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ADHD is a brain-based disorder that is one of the most widespread mental health disorders affecting children and adolescents in Canada (Center for ADHD Awareness, Canada [CADDAC], 2017).  For individuals with ADHD, seeking treatment is important because untreated ADHD can be associated with school problems (increased risk of school drop-out or under-performance), behaviour problems (at home, at school, with peers), challenges with relationships (relationship challenges with parents, siblings, peers or others), increased risk of teen pregnancy, increased risk of accidents, and increased risk of legal issues, just to name a few. Individuals with untreated ADHD are also at higher risk for depression and relationship problems including peer and intimate relationships. This list is mentioned not to create fear, but is intended to help parents to understand the risks associated with untreated ADHD.

Many parents feel overwhelmed or ill-equipped to figure out what to do when their child or teen is diagnosed with ADHD. Maybe their medical doctor has offered a prescription or maybe they have a report with a variety of recommendations, but they’re unsure where to start or what is most important. At RMPS we walk step-by-step with parents to create and implement a multi-modal treatment plan that is a fit for their child and family.

Because ADHD Research has indicated that there are often differences in the brain structures and brainwaves of people with ADHD as compared to those without (especially in the areas of the brain responsible for executive functioning and decision making), part of the treatment plan will address what can be done to address these physiological issues.  The treatment plan will also address what can be done to help the child’s environment to be more supportive and make it easier to succeed. Finally, counseling can help the family and the child to create habits, routines and implement strategies that will address specific goals to optimize success.

This multi-modal and integrated treatment plan includes cutting-edge, research-supported treatment options in addition to traditional treatment approaches. At RMPS, we work hard to continually update and upgrade our knowledge of new research and approaches to add to our treatment plans in order to benefit our clients and their individual needs. For that reason, we often incorporate neurofeedback and biofeedback technologies as part of many of our treatment plans. With the incorporation of neurofeedback therapy into their treatment plan, our clients have reported the following: 

  • Increased sustained concentration and/or attention.
  • Reduced susceptibility to distractions.
  • Improved listening skills
  • Improved organization skills
  • Reduction in forgetfulness.
  • Reduction in over-activity.
  • Reduction in interrupting and excessive talking.
  • Reduced impulsive behaviour
  • Increased ability to wait for turn
  • Improvements in social skills and relationships
  • Fewer homework struggles
  • Easier transitions from one activity to another
  • feeling calmer
  • more focus
  • being able to complete tasks with less effort or mental resistance
  • improved regulation (manage emotions)

 If you or someone you know is struggling with ADHD, please contact our office at 403-245-5981 to book a consultation appointment. A clinician will meet with you to discuss goals, treatment plan, whether formal assessment is needed, and the plan for moving forward.

The post LATEST IN ADHD TREATMENT FOR CHILDREN & ADOLESCENTS appeared first on RMPS.

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Current research shows that over sixty percent of adults maintain some of their core Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms beyond adolescence ([CADDAC], 2017).

Some adults with ADHD may have been diagnosed with ADHD in childhood and some may have received treatment, however many adults are unaware that their difficulties are caused by ADHD until diagnosed. 

Symptoms of ADHD include difficulty with regulating attention (being unable to focus especially for less interesting tasks, difficulty switching focus, difficulty maintaining consistent focus, or intensely focusing on preferred tasks and possibly having difficulty with transitioning away from preferred tasks). Adults may also demonstrate hyperactivity and impulsivity, although these tend to look different for adults than for children (see below). There are three subtypes of ADHD that are determined based on the type of symptoms displayed. There is the primarily inattentive type (formerly known as ADD), the combined type (all three types of symptoms including difficulties with regulating attention, hyperactivity and impulsivity), and the primarily hyperactive type (which is quite uncommon). Many of the symptoms of the primarily inattentive subtype of ADHD may not be apparent to the outside world, which can make this subtype more difficult to identify.

