Counselling for young people and their families
If you are a young person (11 and over)
Young people can struggle too and counselling offers a safe place to talk about how you feel and what is going on in your life. Often it is hard to speak to people you know so it can be really helpful to talk, in confidence, to someone outside of your situation who won’t judge you. There is no issue which is too unimportant to talk about and you can talk about anything that is on your mind! Whatever you say to me is confidential unless there is a serious risk to you or someone close to you (we can talk about this more together).
Things I can help with include:
- Feeling anxious or stressed
- Feeling depressed
- Low self-esteem
- Anger issues
- Problems at school
- Friendship or relationship issues
- Difficulties at home, be that with your family or carers
- Eating issues
- Panic attacks
- Exploring gender
- Exploring sexuality
- Exam worries
- The death of someone you love
I am trained to listen carefully to what you are saying and to explore ways of helping you manage your experiences and worries. It can really help to talk things through and to feel understood. I am not here to tell you what to do but to support you to make positive decisions for yourself.
If you are a parent or carer
If you are worried about your young person for whatever reason, or are worried about relationships at home, or are perhaps a single parent who is struggling, then counselling may help you and your young person.
Counselling can help young people to
- understand what they think and feel so that they are more in control
- develop communication skills so that relationships with family, carers, teachers and friends are better
- find healthy strategies to cope with emotion and the challenges they have to negotiate as they get older and are expected to become more independent
- gain confidence in themselves
- get out of negative patterns of behaviour which may have become habitual and feel hard to break
How counselling with young people and families works
Initially, I like to meet with the young person and the people they live with so that I can get a sense from all of you of how things are, of what is difficult and what is working well. It is really important for the building of a trusting relationship that there is openness right at the beginning and no sense of people talking behind each other’s backs.
After that initial meeting, there are a number of possibilities
- Individual work with the young person
- Parenting support for parents or carers (which may also be recommended if your young person is having counselling with me)
- Work together with the family group
How long we work together will vary depending on the issues, but we can discuss this after our first meeting and review progress together regularly.
How I work
As with all my work, I start where you are, whether you are a young person or a family or a parent seeking support. It is challenging being a young person growing up and it is challenging being a parent!
Talking about feelings
I have a range of creative materials in my therapy room, ranging from art materials to air-drying clay and sensory fiddle toys. Talking about feelings and thoughts can be really hard for young people and having a range of ways to express themselves can make that process so much easier.
As with adults, I also offer Walking Therapy – it is so often easier to talk whilst walking side by side and I have found walking and talking really successful with young people who can open up more easily out of what feels like the intensity and pressure of sitting in a room together.
If after an initial session, a young person doesn’t want to have counselling, then it is vital to respect their wish. Emotional support cannot be forced on anyone and if they don’t want to engage, the process is unlikely to work. However if, as a parent or carer, you still would like some help, then we can look together at how things are between you, what is working and what doesn’t seem to be going so well and explore what other options there may be.
Please do get in touch if you would like to explore any of this more, I offer a 20 minute free phone consultation.
“You have given so much support to a large number of vulnerable students over the years and in some cases you have very much been the glue holding students and families together”