Child and Adolescent Therapy & Counselling
Children and young people may benefit from one-to-one therapy for many reasons. For some it might be coping with anxiety before exams or major life events, for others it might be significant difficulties regulating big emotions and, unfortunately, for some children it might be because they have had very traumatic experiences.
These are just a few examples.
Often, the “presenting problem” is not, ultimately, the issue a child or young person needs help with. For example, if a young person is self-harming, we can become so worried about the harming we start to see it as “the problem”. However, what the young person really needs support with is the distressing feelings which lead him or her to harm.
Likewise, some children can be experienced by adults in their lives, such as parents, carers or teachers as “controlling”, but they might be seeking to control their environment because they feel unsafe or scared – this is where counselling or therapy could help.
Again, these are just examples.
All children are unique individuals; each session, and the overall course of therapy, is tailored to their needs. My basic attitude in my one-to-one clinical sessions with children and young people is playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy. Because children and young people do not always communicate what is going on for them through words alone, I use a mix of play and creative activities to support children in expressing themselves.
I believe it is the relationship between the therapist and client which is central to the therapeutic process, and my theoretical framework is an integration of attachment, psychodynamic and humanistic theories, neurosequential development and neuroscientific understanding.
Depending on the age of the child, I will usually want to meet with a parent or carer first and, where appropriate, other relevant adults such as school staff to assess whether the child could benefit from therapy and what his or her difficulties might be.
It can be very difficult to know at the outset how many sessions a young person might need. For some teenagers, a few sessions to talk through current worries and anxieties might be enough, but for children who have experienced early years trauma or attachment ruptures, spending a few sessions getting to know a new adult only for that relationship to suddenly end, might do more harm than good and a significant number of sessions will needed.
For these reasons, I will usually agree to see a child or young person for an initial three sessions, in order to be able to make a more thorough assessment of the young person’s needs.
Assessment/Parent Meeting: £30
Counselling/Therapy Session: £40*
If there is a child or young person you think might benefit from therapy, please contact me for an informal, no obligation, discussion.
* For organisations, such as schools, who would like me to see more than one child, these prices can be discussed further.