Emotional and Behavioural Challenges

Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Children

Anxiety is one of the most common disorders in childhood and the many who seek help from a psychologist will be diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

When children’s worries are completely out of proportion to the reality of what’s going on in their lives and they find it difficult to control these feelings, it becomes a problem worth seeking help for.

Excessive anxiety may cause a number of related anxiety symptoms in children such as fatigue, restlessness, edginess, irritability, muscle tension, disturbed sleep, separation anxiety and panic disorder.

Depression in Children

There is a growing awareness of the scale and problem of depression in our community and it affects children too. Symptoms of childhood depression differ for each individual but some of the common signs of depression in children and teenagers include:

  • Moodiness that is out of character
  • Irritability
  • Frustration
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Insomnia
  • Avoiding school
  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • Being reckless
  • Difficulty in taking personal criticism
  • Slowing down of thoughts and actions.

Low Self Esteem in Children

Parents are in the strongest position to influence their children’s sense of feeling good about themselves but the school environment and playground also have an impact.

If you have concerns about your child’s self esteem it may be worth seeking professional help. We are able to assist parents in putting strategies in place, both at home and at school, to help build and protect a child’s self esteem if there are concerns.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children

You may be aware of returning soldiers suffering from PTSD but it can occur after any major shock or trauma in young people too.

Some typical symptoms include:

  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Edginess & irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Loss of interest in things they used to find interesting
  • Being easily startled

Children Dealing with Grief

Many children can learn to deal with their grief within the family but, as with adults, they may sometimes require professional psychological counselling to help them process their emotions and function better in their everyday lives.

Anger Management

Children often feel confused, anxious, hurt, disappointed, frustrated and angry about the world around them and their age, temperament and emotional maturity will dictate how they handle these emotions.

Children’s anger becomes a problem when it is too intense, too frequent or too disruptive.

We teach them how to control their emotions and ultimately this gives them a greater sense of self-control and self esteem.


All children can be defiant from time to time, especially if they’re tired, stressed, upset or hungry.

However when uncooperative and hostile behaviour becomes recurrent and persistent and affects their ability to keep friends and perform at school it may be diagnosed as Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

ODD may be diagnosed if your child has four or more of the following persistent behaviours:

  • Often loses temper
  • Often argues with adults
  • Often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults requests or rules
  • Often deliberately annoys people
  • Often blames others for their mistakes or misbehaviour
  • Often touchy or easily annoyed
  • Often angry and resentful
  • Often spiteful or vindictive


Our Staff