School Refusal / Disengagement

Children and adolescents may refuse to go to school for many reasons. Some include bullying, learning troubles, friendship problems, worries and fears about their performance and many more. School refusal in a complex condition to treat and the sooner the child can attend therapy the better.


While we all feel sad, moody or low from time to time, some people experience these feelings intensely, for long periods of time (weeks, months or even years) and sometimes without any apparent reason. Depression is more than just a low mood – it’s a serious illness that has an impact on both physical and mental health.
Signs of depression include:

  • not going out anymore
  • not getting things done at work/school
  • withdrawing from close family and friends
  • relying on alcohol and sedatives
  • not doing usual enjoyable activities
  • unable to concentrate

Depression negatively alters the way we think about ourselves and the world:

  • ‘I’m a failure.’
  • ‘It’s my fault.’
  • ‘Nothing good ever happens to me.’
  • ‘I’m worthless.’
  • ‘Life’s not worth living.’
  • ‘People would be better off without me.’

Sexual Abuse / Trauma

Trauma can come in many forms. Whether it be from witnessing or experiencing a life threatening event or from physical, sexual or psychological / emotion abuse.
Psychological Solutions staff are all extensively trained in trauma counselling and are able to help individuals feel empowered and manage the distress that occurs around the trauma.

Anger & Conflict

Anger is a normal, healthy emotion. It is often associated with frustration – things don’t always happen the way we want and people don’t always behave the way we think they should. Anger is usually linked with other negative emotions or is a response to them. You may be feeling hurt, frightened, disappointed, worried, embarrassed or frustrated, but may express these sorts of feelings as anger. Anger can also result from misunderstandings or poor communication between people.
Anger becomes a problem when it creates trouble for you with other people, your work, your health, day-to-day living or the law. Anger is also a problem when other people around you are frightened, hurt or feel they cannot talk to you or disagree with you in case you become angry. Some signs that anger is a problem are outlined here.

  • Anger involves verbal, emotional, physical or psychological abuse.
  • You feel angry a lot of the time.
  • People close to you are worried about your anger.
  • Anger is leading to problems with personal relationships and work.
  • You think you have to get angry to get what you want.
  • Anger seems to get bigger than the event that set it off.
  • Anger lasts for a long time, and well after the triggering event has passed.
  • Anger affects other situations not related to the original event.
  • You are becoming anxious or depressed about your anger.
  • You are using alcohol or other drugs to try to manage your anger.
  • You are getting angry with the people who are closest to you, or with people who are less powerful than you, rather than dealing with the situation that sparked off your anger in the first place.

Anxiety & Worries / Fears

Although anxiety is considered a normal reaction to stress, over time it can develop into a disorder when it becomes excessive. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders in Australia. Nearly one in 10 people will experience some type of anxiety disorder in any one year – around one in 12 women and one in eight men. Symptoms include:

  • Generalised anxiety disorder (general and debilitating worry that’s been present most days over a six-month period)
  • Social phobias – fear of social situations
  • Specific phobias – for example a fear of open spaces (agoraphobia) or enclosed spaces (claustrophobia)
  • Panic disorders – frequent and debilitating panic attacks
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Post traumatic stress disorder

Some common forms of anxiety in children are:

  • Fears of the dark, dogs, spiders, heights, storms
  • Separation anxiety 
  • Transitioning to the next school year
  • Getting things wrong (Perfectionism)

Self Esteem & Confidence

Self Esteem is your opinion of yourself. People with low self esteem are unhappy or unsatisfied with themselves most of the time. Self esteem is strongly related to how you view and react to the things that happen in your life. Building confidence in yourself and positive self talk, assertiveness and appreciation of self are but a small group of strategies Psychological Solutions can provide to you.

Grief & Loss

Tragic events can overwhelm us. Having an independent person to support you at this difficult time can help you build strength.
Professional counselling can help you come to terms with what has changed in your lives. Grief is not an illness, it is a journey.

Friendship Skills

Friendships provide a sense of belonging and are the foundations to forming key relationships in our lives. Being provided with the tools to navigating social situations, or bouncing back when things don’t go as planned, helps build resiliency and creates learning experiences.


  • 1/4 Year 4 to Year 9 student reports being bullied every week in Australia
  • Cyberbullying appears to occurs more often with older students
  • Less than on in 10 students reported bullying through technology during a school term 

(Source: Australian Covert Prevalence Bullying Study, May 2009, Edith Cowan University)

Bullying is repeated verbal, physical, social or physiological behaviour that is harmful and involves the misuse of power by an individual or group towards one or more persons. It can have long-term effects on those involved. 

Bullying can happen:

  • face to face (e.g. Pushing, kicking, tripping, name-calling)
  • At a distance (e.g. Spreading roomers, excluding someone)
  • Through social media (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Ask FM, Snap chat, Twitter)

Cyberbullying is a term used to describe bullying that is carried out through social media and technology. Children who are cyberbullied are also likely to be bullied face-to-face. 

Examples of cyberbullying can include:

  • repeared hang up calls 
  • Sending insulting to threatening text messages
  • Publishing someone’s personal or embarrassing information online
  • Sending anonymous hate messages on social media