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New Office Now Open In Collingwood

 

In Support of Children is owned and operated by Wendy Hunter, Child Counsellor & Parenting Coach.  Wendy provides educational and counselling services to children, teens and their families.  In May 2015, Wendy received the designation of Registered Psychotherapist!

wendy_hunterWendy Hunter is a well respected counsellor who has educated and supported families for 25 years….and counting!  Wendy understands the challenges that children and families face today. Wendy has experienced many of these challenges and sincerely believes that her role is to empower children and their families to learn effective tools to deal with today’s obstacles and find hope for the future.

Wendy has lived in Barrie with her family since she was a young child. Wendy attended Georgian College where she received her Early Childhood Education Diploma. She worked within the child care profession as an ECE Teacher, Resource Teacher and Parent Educator for many years. In 2000, she returned to school and completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology. After overcoming a life threatening disease, Wendy pursued her lifelong desire to work with children dealing with issues such as trauma, loss, grief, anxiety as well as the effects of family breakdown. She worked with Kinark Child and Family Services in the Supervised Access Centre where separated families visit.  At New Path Youth & Family Services, she was part of the Early Years team which provided support to families with children under the age of 7. During this time, Wendy taught Triple P Parenting Program as well as the Incredible Years Parenting Program.  One of Wendy’s favourite groups was a social skills program for children called Dinosaur School.  

In 2011, Wendy decided to start her own counselling business called… In Support Of Children.  Part of Wendy’s work includes working with separating and divorcing families.  She is trained in the Collaborative Practice as a Family Coach.  This work has become a real passion for Wendy as she can remember when she was young and confused by her parents’ divorce.  She tells the children she meets that she understands how confusing this time is and that she is there to help them learn ways to deal with these upsetting feelings and to give them a voice.  Another important area of Wendy’s work is anxiety and depression in our youth. Wendy also provides effective strategies to children dealing with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and children that are on the Autism Spectrum. Wendy has extensive experience in volunteer positions with Season’s Centre for Grieving Children, Rainbows, Barrie Community Health Centre and the Simcoe Women’s Wellness Centre where her mom Marilyn Kelly was Coordinator of the Centre.

As a young child, Wendy experienced constant chaos and conflict in her family. Wendy still remembers a few key people that reached out and helped her family when they needed support. These were people in our community – a lawyer, a therapist and a health nurse.  They went above and beyond their job description and gave her a sense of acceptance and care.  Wendy’s goal is to give children that same feeling of acceptance and care. Wendy believes her personal and professional experiences and knowledge will provide families with the tools they need to deal with their challenges and live a healthy happy life!  
Please read on to find out how Wendy can support the children and families that you know.

 

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Child and Teen Counselling:  Our youth have many challenges today.  Some of the issue include low self esteem, anger, anxiety, poor social skills or loss (through a death or separation and divorce)…just to name a few.  I have extensive experience helping children and teens learn to cope effectively with these challenges. I use therapeutic art and play based activities as well as games – to teach children and teens tools, that will help them deal with their individual challenges in a fun, non-judgemental way.

Separating and/or Divorcing Families: As a child of divorce, I remember feeling very confused and distressed.  My parents did their best but I know it would have been so valuable for me to have a counsellor for support during this time.  I truly get it!  I can give children a voice through individual counselling. I can also teach children effective tools that will help them regulate their emotions.  I am also trained as a Collaborative Family Coach and so I can facilitate parents who want to create a parenting plan for their family. I also work extensively with blended families.

Family Counselling:  Today more than ever, our families experience many challenges and obstacles.  In my work with families, I teach each member effective ways to deal with stresses they experience.  I incorporate fun, educational activities that encourage each member to relax and have fun while they learn.  The ideal result is for all family members to be respectful and kind towards each other and to take responsibility for their own feelings and behaviours.

Parent Education and Coaching: We all  know that children don’t come with a training manual.  And for most of us, our only teachers were our own parents.  For some, those experiences were positive but for many, the experiences were not ideal.  I educate and support parents as they learn effective ways to communicate with their children and/or teens in a respectful positive way. The goal is to empower parents by developing effective parenting tools. As noted above, I also work with blended families.

Adopted Family Counselling:
 When families are blended due to fostercare or adoption, there are many challenges for children and parents.  Many foster and adopted children have experienced abandonment, disorganized attachment, significant loss, trauma and in some cases abuse. I am available to counsel foster children and foster parents.  My goal is to help children begin healing with individual counselling.  I teach children strategies to manage their emotions and begin to feel safe.  I also provide individual foster/adoptive parent coaching as well as ongoing group workshops.

   
Serious Illness Counselling:  Children that experience a parent or close family member who are seriously ill, need emotional support to help them cope.  They also have many questions about the diagnosis and treatment of their loved one.  I am a 9 year breast cancer survivor and I also lost my mother to cancer when I was an adult.  I have specialized experience that I share with children and teens during this very stressful time.  As people, we don’t want to upset our loved ones by asking difficult questions.  Sometimes what happens is, we stop talking and the result is we feel alone and scared.  My goal is to allow the opportunity for a child, teen or adult to ask those difficult questions in a supportive environment. 

 

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