About Counselling

The core aim of counselling is to create a weekly consistent, warm, confidential and non-judgemental space that helps clients become, over time, psychologically and emotionally more integrated as a result of working things out within a boundaried therapeutic relationship. So as clients start to benefit from their weekly sessions they begin to feel more secure in themselves and their abilities and relationships. New and positive changes become possible.

As an integrative Counsellor I use a combination of counselling and psychotherapeutic theories and creative interventions to match my clients’ developmental, psychological and individual needs.

Children and adolescents can show worrying behaviours when they are holding an emotional difficulty and are unable to understand and express what is going on for them. It is often very difficult for parents, as well as the young person themselves, to identify what the issues are that are making them feel emotionally insecure. An imbalance can show itself as low mood, anxiety, school refusal, fear of separation, uncharacteristic or aggressive behaviours, low self-esteem, acts of self-harm, eating disorders and exploration with substance abuse. There are many other difficulties, and sometimes there is more than one cause for concern, and my way of working can be particularly effective in working with more complex situations. It can feel very worrying and frightening for parents to see children and young people experience these difficulties.

Working therapeutically with me, children and adolescents can explore and process their feelings and start to make better sense of themselves and their relationships with others. In the therapy space, they can then be curious about what is happening and think about and consider more satisfying ways to cope with stresses and difficulties.

Each session lasts for 50 minutes and usually takes place once a week. My therapy room is a safe, confidential space where a child or young person can express their feelings and the difficulties they are experiencing.

counselling space interior
The counselling space is comfortable, inviting and safe…

Children are offered the opportunity to play and use art materials to help them work through their emotions. This is a therapeutic play whereby they are able to explore feelings and thoughts that may be otherwise too difficult through language alone. Worrying or frightening feelings can be expressed, shared and understood, and this can happen in a variety of ways, depending on what feels most comfortable to the young person concerned. This method allows them to process some difficult or traumatic events without re-traumatising, and helps them to take control of their world within the session. Adolescents and young people are also able to use the art materials as a therapeutic tool if they wish, or they may choose just to talk.

I normally start with a detailed discussion with parent(s), or whoever is referring. This usually works best with a free of charge initial phone conversation if this seems enough to start with. I then arrange a meeting with parent(s) and child or young person. This is a chance for the child and myself to meet, to hear their view of the situation, and to talk more about counselling and how it works. There is the opportunity during this meeting for some “one to one” time with me, children vary in their interest in taking this up at this early stage, while adolescents often find the mixture of time with a parent and individual time helpful. If everyone agrees, individual meetings are then arranged with the child or young person, followed by periodic feedback sessions with parents.

Therapy can last for just a couple of months, or longer, depending on the child or young person and the issues they bring. After 5 or 6 sessions, we can evaluate together how the process is going and how best to proceed.