Children and young people can experience a range of emotions and behaviours which they may not understand themselves and as a parent, may be concerning.
Social pressures, educational pressures, bullying, family breakdowns, to name but a few, can all have an impact on our young people. Counselling can provide them with the time and space to explore and make sense of what might be going on for them and help them find the emotional tools to process, cope and navigate through these difficult experiences. It can help them develop a stronger sense of self and build self-esteem.
I tailor my work with young people to meet them as the individuals they are, often through play and creativity which enables them to express and identify thoughts and feelings they are often unable to verbalise. Therefore, it is important to allow time for me to understand your child / young person in order for me to recognise what they are trying to communicate.
Initial contact will be with you, the parent or guardian. We will talk through your concerns regarding the young person and I will gather some fact-finding information that is helpful in building a picture of the social and familial system around the child / young person.
During therapy, it may sometimes be necessary to meet with the parent(s) or guardian(s) as a helpful part of the therapy. In some cases, the child or young person may request a session with their parent or guardian to facilitate communication and understanding. I will also offer regular reviews of our work together to plot progress and explore any issues or concerns you may have. In each case, your child remains my client and I will maintain their confidentiality unless I believe they are at risk of harm.
For children under the age of 11, parental consent will be needed prior to the commencement of therapy. This will be by way of a contract between the parent and myself, ensuring the child or young person is aware of and understands the counselling process and its boundaries, in age-appropriate language.
For young people over the age of 11, where they are deemed to be *Fraser-competent, parental consent is not required. However, under the age of 16, it is my aim to have a contract between myself and the parent in addition to myself and the young person.
As with all clients, I will ensure that the child or young person understands what confidentiality is and the limits to that. Therefore, where I believe there is a concern of risk to the child or young person, or another, I am obliged to raise my concerns either with the parent or guardian or appropriate other.