Children & Young people

The Calm Chameleon can offer support to children to address a host of concerns. Children are complex and so are the issues that they present with.  

We have listed below our most commonly presented difficulties. These examples are by no means exhaustive. If you want to discuss your child’s specific needs please contact us to arrange a free initial telephone discussion.

Children sometimes do not have the words or understanding to explain how they are feeling. What they do have, and they use it really well, is the ability to show us with their behaviour.

In our experience children’s anxiety can present in a number of ways.

Sometimes we see a withdrawn child, no longer able to participate in the world around them. disengaged from school, friends and society.

We see children who present as angry and defiant. Manifesting behaviours such as aggressive outbursts. This often lead to them expressing to us feelings of shame and guilt for their behaviours.

It can also be very difficult to recognise anxiety as we see some children who present as outgoing, confident and full of energy, but express to us that they are feeling anxious and scared inside.

Anxiety is very complex and affects each person differently, however our children all experience psychological, physical and behavioural symptoms of anxiety.

As a parent or carer, you know your child best. If you notice any change in your child and you think it may be anxiety, please contact us for a chat to see how we can offer support.

It is important to recognise that we all feel sad at certain times in our life and it is a perfectly normal emotional response. It usually passes over time, but when it doesn’t it can overwhelm children and leave them with feelings of low mood.

Sometimes it can be difficult to differentiate a normal “moody teenager” and a young person who is displaying low mood. No one knows their child better than parents and they will recognise behaviours that are outwith normal teenage behaviour.

Low mood presents in a number of ways:

  • Loss of interest in social interaction
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Disrupted sleep pattern 
  • Tearfulness
  • Moodiness
  • Self-harming behaviours
  • Isolating themselves
  • Not attending school
  • Alcohol or drug use

Low mood is actually very common, with one in five people becoming depressed at some point in their lives.

If your child cannot manage with their low mood, please contact us.

Children with low self-esteem will doubt their own ability, their own judgements and even their own body. As a result, they will often let others treat them poorly. They may be subjected to bullying as they will have a hard time standing up for themselves and think that they are deserving of such treatment.

We often see that children will give up easily when given a task due to fear of failure. As a result, they may not achieve their potential in school.

When our children start to feel better about themselves they begin to want to try new things, experience the world around them, be willing to take on new challenges and learn from mistakes. Leading to healthier, more positive relations with peers, schools and families.

Please contact us to see how we can support you.

All children and young people will have times when they do not behave how we want them to, it is part of growing up, pushing boundaries and learning from our mistakes.

When the behaviour is causing them difficulties at home, in school and in relationships, it may suggest that further support is required.

The involvement and support of family is very important. Sometimes parents feel embarrassed of their children and their behaviour or feel afraid of their children.

We work with families to help give them skills to manage their children’s behaviour and to support young people to make positive decisions.

Please contact us to see how we can support you in this process.

Impulsivity can become a problem when it puts children in danger or causes disruptions at home or school.

Children who are impulsive can show the following behaviours:

  • Interruption – Speaking over a person or interrupting conversations.

  • Impatience – They may not understand turn taking or sharing. In the classroom, they speak out of turn and can often blurt out answers or inner thoughts.

  • Lack of awareness of danger – A child may participate in dangerous activities without thinking about consequences.

Please contact us to see how we can support you.

We are all social beings, especially teenagers. The ability to form and maintain relationships cannot be underestimated, it is one of the most important markers for good mental health and having a positive sense of wellbeing.

As children grow up, their ability to form and sustain relationships is crucial. Most children will naturally acquire these skills as they develop. However, there are some children who, for various reasons, need some help with this.

Other factors which impact on young people’s ability to form or manage relationships are:

  • Bullying
  • Attachment
  • Abuse
  • Addiction
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • FASD
  • Family Dynamics

Experiencing family and relational difficulties can be very confusing and stressful for everyone involved. Please contact us to discuss how we can support you and your family.

Exams can put so much pressure on our teenagers.

