Capable Kids and Families – Howick

About Us

Capable Kids is operated by a group of four New Zealand Registered Psychologists. They are passionate about making a positive difference to the lives of children and adolescents (and their parents) who are experiencing challenges in school, home, or the community. Their goal – to help build capable, confident, happy kids.

All four psychologists are accredited facilitators of the Cool Kids Anxiety programme. This programme is based on research that has been conducted in Australia at Macquarie University, Royal North Shore Hospital, and the University of Queensland for over 20 years. There are three different anxiety programmes offered: Cool Little Kids (3-6 years), Cool Kids (7-11 years), and Chilled for adolescents. The sessions can be done in small groups or with individual families.

In the Cool Kids and Chilled programmes the parents and their children work through 10 structured sessions with the psychologist. They learn the skills to manage and overcome the effects of high levels of anxiety. Workbooks guide the content of each session and include key skills and activities. Parents coach their children to complete practice activities between sessions. This ensures the parents and children learn the skills they need.

The 6 Cool Little Kids sessions are for parents only. They equip them with the skills to help their children manage situations that cause anxiety. The team have seen the life-changing benefits of these programmes many times over and are committed to making them accessible to as many anxious New Zealand children as possible. Macquarie University have recently launched some excellent digital resources so that the sessions can be presented by the psychologist using Zoom if necessary.

Capable Kids also offers a range of other services for children and adolescents. Many children find school and learning challenging. The psychologists can carry out cognitive and educational assessments. The student works with the psychologist to complete a series of standardised activities, usually over two sessions. This identifies cognitive strengths and weaknesses as well as achievement in curriculum subjects such as Reading, Writing, Mathematics and Oral Language.

The psychologists have experience working with children and adolescents experiencing learning difficulties (such as dyslexia and dyscalculia). They can identify gifted children and identify whether they may also have learning challenges. They also investigate behavioural difficulties (such as aggression, school refusal and oppositionality), developmental disorders (such as ADHD and ASD) and emotional difficulties (such as anxiety, low mood, and low self-esteem). Follow-up therapeutic support is available.

Meet the Team

The psychologists bring together a wealth of experience. This includes many years working with teachers and students in New Zealand schools as well as working closely with young people and their families.
Michele Blick ([email protected]) and
Heather Vickery ([email protected] ) are based on the North Shore in Auckland.
Emrie de Vaal ([email protected]) and
Julia Langford ([email protected] ) are based in East and Central Auckland.

Physical environment

The psychologists often work from their home offices which are set up to ensure the needs of children and adults are well met. Cool Kids groups are usually held at a venue that has adequate space for larger numbers. Consultations, interviews, follow -up and therapeutic support can be carried out using Zoom if that is more appropriate or convenient.

For more information visit www.capablekids.co.nz.

Services

  • Cool Kids Anxiety Programmes
  • Cognitive and Educational Assessments
  • Working with Schools
  • Family Support, Coaching and Guidance
  • Parenting Strategies
  • Learning Concerns
  • Behavioural Concerns
  • Social-Emotional Concerns

Services

  • Cool Kids Anxiety Programmes
  • Cognitive and Educational Assessments
  • Working with Schools
  • Family Support, Coaching and Guidance
  • Parenting Strategies
  • Learning Concerns
  • Behavioural Concerns
  • Social-Emotional Concerns

Elaine and the Cool Kids program has been a lifesaver for our family. Our 11-year old son developed severe anxiety last year. It started with refusing to go to school, but within three months, it had developed into a full-blown anxiety disorder and depression – to the point where he wouldn’t leave the house and could barely get out of bed. He was also having suicidal thoughts and his behavior was very extreme with constant tantrums, tears and oppositional behavior (which was not like him). Things were pretty bad! Initially, our son wouldn’t even attend the weekly program, so we attended and Elaine would ‘drop by’ the next day and slowly, ever so gently began to help our son. Meantime, we were learning how to parent an anxious child. Eventually, by week 7 of the program, he felt brave enough to attend and loved it! He saw that other kids had anxiety too (different but similar) and he started going from strength to strength, achieving new things and starting to get his life back. Now, six months later, he is back to school most days, his behavior is improving, and he’s starting to find his former happy, exuberant self again. It’s been a dreadful journey and we still have goals to achieve but we believe we would never have come this far this quickly without Elaine and the Cool Kids program. We have also learnt to be better parents and our family life is much more peaceful. I would highly recommend Cool Kids to any family with a child with anxiety problems – and to be proactive and do it now before your child’s anxiety becomes a bigger problem. It’s just the most amazing thing you can do for your child – and your family.
Sarah and Paul