Youth Psychology Services

Book a meet-and-greet with our team, schedule an assesment, and learn more about our youth psychological services

Youth Psychological Services & Pediatric Care, Under One Roof.

Pinecone Pediatrics has partnered with Registered Psychologists to provide more comprehensive care to patients and families

Our goal is to provide all of our patients with access to the professional, compassionate care that they require. Mental health challenges can present as a result of physical health issues, can cause physical health issues, or exist independantly. Pediatricians are often able to diagnose and help patients manage many common mental health challenges in addition to physical health challenges. In some cases, additional support from a trained Psychologist is required to improve the quality of care a patient is receiving. Using a team-based approach that combines the skillsets of our Pediatric Doctors with those of our in-house Psychologist, Mrs. Esther Groen, means that patients at our clinic will receive the highest quality of care, all under one roof.

Learn more about therapy services offered by Esther

Learn more about common pediatric psychology topics by reading our handouts on:

academic struggles
challenging behavior

Pathfinding: Accessing Therapy and Pyschological services


Self Referral for Therapy Services at Pinecone Pediatrics

There are 2 ways to get started: you can self refer for therapy services with Esther by contacting the clinic by phone, or using the link below.


Referral to Pinecone Pediatrics by Your GP

If your family physician sends a referral to Pinecone Pediatrics, you will meet with one of our pediatricians or nurse practitioner who will develop a better understanding of your struggles. 


Help us understand what you're struggling with or what you're worried about

Either way, your care team will meet with your family and work to develop an understanding of what is causing distress or dysfunction for your child. This usually involves simultaneously working on a diagnosis and treatment plan.



Through history taking and using screening tools, your pediatrician is usually able to diagnose common mental health conditions like ADHD, anxiety and depression. Occasionally they may need support with assessment from a psychologist, for example with learning disabilities or in some cases of autism. Your pediatrician will be able to go over options for obtaining an assessment with you. 


Our goal is to restore wellness and function for your child in their usual context(s). 

  • Your care team will address lifestyle factors that interfere with your child's feeling of thriving.
  • Therapy is useful to manage distress even before a clear diagnosis is made.
  • Medications are sometimes needed to support the healing and recovery process. A diagnosis is usually required in these cases. 
  • We will constantly review your progress and the diagnosis to make sure the care plan is the most appropriate for your child.
  • With mental health course corrections are common!

    Book your complimentary 15-minute virtual meet-and-greet with Esther now!

    If you have questions or concerns, we would be happy to help you plan your next steps. This conversation with our team is free and confidential.
    Book Virtual Meet-and-Greet

    Pathfinding: Assessments

    When Are Assessments Required?

    Assessments can be the beginning of a care plan: some children arrive at Pinecone with completed psychoeducational assessments. They can be at the middle: some parents want to arrive at a diagnosis more quickly, want more detail or want more personalized recommendations. Sometimes your pediatrician will recommend assessments much later, particularly if your child is not progressing from their care as we would hope.

    When Do Doctors Recommend Assessments?

    • In all cases of giftedness, learning disabilities or intellectual disability.
    • If they haven't been able to arrive to a clear diagnosis.
    • For a second opinion about the diagnosis.
    • In some cases of autism.
    • In some more complex cases.

    Assessment Outcomes

    The assessments can rarely be done by your child's school. Otherwise assessments are done by private psychology offices and are not covered by Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan.
    The result of an assessment is usually diagnostic clarity on mental health diagnoses like ADHD, anxiety, depression, autism and learning disabilities. The report of the assessment also includes highly personalized recommendations to help your child thrive.

      Pathfinding: Who's on Your team?

      It can be challenging to know the roles of the different professionals in your health care team. Look through the information below to help!



      Family Physicians


      Nurse practitioners

      When it comes to physical or mental health, these clinicians can help with assessment, education, provide a diagnosis, make a treatment plan, prescribe medications and follow up on the response. Sometimes these practitioners will do some counselling but they are rarely formally trained in specific therapy modalities. Your provider should also be helping with navigating the health care system and accessing different resources, including referrals if needed.  Medical services are covered by AHCIP.


      Psychologists are regulated health care professionals who can assess, diagnose and provide psychotherapeutic treatment for mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, stress, grief, addictions and ADHD among others.  In Alberta, Registered Psychologists must have at least a Masters in Psychology. Some psychologists specialize in specific assessments for conditions like autism or learning disabilities. Other psychologists will have extra training for specific forms of psychotherapy. Psychologists are able to refer to psychiatrists. Psychology services are not covered by AHCIP. Some subsidized services can be accessed through Access Mental Health and most private insurance companies will cover some of the cost of services by registered psychologists.




      Therapy is an unregulated profession in Alberta. That means there is no code of ethics, no minimum practice standards and no formal oversight (there is no college of therapists in Alberta yet). Therapists can come from a variety of backgrounds like social work, psychology, psychiatric nursing, nursing, or occupational therapy degree and generally have extra training in psychotherapy. They can't diagnose medical conditions. Always be aware of the training and credentials of your therapist.  Therapists provide a valuable service by increasing the health care system's capacity to support children and youth struggling with mental health. Therapy services are not covered by AHCIP. Some subsidized services can be accessed through school or Access Mental Health and some private insurance plans will reimburse some services by some therapists. 

      A psychiatrist.

      Psychiatrists are physicians who have specialized in the diagnosis and management of mental health disorders (including the ability to prescribe medications). Your care team will generally seek out support from psychiatry if there is diagnostic uncertainty, complexity or failure to improve with first and second line treatments. Some psychiatrists also have extra training in specific psychotherapy modalities. Psychiatry services are covered by AHCIP. Psychiatrists are the physicians responsible for the care of children admitted to hospital with mental health concerns.

        Youth Mental Health Resources - Click on a topic to learn more and see our handouts!

        Quick Links


        I am looking for therapy

        Pinecone Pediatrics has partnered with Esther Groen to provide on-site, coordinated therapy services for patients and families

        Book Theraphy

        I am looking for assessment

        Your pediatrician will have more information about how and where to get a psychoeducational assessment.


        I am not sure where to start

        Contact us today to get started. We're always happy to help!
        Contact Us