Counselling & Coaching

Counselling provided to children, adolescents, and parents is aimed toward gaining personal insight and understanding, and helps to work through areas of personal difficulty.  It can involve depth work involving your history and current circumstances as a way to move toward your desired future. 

Coaching provided to adolescents and parents is aimed toward learning new information about what and how to improve in areas of concern, while being supported to take action toward desired change.  Coaching is primarily concerned with the present and future self with an emphasis on taking action paired with loving accountability.  


Incorporating both counselling and coaching into sessions maximizes benefits to clients because it comprehensively embraces both head and heart work to heal wounds, address obstacles, and constructively orient you to take concrete steps to change your circumstances.   


Telehealth is an option for distance counselling and coaching provided from the convenience of your home via telephone or live video platforms.  This modern counselling option offers flexibility for families to access support when they have busy schedules, reduced mobility, health constraints, or a personal preference with this format.  Telehealth is also a great opportunity for rural communities with long commutes or limited access to specialized professionals.  These sessions are best suited to adolescents and parents.  



Sunspring Counselling specializes in working with children, adolescents, and their parents to build healthy relationships and minds.


Healthy Attachment & Relationships

My therapeutic work with children, youth and parents recognizes that relationships within the family and school are foundational keystones to a thriving child.  Relationships with responsive adults are the starting place for the child’s success in all aspects of life including learning and performance, socially/relationally, emotionally, and behaviourally.  When there are attuned parents and teachers, the child or youth has someone who will notice their struggles and can become a trusted adult the young person can turn to when they have a need, concern, or want to celebrate a success.  All reasons for connection regardless of good or less desirable outcomes offer tremendously valuable information about how the child or youth is engaging and coping with demands they face in various aspects of their life.  When adults build their awareness of the child or youth’s unique strengths and struggles, they are in the best position to ensure supports are in place for the areas that are most important and needed.


Brain Development involving Executive Function

Parents work hard to provide their child the best opportunities to become successful and well rounded individuals.  It can be deeply frustrating to see a child or youth who seemingly doesn’t get it or doesn’t appear to put effort forth, despite repeated efforts to correct or shape their behaviour.  The prefrontal cortex is one of the last regions in the brain to develop, and it is responsible for a host of skill sets called executive function.  These are the “how we do what we do” skills, that involve self-regulation mastery in the following domains:

  • Sustained attention and focus

  • Impulsivity or inhibitory control

  • Flexible thinking

  • Problem solving

  • Emotional control and regulation

  • Self reflection or self monitoring

  • Self motivation and task initiation

  • Goal directed behaviour

  • Shifting from one task to another

  • Working memory

  • Planning

  • Prioritization

  • Organization

  • Time management


Executive function struggles are very common in children and youth, and it can limit their success at home and school.  Deficits are present in children and youth with ADHD, anxiety, or disruptive behaviour disorders.  The good news is that executive function skills can improve.  Researchers have demonstrated “brain plasticity”, confirming our brain has the ability to change throughout an individual’s life.  What concerned parents and teachers can do with the assistance of your therapist, is start identifying which executive function skill domains are underdeveloped or causing problems in everyday life.  Creating a plan together to work on improving necessary skills can help your child’s performance and experienced success at home and school.


Learn more from Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child about some key executive functions: working memory, inhibitory control, and mental flexibility.

Renee Ritter

Renee Ritter, Dip, BA, MSW, RSW



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