Some ADHD symptoms, such as outward hyperactivity, may decrease over the course of the lifespan; many adults report that they were more physically hyperactive as children but that they now experience more mental busyness or a consistent feeling of internal restlessness. Adults often comment that over the years they have acquired strategies that help them to channel some of their restlessness into more appropriate outlets such as daily physical activity/sports, making sure they have something to fidget with during meetings, pacing while talking on the telephone, or finding employment that allows them to move or have a fast-paced environment. Impulsivity may decrease in adulthood or at least change in its presentation. Yet, many adults with ADHD find their verbal impulsivity, impulsive reactions, emotional reactivity, and impulsive spending habits can get them into a great deal of trouble. Executive Functioning impairments such as difficulty with working memory (holding information “online” in memory and working with it), organization, time management, planning, and prioritizing, as well as social gaffs are also common in adults with ADHD.  Symptoms that adults with ADHD may experience:

(Note: Everyone has some of these symptoms occasionally, but those with adult ADHD tend to have more of these symptoms more often and these symptoms impact their lives more than those who do not have ADHD.) 

Indicators of Challenges with Attention Regulation

  • Struggling to pay maintain attention to tasks such as reading, doing paperwork, or other tasks that the person finds boring
  • Being easily distracted by surroundings (e.g., difficulty staying focused in a noisy office, at the mall, or in a restaurant)
  • Unable to pay close attention to details or making careless mistakes
  • Difficulty prioritizing what to focus on based on the level of importance rather than interest
  • Forgetting to complete tasks even if they are frequent activities
  • Hyper-focusing on a preferred task and struggling to switch or re-focus attention on more important things (especially when involved in activities that are very stimulating and exciting)
  • Frequently losing necessary things
  • Struggling to listen to others or tuning out when other speak

Indicators of Challenges with Hyperactivity

  • Fidgeting, pacing, finger drumming, chewing on pens/pencils, hair twirling, leg shaking etc.
  • A feeling of internal restlessness
  • Feeling that your mind is busy or racing and has multiple things going on at one time
  • Unable to relax
  • Talking too much
  • Seeking excitement and stimulation (this can look like seeking high-risk activities, video-games, creating or getting involved in conflict)
  • Trying to do too many things at once

Indicators of Challenges with Impulsivity

  • Feeling bored easily
  • Impulsively saying things or talking at inappropriate times
  • Impulsive spending
  • Interrupting or blurting out things
  • Making impulsive decisions
  • Speaking without thinking – blurting out things that are hurtful or rude
  • Making decisions without considering the consequences, being reckless

Indicators of Challenges with Executive Functioning

  • Difficulty prioritizing tasks
  • Disorganization – messy home, office desk and car
  • Procrastination
  • Trouble starting and finishing projects
  • Difficulty with time management – often over or underestimate time required
  • Difficulty with planning
  • Unable to consistently use hindsight and forethought when making decisions
  • Feelings of under achievement
  • Starting numerous projects but not completing them
  • Delegation of organization duties to partners

Indicators of Challenges with Regulating Emotions

  • Reacting emotionally to a greater degree than others
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Impatience
  • Irritable
  • Difficulty staying motivated
  • Hypersensitive to criticism
  • Low tolerance for frustration
  • Moods swings
  • Temper outbursts
  • Anger may fade quickly or remain longer than normal

Other Possible Red Flags

  • Difficulty with relationships
  • Difficulty with social interaction
  • Frequent job changes and job loss
  • Less job satisfaction
  • Less years of schooling, and difficulty in leaning environments
  • More school discipline issues
  • Holding more than one job
  • Choosing jobs that are more active and less detail orientated
  • Financial difficulties – difficulty paying bills on time and managing money
  • Reduces work performance – missed deadlines, appointments and meetings
  • Frequently late for appointments and social engagements
  • Substance abuse issues including alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, marijuana
  • More frequent driving accidents and speeding incidents
  • More frequent physical accidents
  • More rule breaking and interaction with the justice system
  • Problems with self esteem
  • Difficulty coping with stress
  • Persistent mild depression
  • Worrying when attention is not focused
  • Difficulties with consistent thoughtful parenting
  • Unable to recognize own behaviour and impact on others

If you or someone you know may be impacted by symptoms of adult ADHD, contact RMPS at 403-245-5981 to book an intake appointment. At that appointment, a clinician will work with you to determine the next best steps forward to help you with reducing problem areas and fulfilling your true potential.

The post DO CHILDREN OUTGROW ADHD AS ADULTS? appeared first on RMPS.

