Support For Children

The Healing Tree Counseling Philosophy

We believe the most important people in a child’s life who can help them navigate stressful life events are their parents/guardians. The Healing Tree works to support the relationship you have with your child, specifically reinforcing trust and open communication.

Counseling for Children

Individual counseling is available for youth ages 3 and up, and is complimented with age-appropriate modalities including play, sand, and art therapies. Counseling is flexible, personalized and structured to give your child the best care. Cancer is often a magnifying glass and can amplify other issues — if this is the case, we’ll refer you to someone outside the Dempsey Center who can provide your child with additional support.

The rule of thumb is: “In times of stress, kids regress.” It’s common for children to respond to stressful events by backsliding. But what’s concerning is when their regression persists for several weeks due to chronic stress. Other indicators that you child may benefit from counseling are:

  • Separation anxiety
  • Heightened sense of concern for self or others
  • Increased crying
  • Angry outbursts and behavioral problems
  • Withdrawal from family or friends
  • Child is quieter than usual or withholding his/her emotions more than usual
  • Child who is behaving “too well” or has incongruent reactions from what you might expect

Littles Group

Littles Group is a weekly activity-based support group for kids impacted by cancer. Using various yoga activities, we help children share their experiences and feelings while teaching emotional regulation and coping skills.


Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery (CLIMB®) is a free six-week national program designed by the Children’s Treehouse Foundation for children and their parents or adult caregivers. In Maine, the Dempsey Center is the only location where CLIMB is available (offered annually).

Each week a light meal is provided, followed by group sessions. The parent/caregiver group meets separately from the children’s group, and will focuses on parenting through the cancer journey. The children’s group sessions blends cancer education with emotional education. For dates please refer to our current newsletter.

Workshops & Specialty Programs

The Healing Tree is constantly coming up with new and fun ways to help kids talk about cancer. Check out our current listing for opportunities for your child to connect with others, learn about cancer, share experiences, and cope with difficult feelings.

View Current Programs>