experience in this field. Our therapists are known for their transformative work with children and parent/child relationships. Each in their own way has the capacity and knowledge to engage with and work with children of all ages. At the same time Phoenix Rises works with parents and other caregivers to take them “behind the scenes” and help them to dramatically shift the drama. It is ‘the difference that makes the difference’. These are learned skills and families can overcome the challenges to turn family life around.

If you are a parent, grandparent or guardian and sense your child is simply not fulfilling his or her full potential, then booking an appointment with one of our counsellors is the first step towards discovering the freedom to thrive, with better grades, better family relationships and better life outcomes.

Here is Just a Selection of Our Services …


Children with Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD) exhibit an enormous amount of resistance to parental requests.  Does your child consistently say: “I don’t care”, when you deliver a consequence? Does your child blame others for his or her mistakes? Are you ready to ‘tear your hair out’ with frustration? Oppositional Defiant Disorder can cause rejection by classmates, low grades at school and could potentially lead to a more serious behaviourial disorder called “Conduct Disorder”. To turn your relationship with your child around you need a new approach since these kids do not relate to the concept of “win-win”.  In fact, the typical parenting strategies tend not to work!

  • How can we help?

Often, delivering consequences to children with Oppositional Defiance Disorder has no impact in shifting their behaviour; in fact it often fuels further defiance.  Phoenix Rises has considerable experience with such children and can teach you the fastest method of getting your child to listen and behave.  As therapists we understand the dynamics that trigger the struggle. We help parents enter into their child’s unique world and can help you turn your relationship with your child into a positive one.


Behavioural Disorders such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) without hyperactivity, now renamed Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT), and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), are among the most common brain and behavioural problems experienced in childhood. The symptoms impact a child’s ability to manage socially, academically, and at home with other family members. A recent study published online in “Pediatrics” found that more than 93 percent of ADHD children are on some type of medication while only 13% receive some form of therapy as well. At Phoenix Rises it is our experience that care relies too heavily on drugs and results can be improved markedly by understanding each child’s special challenges, creating engagement through counselling and developing adaptive approaches.

  • What can we do?

Proper intervention helps kids overcome their challenges successfully. As therapists, we complete an assessment process which determines the most effective therapeutic interventions that are tailored to the issues at hand.  Treatment can vary from teaching behavioural/cognitive strategies that diminish the challenges for the child living with a behavioural disorder; to EMDR for trauma-based causes or entrenched thought patterns; to teaching parents specific skills to deal with ODD. With proper treatment these kids can learn to work with their challenges successfully. We help kids and their parents to really understand what’s going on underneath and develop specific strategies that level the “up-hill climb” leading to improved grades, relationships and lives.


family-521551_1920A Blended Family consists of a couple and their children from this and all previous relationships. Here are just some of the challenges that your blended family may be experiencing … parental inexperience where one person may not have been a parent before; trouble accepting a new parent; issues with sibling age since in blended families, children are sometimes closer in age to one another than would be possible with natural siblings; and changes in family traditions creating resentment where families tend to have different images about how events such as birthdays and vacations should happen.

  • How can we help?

At Phoenix Rises we have a long history of successfully helping blended families. In our assessment process we typically meet with the couple first. This allows us the opportunity to explore how that relationship is forming and couples often need the opportunity to ask questions about what is actually normal to expect in a blended family. Matters like pacing, boundaries and who needs to take the lead on discipline, are typical areas of focus. A successful blended family requires a solid ‘marriage’ and when that relationship is supported in the therapy process, exploring and coaching becomes a possible and productive way to support the whole blended family system.  From here, the therapist determines any necessary next steps in the counselling process.


Aspergers Syndrome is a “high functioning” autism spectrum disorder (ASD), many Aspergers children are exceptionally talented or skilled in a particular area, such as music or math. Affected children have difficulty with social interactions, making friends and engaging in conversations, they exhibit a restricted range of interests, possibly with an almost obsessive interest in a few areas and often have eccentric repetitive behaviours. A child with Aspergers Syndrome usually avoids eye contact when speaking with someone and they are very literal in their use of language.

  • What can we do?

Your child can live a happy productive life. When working with children with Aspergers, therapists at Phoenix Rises help parents learn how to enter into their child’s unique world. From there, life-giving responses begin to create the shifts that both parents and their children yearn to experience. In the case of teenagers or young adults, the treatment involves understanding the landscape and developing resources to live more successfully in what can then feel like a friendlier world. Children with Aspergers Syndrome can overcome their challenges “fitting in” and gain control over life and their relationships with friends and family.