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Does your child ever feel a flutter in his stomach or have sweaty palms before a test? Does she feel this before meeting someone new for the first time? If so, then your child is experiencing a typical response to stressful situations otherwise known as anxiety.
It is natural to have these reactions and emotional responses and is only a problem when these become overwhelming, unmanageable and have a persistent negative impact on a person’s life.
Anxiety can have both a positive effect and a negative effect on a child. It can be a motivator to better oneself and overcome challenges, for example, when a person is feeling anxious about an upcoming exam. Experiencing anxiety, in this instance, is normal and if managed appropriately, can motivate the child to adequately prepare for the exam. If a child is not able to manage his anxiety, it can hinder his social and academic progress. One example of unmanaged anxiety is when a child becomes too scared or worried to raise their hand in class or if they struggle to participate in social situations. Anxiety starts to become a problem when it causes a person to avoid activities or places because they are feeling nervous, shy, or afraid. If your child is experiencing anxiety, here are five things you can do to help (for additional support, please visit www.rmpsychservices.com):

Do not avoid anxiety.
Talk to your child when she is feeling anxious and where she is feeling it in her body. Ask her about the emotions and thoughts she is experiencing. Talking about these things can make them less scary and help the child to feel more in control of their experience.

Talk to your child about your own experiences of anxiety.
Talk about times when you felt anxious and what you did that helped; this will help your child to learn that anxiety is normal and that it is not something to be afraid of. It will give him the message that he can “get to the other side” of feeling anxious and be ok.

Have confidence in your child.
Show your child that you have confidence in her decision making. When a child knows that she is supported in her decision-making it helps to reduce her fear of making the wrong decision or doing something incorrectly, etc. This approach helps the child to see herself as a problem-solver and to know that it is ok to make mistakes or get things wrong.

Show your child some simple techniques.
Deep Breathing (also called “belly breathing”) or progressive muscle relaxation (e.g., progressively tensing and releasing muscles starting at toes and ending with face muscles) helps calm the body and counteracts the feeling of anxiety.

Have routines and structure in your child’s life.
When children have predictability in their lives, it creates security. They know what the rules of the house and family are and know what to expect if they break those rules. Routines help the child to experience less anxiety. Modify the routine if you notice his anxiety is steadily increasing and he is unable to cope with the current approach; in other words, meet them where they are at and let them know that you are there to support and help them in reducing their anxiety.

Most children are able to learn how to cope with anxiety by participating in group counseling sessions or through individual counseling.

Rocky Mountain Psychological Services (RMPS) has been providing counseling services in Calgary for more than 20 years. RMPS continues to receive referrals from schools, medical doctors, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, family lawyers, and past clients who have experienced positive results. Visit www.rmpsychservices.com or click here for information on the group and individual counseling sessions offered by highly skilled and qualified staff at RMPS.

The post Five Things You Can Do to Help Your Child with Anxiety appeared first on RMPS.

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Children in this group will be matched for age and skill level. Lessons will be specific to the needs of the group. This group is different from many in that the lessons are based on the needs of the group and members will be given continual opportunities for real-life practice of skills with supportive feedback.

This 8 session group for children focuses on practical skills required for social interactions.

Topics include:

  • Conversation Skills
  • Social reciprocity
  • Expanding communication
  • Positve peer interactions
Every Saturday

from January 20th to March 10th

Cost: $500

*may be covered by insurance

Rocky Mountain Psychological Services Suite
220 1509 Centre Street SW Calgary, AB
___________________
Facilitated by:
Cassandra White,
M. Sc., R. Psych.
cassandra@rmpsychservices.com

The post Friendship Skills Group appeared first on RMPS.

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May this Christmas end the present year on a cheerful note and make way for a fresh and bright new year. Here’s wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Make this time of the year extra magical with us. Visit our for attractive discount.

The post Enjoy This Festive Season With Us appeared first on RMPS.

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Children in this group will have ample opportunity to practice their skills in a safe and caring environment with a small number of their peers. Small class sizes will ensure each child has opportunities to expand on their skills with supportive feedback.

This 10 session group for children focuses on practical skills required for social interactions.
Topics include:

  • Conversation Skills,
  • Social reciprocity,
  • Expanding communication,
  • Positive peer interactions.
Every Second Saturday

January 21
February 4 & 18
March 4 & 18
April 1, 15, & 29
May 13 & 27

11 am – 12 pm Or 1pm – 2 pm

Cost: $600

*may be covered by insurance

Rocky Mountain Psychological Services Suite
220 1509 Centre Street SW Calgary, AB
___________________
Facilitated by:
Amanda Medland, M.Ed., R. Provisional Psych.
amanda@rmpsychservices.com
(403) 245-5981

Cassandra White,
M. Sc., R. Psych.
cassandra@rmpsychservices.com

The post ASD SOCIAL SKILLS GROUP FOR AGES 8-10 appeared first on RMPS.

