I hold a Post Qualifying Diploma in Counselling Children and Young People and have experience of working children from the age of 5 years, as well as of setting up and managing a children’s service. I have a special interest in working with teenagers and young adults.
Counselling children and young people is different from counselling adults. It requires different skills and different knowledge of the counsellor in order to be effective. It also requires taking into account the age of the child or young person, their specific difficulties and needs as well as their development.
I use different approaches when working with children and young people, often creative to encourage the client to engage in the counselling process and to be able to express their feelings and worries. Creative methods, which use play, and art and crafts, can also help give an insight into the unconscious mind of the client.
Some older children may prefer to talk to their therapist in a similar way to an adult client or they may want a mixture of talking and using creative methods. As with an adult client the counselling approach I take will depend on the needs of client. Because although different methods may be used the aim of counselling is ultimately the same as for adults; to help the client manage their emotions and feelings in a healthier way, and to be able express them in a healthier way, to develop a positive attitude to life, and to be able to recognise and to use their strengths. It does not involve making decisions for the child, giving advice or imposing beliefs on them.
The time period for counselling will be discussed and usually decided on during the initial assessment session, this may be a short fixed-term period such as six or 12 weeks or more open-ended continuing to until the client feels ready to end.
Please get in touch if you’d like to find out more about me and my work with children and young people.