Addictions, Eating Disorders & Repetitive Behaviours

Self-defeating, addictive or repetitive patterns of behaviour can be frustrating, upsetting and difficult to stop. These behavioural patterns may be related to difficulties with impulse control. Or, your child or teen may have begun them to avoid experiencing upsetting feelings. Some children and teens are not aware of the underlying motivation for their behaviour whereas others recognize that the addictive or repetitive behaviours are related to stress, anxiety, sadness or other unpleasant emotions

By assessing your child or teen’s situation fully, we can put a treatment plan in place to move forward.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)is effective for addictions, disordered eating, negative habits and repetitive behaviours.

Mindfulness meditation helps your child or teen break self-defeating cycles, become more self-aware and feel confident to handle any underlying emotions.

Services - Children & Teens - Difficult Habits & Repetitive Behaviours: closeup image of butterfly on orange flower

Addictions

You may want assistance with your teen’s addictions such as alcohol and drug abuse. We will review the latest developments in the treatment of addictions with you and develop a treatment plan with you.

Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating

Your child or teen may be regularly overeating, or, having binges where she or he eats excessively large amounts of food in one sitting and feel out of control of the eating. Depending on the frequency of these behaviours, your child or teen may have an eating disorder such a binge eating or bulimia.

Alternatively, your child or teen may engage in severe food restriction, and have a concern over his or her body image that is also severe, and have an eating disorder such as anorexia.

We can assist your child or teen with disordered eating or an eating disorder. Our psychologists use various types of therapy demonstrated to be effective in treating eating disorders such as Family-Based Therapy (FBT), Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), as appropriate, after discussing a treatment plan with you and your child or teen.

Self-harm

Self-harm such as cutting is a negative habit some teens engage in. If your teen is cutting it is likely because your teen is finding it difficult to endure some intense emotions. We have some very successful techniques we use to help teens stop self-harm. Cognitive Behaviour Therpay (CBT), Mindfulness meditation and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) are effective for self-harm.

Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania involves pulling hair out from the scalp (or other areas of the body such as the eyelashes) and can be a troubling habit especially if it leads to embarrassing bald spots. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness meditation are effective for Trichotillomania.

Skin-picking

Skin-picking is another repetitive habit. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness meditation are effective for Skin-Picking.

Comprehensive Behavioural Intervention for Tics

Tics are involuntary movements or sounds some people make which are caused by neurological anomalies in their brains. A person can have one or multiple tics, the tics can be simple or complex, and the tics may or may not cause the person difficulty. Tourette Syndrome is a collection of tics and develops prior to 18 years old.

If your child or teen is negatively impacted by tics, we can help. We use Comprehensive Behavioural Intervention for Tics (CBIT). CBIT is a clinically proven, comprehensive therapy to help a child or teen manage their tics, and is recommended as a primary treatment by The Canadian Guidelines for the Evidence-based Treatment of Tourette Syndrome.

For more information on CBIT, visit tourette.org.