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

About Psychotherapy

What is psychotherapy?

Most individuals experiencing mental health challenges will benefit from therapy

  • Psychological distress, even without a specific diagnosis, can be improved through psychotherapy. 
  • Psychotherapy focuses on identifying emotions, improving understanding the components of an emotional response and the resulting behaviours, and challenging cognitive distortions. 
  • For the most common mental health disorders - like anxiety and depression - there is strong scientific evidence to support the use of both medication and therapy to reduce the distress experienced by the individual.
  • For some neurodevelopmental disorders like ADHD, therapy can be the key to learning new skills to impact behavior

Who is Esther? How can she help my child's mental health?


Esther is a Registered Psychologist

  • Esther is Registered Psychologist.
  • Esther uses an approach to therapy that is client-centered, neurodiversity affirming, and strength based.  She is proficient in a variety of treatment and support modalities such as CBT, ACT, DBT, and expressive arts.
  • Esther suggests her services to support distress related to these challenges, among others:
    • ADHD strategies, anxiety, behavioural Issues (rage, "blackouts"), depression, domestic violence or abuse, family therapy, grief, relationship challenges, parenting, LGBTQ and sexuality, school Issues, self esteem, self-harming, stress

What do psychologists do?

  • The Health Professions Act defines psychologists as:
    • “Regulated members (who) may, within the practice of psychology, perform the restricted activity of a psychosocial intervention with an expectation of treating a substantial disorder of thought, mood, perception, orientation or memory that grossly impairs judgment, behaviour, capacity to recognize reality or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life.”
  • For a more detailed description of what goals and structure can be included in a therapy plan, be sure to see our handout on depression, particularly the section on psychotherapy. 

How can psychotherapy services be accessed? How much does it cost?

Services are provided on-site and virtually at Pinecone Pediatrics

  • Therapy services provided by Esther DOES NOT require a referral from a physician and can be accessed through self-referral. Call Cheryl and Natasha at the front desk at (587) 885-2767 to learn more. Anyone who self-refers to Esther who is not already followed by one of the physicians at Pinecone Pediatrics will also be able to access medical care with Dr. Gauthier, even without a referral from another physician. 
  • Esther has short notice availability. 
  • Costs are aligned with recommendations from the Psychologists' Association of Alberta - $200 per 50 minute session.  It can be difficult to predict how many sessions could be required, be sure to discuss this with your psychologist.  
  • Pinecone will work with families and insurance companies to ensure maximum utilization of coverage to minimize costs.
  • We recognize that the costs associated with this treatment may put it out of reach for some families. The care team at Pinecone feels that there will be substantial benefit to families from increased communication between the medical and psychological care team(s) resulting in optimal care coordination. If you're looking for other options, be sure to discuss it with your pediatrician. 

Pinecone is trying something different.

We're trying new things to address the crushing need for supports for pediatric mental health

  • In their work in the Emergency, Drs. Kundra and Gauthier witness first-hand the need for whole-family support. Many services available through AHS will be targeted to children or adults specifically, and looking for something that will support the family as a unit (like family therapy) is likely to result in longer waits to access care. 
  • Our psychologists are qualified and confident in providing care for both adults and children - this creates some unique opportunities. 
    • Parent coaching for children with challenging behaviours
    • Combining care of the child with the care of the parent who may also have their own mental health struggles.
    • De-facto family therapy

Existing patients can book in-person follow-up appointments as directed by their physician. New patients can book a free 15-minute meet-and-greet with Esther

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Book an intake session with Esther

Or access their patient portal for communications, appointments and to update your personal information.

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