Hi, welcome. You are interested in counselling for your child or young person. Or maybe you are under 18 and looking for counselling for yourself.
I’m an Integrative counsellor and i work under the BACP competency for working with young people age 11-18 years. I hold a safe and confidential counselling space at my private practice in Street, Somerset and online.
Ideally your child will need your support in accessing counselling. If they are under 16 years old, they will need your written consent. But the counselling agreement with any one under 18 years is a circle that includes the parents & carers. The parent is often the referrer and in most cases the funder of private therapy. However if it is not safe to involve a parent, a CYP (child or young person) can self-refer, parental support is beneficial but not necessary.
The counselling session is confidential and the young person needs to know that they can talk openly. The keyfactor is that the young person’s privacy is respected but we work in the knowledge that the parent/carer/school is a big part of their external environment.
So i will invite both parent and young person to the initial 30 minute asessment. We will go through how counselling works and i will gather information about reasons for counselling at this time. Then we would make an agreement to work together and set away with our first session. I recommend a minimum of 6 sessions, to safely unpack any presenting issues.
As an Integrative Counsellor, i take my lead from the client, and i will respond by offering creative ways to process and regulate feelings, including mindfulness, breathing, making art, journaling, and following the young person’s interests and way they can express their identity. But this is all based on a space to talk and be heard. A space to work through what is troubling and find a new place within, a clearer path ahead.
There is also an option, with the consent of the young person to invite the parent to the 6 week review session, so there is a space for open dialogue and the client can use the safe space to feedback to their parent/carer if they want to.
If there was an issue of significant safety to the young person or anyone else I would need to escalate that to the appropriate persons straight away. I would seek to preserve trust and gain the young person’s consent before involving others. Safeguarding is monitored responsibly and sensitively and is part of the transparent confidentiality agreement made at the start, between counsellor, child and parent.
FAQs for Parents and Guardians
How does it work?
Sessions take place weekly in a safe and confidential space eithor in person or on-line for between 50 mins -1 hour. The purpose is to enable young people to express how they feel in an accepting and non-judgemental space. Potentially they may want to explore changing their perspective, thinking or behaviour that isnt working. This could involve learning new “tools” to help, like managing reactions and impulse behaviour and finding a sense of resilience or calm. We will set goals and review every 6 weeks.
Why can’t my child talk to me?
Often its a warm, kind, safe, unfamilliar space that enables a person to open up. There is less of a need to censor, or protect other peoples feelings. However getting behind you child’s need for privacy can really help give them permission to open up. The counselling is a neutral, non judgemental space.
Is it OK to ask my child about the sessions?
Its probably best to let them bring up the subject first, they may wish to talk about what has been going on in the sessions, but its good to give them the lead on that. After the session they will need space to process, and they might be more upset initially as this happens. Helping them self soothe, by doing their “happy place” thing can be supportive.
Can I be in touch about how the sessions are going?
If you feel concerned about your child or have information of importance concerning his or her well-being or safety, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with myself.
Where do we start?
We start with a 30 minute assessment with parent/carer and young person present. We will find out what the presenting issues are and go through consent forms and contracts. I recommend a minimum of 6 weekly sessions, however there is no tie and your child can leave at any time. I ask that we take one session to end and reflect on what we have done, as this is such an important piece in the therapy process.
If you have any further questions about what is involved in the counselling, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
I am a registered member of BACP and work under the BACP competency for working with young people age 11-18 years. I have full enhanced DBS clearance for working with both children and adults. All of my work is supervised by a specialist in CYP counselling.