A bit of pressure isn’t always a bad thing for a short period of time. In fact, it can actually be productive as it can motivate you to perform at your best. However, when it becomes overwhelming, stress hormones can shut down the part of the brain that allows your child to retain informations. When they are unable to retain or recall informations this can heighten anxiety.

We can help young people manage their anxiety to allow their body to remain calm and not enter a state of panic mode.

Please contact us to see how we can support your child or pupils with exam stress.

Self-harm, or self-injury, describes a wide range of actions that people deliberately do to themselves. Self-harm is not usually a failed attempt at suicide, but it can still be very hard for parents or carers.

Cutting the arms or the back of the legs with a sharp object is the most common form of self-harm but it can take many other forms, including :

  • burning
  • biting
  • hitting
  • taking overdoses
  • pulling hair / eyelashes out 
  • Eating disorders
  • alcohol and drug use

A young person may self-harm to help them cope with negative feelings, to feel more in control or to punish themselves. It can be a way of relieving overwhelming feelings that build up inside.

Please contact us to discuss how we can support you.

Bullying is when someone does something deliberately to hurt, upset or threaten another person. Bullying has a significant impact on a child’s mental health.

Bullying takes many forms, including:

  • Name calling
  • Physical violence
  • Spreading rumours
  • Deliberately leaving people out

It can also happen through social media. Texting and cyberbullying are becoming increasingly common problems and are often overlooked. It is important that all forms of bullying are taken seriously as they can lead to disastrous consequences.

If you suspect your child is being bullied, please contact us and see how we can support them.

Panic attacks can be very frightening for a child and also for a parent to witness. It is a very physical response to anxiety.

The symptoms include :

  • Breathlessness
  • Chest pain
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Nausea
  • Pounding heart
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

Children who are experiencing a panic attack without understanding why it is happening can worry that they have underlying health conditions or even feel like they may die, which causes even more distress.

We see children who then become fearful to leave the house in case they have a panic attack.

TRE® is particularly beneficial for children with panic disorders.

Please contact us to discuss how we can support you.

When a child experiences a one-off traumatic event, there is a possibility that they will develop the symptoms of PTSD.

Examples could be:

  • Abuse
  • Witnessing a violent incident or crime
  • Car accident
  • Witnessing a natural disaster
  • Conditions of war
  • Animal attack
  • Medical procedure

We see children and young people with PTSD present with:

  • Flashbacks
  • Emotional dissociation
  • Heart palpations
  • Loss of interest in social interactions
  • Self-harm
  • Depression

Research suggest that talking therapy is the most successful treatment for PTSD.

Please contact us to see how we can offer support.

We are Trauma informed practitioners and have spent time training other professionals on the importance of understanding how trauma impacts children.

Trauma is negative events that are very emotionally painful and that overwhelm someone’s ability to cope. This could be:

  • Experiencing abuse or neglect
  • Being a victim of a crime
  • Suffering a significant injury

TRE® is very effective to help children with trauma. As its a body based, non-talking, therapy, there is no requirement to speak about or recall any traumatic events.

Please contact us to discuss how we can support you.

We see children experience a vast array of emotions when they have suffered a bereavement or loss and all are completely normal. Sometimes the way a child deals with grief is different to an adult and can be difficult for parents to understand.

We try so hard to protect our children from experiences that we think will upset them. However, children need to be given information and to be included in this process in an age and stage appropriate manner.

Talking to a child about the death of someone close will be one of hardest things you will do. It can trigger memories of your own whilst you are trying to support your child.

We are able to offer support to you and your child to help with that process, please contact us.

Separation anxiety and fear of strangers is common in very young children and is a normal part of your child’s development.

Separation anxiety becomes an issue when your child becomes fearful and nervous when away from home or separated from their parent/carer.

We see children develop physical ailments, such as headaches, stomach pains and toileting issues at the thought of being separated.

The fear of separation causes great distress to the child and may interfere with the child’s normal activities, such as going to school or being able to socialise, going to parties, etc.

Please contact us if you need further support in relation to separation anxiety.

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