Counselling for children and adolescents

A young person’s difficulties may be triggered by events such as bereavement, divorce or separation in the family, bullying, trauma, transition or stress. At other times there may be no clear reason for the difficulty. Seeing a young person struggle emotionally can be painful and difficult for parents and carers.

Professional counselling can help by offering a confidential relationship where the young person’s problems will be explored in safe ways, whilst offering information and advice to the adults involved. The counselling I offer helps children and young people to develop a growing sense of confidence and understanding. It also provides an exploration of new ways of coping with difficulties and an increasing experience of well-being in relationship to self and others.

I offer a space in which a trustworthy relationship can be built, allowing a sense of safety to grow. Working together at the young person’s pace, difficult and confusing feelings, thoughts and behaviour can be explored. Using creative work and play provides a gentle and profound person centred avenue for expression, while the counselling relationship helps insight, self-awareness and self-care to develop. In my work with older children and adolescents I also use a mindfulness approach and teach my clients techniques helping them to cope with their difficulties, especially anxiety.

Some young clients like to engage in the counselling process through play and creative work, when others may prefer to talk about their concerns with an adult who is not a part of their family. By expressing themselves children and young people can better understand their feelings and learn how to cope with them.

I work in a collaborative manner, engaging with families to gain a full understanding of the difficulties, and determine the most effective way forward. Counselling is based on one-to-one sessions with a child or young person; it can also include sessions just for parents helping them to understand their child’s needs.

My approach is flexible and adapted to the needs of the individual or family.

The list below describes some of the types of difficulties that I can help with – although by no means is this an exhaustive list:

  • Anxiety (fears, phobias, worries, obsessions, OCD)
  • Depression and low mood
  • Trauma
  • Self-harm
  • Challenging behaviours/tantrums
  • Exam stress
  • Anger & aggression
  • Friendship problems
  • Self-esteem
  • Family relationships
  • Adjustment to life events (divorce, changing schools, bereavement, migration)
  • Bullying & peer relationships
  • Parenting
  • Acculturation stress

Parenting support

Parents receive children without instruction or a manual and they learn with them along the way. Sometimes they need some support in order to understand their child’s world and how to support their child.

While working with a young client I also work with families to gain a full understanding of the difficulties and determine the most effective way forward.

I provide sessions for parents to help them to understand their child’s needs and how to respond to them and support them during the counselling process.

My approach is flexible and adapted to the needs of the individual or family. I believe in child led approach with taking into account child’s needs for safe boundaries provided in a healthy relationship with an adult.

In my work I apply Shanker’s Self-reg ®, attachment theory, positive discipline and playfulness.