Building Connections & Confidence
Children and Teen Counselling Group
What is group therapy?
Group therapy involves one or two therapists working with a select small group of clients. Groups are often designed to target specific problems such as anxiety, depression, or an eating disorder. Other groups focus on improving social skills, or helping children cope with a range of challenges such as low-self esteem, emotional regulation, shyness or a recent loss.
How effective is group therapy?
Research indicates that group therapy is very effective for children particularly it indicates that adolescents benefit greatly from group therapy. There are many reasons why this is the case. Through group therapy, adolescents can communicate in a way that normalizes these feelings and experiences. They are able to learn about themselves, the impact their behavior has on others, and are able to receive feedback from peers.
Research Supporting Groups:
5 Reasons Group Therapy Is the Best Choice Struggling Teens
Why did we start connection & confidence groups?
Groups were started due to a growing demand to support children and teens in learning how to manage emotions, interact with peers, and develop interpersonal/intrapersonal skills outside of individual therapy. Moreover, it is developmentally appropriate for adolescents to prefer feedback from peers than adults, which is another reason adolescents are oftentimes more open to this treatment modality.
What will your teen or child get out of a connection & confidence group?
Your child is an ideal candidate for one of our groups if they are struggling to obtain friendships, manage their emotions, and develop their self-esteem and confidence. Many parents report to us that COVID has had a tremendous impact on their child due to isolation and missed opportunities to connect with other children. Our groups are designed to be non-stigmatizing (hence our group title) and we welcome all suitable candidates to join our groups.
Joining our Groups
What much does it cost?
Please see table below
What's included for participants?
Groups will run for 6 consecutive weeks. The younger group will be run as 1 hour sessions and the older group will be run as a 1.5 hour session. The group will be facilitated by a psychologist and a counselling intern who specialize in working with children, teens and families. The groups will also be supervised by senior level psychologists, Gavin and Chantal.
Who will facilitate the group?
Groups will be facilitated by a psychologist and a counselling intern who specializes in working with children, teens and families. The groups will also be supervised by senior level psychologists, Gavin and Chantal.
What will parents receive during group?
Parents will be invited to a google classroom that will include weekly content/assignments discussed during group. Parents will be added to a group list to receive emails prior to and during group.
McAtee Psychology Sunalta: 1933 10 Ave SW Unit 300, Calgary, AB T3C 0K1
Read more about the location here. Free 2h parking provided.
What will the setting look like?
We will use a large conference room but also break out rooms for smaller activities.
How many participants are in each group?
Groups will include a maximum of 6 mix-gender participants. The age range for group(s): 8 - 11 for the younger group and 12 - 16 for the older group. Your child may be alotted into one of the groups also based on groups numbers and/or developmental level.
Please see table below
Can I get this covered by insurance?
Facilitators are registered provisional psychologists and registered psychologists and you may be eligible for health insurance coverage. You must check with your provider to confirm coverage. The service will be "psychological counselling/therapy performed by a registered psychologist."
What is the billing procedure for group?
We will bill $170 for the intake session, and the remainder of the group fee will be billed after your intake session.
Your invoice will indicate the number of sessions (6) and the rate per session.
What if my child is ambivalent about group?
The intake session gives the group leader to get to know your child and help them better understand group while also helping them feel comfortable prior to starting group. The intake session will be half parent(s) and half child. The intake session can be be a stand-a-lone fee if your child does not wish to move ahead with group.
Why would I want to consider this group for my child?
Is your child hard on themselves, struggling with tough emotions, afraid to try new things, having a hard time with friendships or thinks others are judging them?
Covid isolation may seem to have made this worse or more noticeable, but likely you noticed it before.
Children need to feel connected in order to feel confident and now is such an important time to foster these two in our youth.
If you want to plant seeds of hope by helping your child learn new skills and grow their self-esteem, The Connections and Confidence group is the place to start.
What is our COVID protocol?
Sanitization stations will be available and used before and after group. Participants will be able to freely interact with each other and will maintain a safe distance. Up to facilitators/group members if they wish to wear a mask.
Which group is the best fit for my child?
We currently offer two types of groups. Here are rough guidelines:
Connection & Confidence: best suited for individuals who need more support in social settings; have limited group/individual counselling experience; and/or are ambivalent about their mental health.
Confidence & Self-Esteem: best suited for individuals who are comfortable in social settings; are comfortable in a group setting; and/or are open to learning more about their mental health.
Both groups will offer a format that includes discussion, games, activities, movement, and reflection time. Both groups will focus on general mental health challenges encountered by children and teens.
**Updated as of Jan 12, 2023**
**Currently seeking participants for both Feb/March groups
How do you register?
Please call our admin staff to register. They will set you up your Jane App profile and with an intake session with the psychologist leading your group. At your intake session your psychologist will explain to you the process of group and prepare your child for the start of group. We recommend doing the intake session as soon as possible. Payment should be received prior to group unless you have a unique circumstance - please discuss this with our admin staff.
Gavin McAtee (R. Psychologist)
Gavin McAtee is a registered psychologist with clinical experience providing therapy and assessment for both children and teens. Gavin strongly believes in the power of the group environment and has worked in groups as a counsellor, coach, and trainer. Gavin blends his down-to-earth personality with best-practice strategies to help children and teens feel comfortable and open to discuss emotions and explore difficult feelings and thoughts.
Chantal Côté (R. Psychologist)
Chantal Côté (she/her) has been working with children, teens and families in non-profit organizations for over 14 years. Chantal is the owner of Pyramid Psychology, a private practice with the goal of showing teen girls how to build bulletproof mindsets and offering non-judgmental help for teens (moms too). Chantal is based out of Calgary and loves hanging out with her tween and kiddo outdoors, working out, playing games or just talking about randomn things. You can find out more about her at her website, www.pyramidpsychology.com.
Other Group Leaders
Ally Venturo (P. Psych) & Tessa Withak (P. Psych) are our other group psychologists. Please visit our team page to learn more about them.