It can be really tough when your young person is going through a difficult time, seeing them happy and fulfilling their potential are the things that most parents and carers want for their children. Sometimes children can start to get into unhelpful patterns of thinking, which can lead to some behaviours that you may find hard to understand. One of the most helpful things you can do to support your child is just to listen if they want to talk.
If you have tried other avenues for support and have been unsuccessful, or you feel that talking to someone outside of the family home could be beneficial we offer an initial consultation for free (the fees would then be dependent on household income – see fees page). We ask that you accompany your young person so that we may complete a short assessment to determine which counsellor is appropriate for your child’s needs. Although the majority of our work will be with your young person, we may invite you to join us if we feel it would be helpful, or to review progress.
So what is Counselling?
The opportunity to talk about things that are of concern to a young person, in confidence. What is spoken about will depend on the individual, but common themes are stress, relationships, change, loss or other distressing events.
How does Counselling work?
Having thoughts, feelings and worries listened to, clarified and understood by someone who is not directly involved in problems or concerns can be hugely beneficial. Often, young people find having a confidential setting and regular time to talk enables them to build a trusting relationship within which to understand themselves better or get help in other places if they need it. Counselling can also enable young people to see alternative choices for moving forward. Sometimes just ‘talking things through’ can help young people to feel clearer or more confident about something they had in mind already.
Is it confidential?
It can be very difficult for a parent to be told that there is a level of confidentiality between a counsellor and a client, and your young person would be the client. We enter into an agreement that clearly states the levels of confidentiality that can be kept within the counselling relationship. We do however always encourage young people to talk to their parents and it is our hope that the work we do with a young person will lead to greater openness with parents and families; you may need to allow a little time for this to happen.
Can I support the Counselling work?
Yes, and we welcome this. One of the most helpful things a parent/carer can do is to show acceptance of counselling as a normal and useful activity, and to show an interest if their son/daughter wishes to talk about it, but not to press them if they don’t. We acknowledge that it is not easy to talk, and it is quite natural for parents to feel anxious about what may be being said in the sessions. We may suggest strategies and plans to be used at home and these are often more successful if they are supported by parents/carers.
We have put some links below, the parents’ survival guide on the YOUNG MINDS website is really helpful.