Capable Kids and Families

About Us

Capable Kids is owned and operated by Elaine West, a New Zealand Registered Psychologist, and a member of the NZ Psychological Society. Elaine also has a Dip Teaching (Distinction) which was obtained in New Zealand where she taught at the primary level for three years before moving to Australia.

Elaine trained and qualified as a psychologist in Australia. Initially she was employed as a University Lecturer at Charles Sturt University but eventually decided to move away from academia and become a practising psychologist.

She was employed in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit (CAMHS) working with children and adolescents with educational, behavioural and/or emotional challenges.

She also worked with the parents and schools to provide them with strategies and skills to manage and support the children and young people.

Since arriving back in New Zealand Elaine has worked as a psychologist with the Ministry of Education (Intensive Wraparound Service) and as a Resource Teacher: Learning and Behaviour (RTLB). This work has provided her with valuable experience of, and insight into, the New Zealand primary and secondary educational systems.

Elaine has experience working with children and adolescents experiencing learning difficulties (such as dyslexia and dyscalculia), behavioural difficulties (such as aggression, school refusal and oppositionality), developmental disorders (such as ADHD) and emotional disorders (such as anxiety, low mood, and low self-esteem). She can provide psycho-educational assessments and therapy. Elaine is also a member of the NZ Association for Gifted Children and the Institute of Educational and Developmental Psychology.

Since setting up in private practice in New Zealand, Elaine has begun offering the Cool Kids and Cool Little Kids programs for children and families dealing with high levels of anxiety. These programs are based on research that has been conducted at Macquarie University, Royal North Shore Hospital and the University of Queensland for over 20 years. The Cool Kids program is used throughout Australia in schools, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Units and Community Health Services. It is well recognised as an extremely effective way to help children and families suffering the effects of high levels of anxiety.

Physical environment

Elaine works from offices at her home in Bayview, North Shore. This venue provides a relaxed, home-like atmosphere where children can feel at ease. There is plenty of parking on the property and in the street outside. There are pets available if children feel more comfortable/less anxious with an animal to cuddle or pet.

For more information, give Elaine a call for an informal chat or visit www.capablekids.co.nz

Services

  • Cool Kids and Cool Little Kids Anxiety Programs
  • Counselling
  • Cognitive and Educational Assessments
  • Working with Schools
  • Family issues
  • Academic issues
  • Emotional dysregulation

Services

  • Cool Kids and Cool Little Kids Anxiety Programs
  • Counselling
  • Cognitive and Educational Assessments
  • Working with Schools
  • Family issues
  • Academic issues
  • Emotional dysregulation

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