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Art Therapy Series I

Art Therapy is a psychodynamic therapeutic approach that uses the non-verbal language of art making and verbal communication for personal growth, insight, healing and transformation. Using the creative process in a therapeutic setting enhances our ability to make meaning out of our experiences and reconcile emotional conflicts. Art creations record and hold our hopes, dreams, emotions and conflicts as we find new ways of healing and repair. Some benefits include: positive changes in the body, enhanced resilience, increased coping skills, stress reduction, improved mood and outlook, enhanced brain-functioning, decreased depression, and increased ability to articulate emotions.

Description

Wellness Group for Teen Girls

Purpose

To engage in art therapy as a way to practice self-care and wellness. Learn strategies to use art as a way of getting to know yourself; to connect to your mind, body, and inner wisdom; and to build on your inner resources to reduce stress, anxiety, and worry.

Time

3 sessions on Mondays starting January 23 6pm-7:30pm.

Location

Rocky Mountain Psychological Services
220, 1509 Centre Street SW

Cost

$90/session

The post Wellness Group for Teen Girls appeared first on RMPS.

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What is Play Therapy? How Does it Work? Who Would Benefit from It? Presented by:

Cassandra White

, Registered Psychologist., Director at Rocky Mountain Psychological Services.

February 27, 2017
6:30-8:00pm
Sign in: 6:15pm
South Health Campus- Wellness Centre
4448 Front St SE, Calgary

Session is FREE of charge/Parking fees may apply

Register : http://fcrc.ahs.ca/ces/
For more information: email ces@ahs.ca or call (403) 955–4747

Children can struggle with emotions or adjusting to changing life circumstances just like adults. However, children are different from adults in how they process information – traditional talk therapy isn’t always appropriate or helpful. The language of children is play. This presentation will help participants to gain better understanding of what Play Therapy is, how it works, and who might benefit from doing play therapy.

Level I : This session presents an overview of play therapy and would best meet the needs of families and/or professionals with little to no knowledge of, or experience, with this topic.

This session is presented by the Community Education Service of the Child and Adolescent Addictions and Mental Health Portfolio and Psychiatry (CAAMHPP) of Alberta Health Services in partnership with Rocky Mountain Psychological Services and the South Health Campus Wellness Centre.

The post Community Education Service appeared first on RMPS.

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Parenting is an amazing adventure full of ups and downs, learning, celebrations, and challenges. Parenting a child with ADHD requires some specialized skills and techniques.

In this group, parents will learn research-supported strategies for parenting children with ADHD and will also have the benefit of other parents sharing their experience and support for implementing strategies and treatment plans.

Just like airplane safety rules, as parents, we need to put on our own oxygen masks first so that we can help our kids. This group is intended to give parents the support they need on a regular basis so that they can help their kids with ADHD.

When: Last Thursday of every month
(September – June, except December)
Cost: $540
Location: 220, 1509 Centre Street SW
Facilitator: Cassandra White, M.SC., R. Psych.

The post Support Group for Parents of Children with ADHD appeared first on RMPS.

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This parenting group will help parents of children ages 2-12 use the latest research on brain development. Parents will learn how to apply new advances in brain science to their parenting to help improve the effectiveness of their parenting, improve their relationship with their child(ren), and prepare children for life.

New brain research has resulted in a whole new field of psychology; interpersonal neurobiology. What scientists found is that unlike what was previously believed, brains change over time based on experience. Even more exciting is the fact that brains change not only with experience but also as a result of relationships. What does this mean for parents? It means that with some simple changes to the ways parents handle everyday parenting situations, parents can improve the parent-child relationship while also helping their child to establish new brain pathways and integration of the different parts of the brain for improved functioning in life.

Join us for this 10-week course and learn 12 simple principles parents can use to strengthen relationships with their children and change brain pathways.

Contact : Chrissy Schlechter, R. Psych. (403)245-5981
When : Wednesdays starting Sept 21, 2016
Cost : $600, Location: TBD, Time: 6:00-7:00

The post Whole-Brain Child Parenting Group appeared first on RMPS.

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