I have been working with children and young people for a number of years, I also worked with the Priory group and with Place2be, also in schools and counselling centres, as well as privately supporting families and children struggling in their home environment. I have experience working with children with additional educational needs. I am also a mother of four sons and have personally experienced life from many dynamics and life transitions.
I am a fully qualified Integrative Children's Therapist and registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. I provide one-to-one counselling for children and adolescents from my fully equipped therapy room. I also see children in their home environment if this is needed.
I work in a child-centred way, using play, story telling, creative work and talk, to help children express their thoughts and feelings in a way that is comfortable and natural for them. My Integrative training means that I draw on a number of theories and traditions of therapeutic work; including Transactional Analysis theory, Attachment theory, Play therapy and Person-Centred approaches. I believe that every child is unique and value them as individuals with their own mind, views and way of seeing the world. As an Integrative therapist, I am able to work in a way that is responsive to each child and their own needs, rather than using a single approach for all.
What is Counselling for Children?
Counselling is commonly known as a 'talking therapy' to help bring about change and enhance resilience and well-being. Counselling for children and young people may differ from adult counselling and will depend on the child's age, specific difficulties and development.
Sometimes children are unable to talk about what is troubling them, either because it is too upsetting, or simply because they do not yet posess the maturity to articulate their feelings. As a result, different methods such as play, art or story telling are used to help children express themselves and their emotions.
Older children may prefer talking therapy, or a mixture of both, and the counselling approach will depend on the particular individual. Although different methods may be used, the aim of counselling for both children and adults is ultimately the same; to help the individual cope better with their emotions and feelings.
How does Counselling benefit Children?
One-to-one counselling can help support children in a safe, containing environment, allowing life issues or painful and uncomfortable memories to be confronted. Counselling children involves helping the child to develop a positive attitude to life, to respect themselves, accept their feelings and express them responsibly. It helps children to develop self control and direction, learning creative and resourceful ways to confront problems, whilst making independent, positive choices.
Counselling children does not involve making decisions for the child, preaching at, or imposing beliefs on them; but, instead, helps them to find new ways and insights to understand problems constructively, allowing the negative impact to be reduced.
Counselling for children is an effective early intervention and has been shown to improve well-being, playing a vital role in the prevention of mental illness later in life. Research also suggests, in time, counselling can improve academic attainment, allowing children to better focus on school and studies.
How do I know If my child needs counselling?
If your child seems unusually anxious, sad or irritable, or if their behaviour is causing problems at school or disrupting your home life, it may be advisable to seek counselling. If there have been changes in the home environment, or a bereavement or trauma in your child's life that is impacting on their everyday functioning, I can help.
I always speak with parents/carers prior to any counselling arrangement, so we can discuss together whether counselling may be of benefit, or whether it may be advisable to seek an alternative avenue.
I would like to book up counselling for my child, how does it work?
I always speak with parents/carers first to discuss your child's needs and where necessary, carry out an assessment based on your perceptions of their behaviour. During this time we can chat through any concerns and I can tell you more about my policies and confidentiality agreements. After this I will meet with your child on my own in my therapy room each week. Or I can see your child in their home environment. During the process we can arrange meetings at any time if you would like to discuss anything further regarding your child.
What age children do you work with?
I work with children between the ages of 3 and 17. Also all other ages above. My work varies depending on the age and understanding of each child. With very young children, the work is all centred around play, however I adapt this as children get older and understand more about what is going on around them.
How long do sessions last?
Each sessions is 50 minutes and occurs once a week. Dependent on needs, some parents may wish for their child to attend more than weekly, but this can all be discussed in advance. I usually find one session a week is appropriate.
How many sessions should I book up for my child?
The number of sessions is highly dependent on the individual and their unique needs. We can initially agree a set number, (usually 12 weeks) then review this over time. It is important for parents/carers to be aware that it can take several months for counselling to make a long term difference and in a lot of cases a longer commitment may be necessary.
How much does a session cost?
Please contact me with regards fees.
What happens if my child cannot attend a session?
Although it is beneficial for the counselling process for your child to attend regular weekly sessions, I understand that at times there are unavoidable situations meaning a session may be missed. I require 48 hours notice if you wish to cancel your child's session, otherwise the full session fee will have to be charged.