There can often be challenging times in childhood and adolescence. Problems may include stressful life events within the family, societal influences, struggles with growing up and issues within the peer group.
With all the current pressures that friendships, school (as well as the years following), family and society can bring, these can be extremely tough times for young people. What's more, as parents or carers, sometimes it can feel hard to know how to help, and what to do that would be in the best interests of your child.
I offer individual counselling sessions to children and young people in order to help them to navigate their way through these difficult times. These sessions offer a confidential, safe space to work out a way forward so that life can start to feel easier again.
I believe firmly that we should not be pathologising a child 's behaviour from an early stage but recognising that all young people can struggle at times and that there is not necessarily a simple “fix it” way out of this. Indeed, it is in the expressing of the struggle, alongside the assessing and working out a way forward, in a non-judgemental, creative and safe environment, that the young person can begin to feel empowered again. In this way they can move through it, begin to feel better and both learn and grow from the experience too.
Common themes with which I work:
- Anxiety, stress and panic
- Low mood, poor concentration and lack of motivation
- Struggles with loneliness
- Struggles with friendships and fitting in at school
- Bereavement of any kind
- Loss and change from parental separation and divorce
- School phobia and separation anxiety
- The highly sensitive child and adult
- Selective mutism
- Age-related issues
- Eating disordered behaviours
- Obsessions and compulsions
- Self-harm in all its forms
- Racial abuse
- Trauma and abuse issues
- Conflict and struggles within the family
- Dependency on drugs and/or alcohol
- Worries about identity and sexuality
- Adapting to life transitions
What to expect:
Psycho-dynamic and person-centred counselling
Psycho-education, cognitive behavioural therapy and neuroscience
Use of the Arts, play and our creativity (eg. story, drawing, clay work, role play and puppetry)
Body work, mindfulness, breath work and movement
Narrative Therapy - helping the child/young person to form a coherent narrative about their life thus far
After a parent or carer has made contact with me by email, a short telephone conversation will take place.
If we agree that I may be able to help your child, the next step would be for you to come and see me so that we can discuss things further. We would then arrange an initial meeting with your child, with or without yourself. Obviously if your child is an older teenager, it may be more appropriate for him or her to meet with me on their own and, indeed, some families recognise a need for a separate counselling space for their child away from home from the outset. This, of course, is absolutely fine.
If after this first meeting, your child (and you!) like me and, importantly, I believe that I am the right clinician to work with your child, then we shall arrange a number of sessions on a weekly basis. We may decide to review this after six weeks or just see how we go, again, depending on the individual needs of your child.
It is important to stress that these sessions will be confidential. This means that I will be creating a safe, confidential space for your child and I will not be passing anything on to you. However, there are exceptions to this. For instance, if I feel that your child is at risk or if there is a safeguarding concern, then I would, of course, need to pass this on.
Another exception may be that, sometimes, children may want me to pass things on to you or other family members. This may mean that someone else is invited to the session. With very young children, sometimes it is appropriate for me to work dyadically. This means that you may join us in the counselling room on a regular basis.
Finally, on occasion, I may assess that it is appropriate to refer your child to other health professionals. I would always do this with good communication and full transparency.