About Me

If you’ve found your way here, chances are, you’re wondering a bit about me and how I can help you out. You, the parent, are the expert on your child. You have a great deal of insight into your children and your relationships that I couldn’t possibly have as a therapist. I will listen to your perspectives and ideas, and work with you to create the changes you desire in your parenting role and in your relationship with your child.

You can break out of the difficult cycle you are stuck in right now with your child. Your shift toward improved relationship patterns requires a supportive and nonjudgmental environment to express your concerns and to begin to think about your unique situation from a fresh perspective, while gaining knowledge and insights. I can be that safe space, and I can assist you in discovering new ways of managing difficult behaviour from your 2-7 year old child. I can help you to regain a sense of confidence, peace, and joy within your parenting role and your relationships. Raising children is challenging, no doubt, but it should also bring with it a deep sense of pride in your accomplishments and the accomplishments of your children, and joy in your relationships. My goal is to help you get there.

As a new mom, I struggled to make sense of all the parenting information out there, and I also was struggling to manage my own child’s challenging behaviours. Like you, I wanted the very best for my child, but it can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate all of the conflicting views on parenting, even as a professional in the field! Chances are, you have had to make some pretty difficult judgment calls and navigate some pretty tumultuous waters at times. You can’t please everyone, but it’s hard to stick up for what you believe is right for you and your children if you are uncertain yourself. And it’s easy to second-guess yourself. None of us are perfect. We all have our strengths and we all have our challenges, and children are no different. Many young children will struggle at some point, and if that point is right now, then you have come to the right place. I strongly believe that change within your relationships starts with an open mind and an open heart.

I have worked with children and families for over 10 years, providing individual and family counselling for a vast range of mild to severe problems. I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Calgary, where I participated in research and completed an Honours Thesis focusing on parent-child interactions. I later completed my Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology from Yorkville University with the intent of working with children and families. I value lifelong learning and growth, and practice this in my own life as well. I have been trained in and have facilitated a number of parenting courses, and have provided education and consultation to parents, Teachers, and other professionals working with children. I am currently fulfilling my requirements as a Registered Provisional Psychologist and continuing to build the knowledge and skills necessary to help you help your child or the children you teach by pursuing certification in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and Teacher-Child Interaction Therapy. I am proud to say that I am the first, and currently the only, therapist in Canada that has been trained in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy.

Real change happens within natural relationships and natural environments, if and when you are ready to put in the tough work. You can gain new knowledge and skills necessary to interrupt negative relationship patterns and create new and healthy ones, leading to improved relationships and decreased behavioural difficulties.

My children, like all children, are certainly not perfect. I have made my fair share of parenting mistakes, and I have learned a lot through ongoing education within the field as well as within my own personal development journey. I do my best to practice what I preach, and to learn from my mistakes, so that I can continue to grow and develop in my own parenting relationships. When I’m not busy with the hustle and bustle of life with kids – school, work, extra-curricular activities – I like to take time for adventure and relaxation with my kids, enjoying nature and all that the great outdoors has to offer. I make sure to squeeze in my own self-care throughout the day, to be the most effective parent that I can be, by getting in my early morning workout, listening to podcasts on my commute to and from work, and unwinding at the end of the day with a good read. Of course, I’m human, and we all make mistakes, but each day I am growing and learning with the help of my own children, and the children, families, and communities I am connected with. And I know you can, too.

I look forward to helping you on your journey, and witnessing the beautiful shifts you will make in your relationship with your young child toward becoming the best parent you can possibly be.

 

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231 - 6th Ave. SE
Medicine Hat, AB T1A 2S4

contact@carlasternpsych.com
(403) 458-4451

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