Counselling is commonly known as

“talking therapy”, a space which supports healthy development and well-being, and builds resilience.  Therapy for children and young people can differ from adult counselling dependent on the child’s age and reasons for seeking therapy. 

 

 

 

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Counselling is a professional space where issues that are negatively impacting a young person’s development and well-being can be understood and addressed. 

Adolescence is a time of transition, growing out of childhood into adulthood.  The developmental change which occurs during adolescence runs parallel to emotional conflicts and challenging life realities of academic pressure, changing family relationships, developing adult and romantic relationships, hormonal changes, regulation of emotions and increased responsibility.  These stresses combined means adolescents are susceptible to symptoms of anxiety and depression.  Managing common defences of acting out, risk taking, and aggression, are part of this developmental stage.  

Development

The period of adolescence can be a particularly fraught time for both adolescent and parent where independence is voraciously sought or defended against.  Adolescents often feel they are alone in facing their problems and are concerned that expressing their worries to family members would be a burden. 

 

Therapy works to understand the young person and, in addressing their concerns, looks to build an internal foundation of confidence and resilience that supports future developments transcending to academic achievements, relationships, career, and into adulthood. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The bridge between child and adult is one we all have to cross.  Therapy offers the necessary scaffolding to get the young person safely to the other side.”

There are many aspects involved in the process of development; emotional, cognitive, social, biological, neurological, psychological and behavioural.  During adolescence young people are in a process of dynamic change in each of these components of development.  Chemical differences, frontal lobe development, socialisation surge, and identity testing all impact on their thinking, emotions and behaviour.   

For the Parent

 coTherapy works to understand the difficulties being expressed emotionally and behaviourally.  It looks to find the root of the problem and then establish how best to manage it.    

 

The understanding of one’s mind through exploration of thoughts and feelings allows for greater self-control.   Through open reflection therapy can encourage abstract thinking and provide alternative defence mechanisms to be used in order to manage overwhelming thoughts and feelings.

 

Therapy is not just for times of difficulties, it can also be a place to facilitate already proceeding healthy development in building one’s self-efficacy.  The benefits of therapy transcend into academic and social skills in the recognition of one’s internal resources and strengths, as well as one’s limitations.   This process supports confidence building by offering a realistic and pragmatic approach to utilising our unique resources at times of strength and at times of difficulty.

 

Increased focus and concentration can be an indirect consequence of therapy.  It offers a time where worries and stress can be contained so that one has space for other focuses such as academia.

 

“The bridge between child and adult is one we all have to cross.  Therapy offers the necessary scaffolding to get the young person safely to the other side.”

Psychological and emotional stability underpins social and educational development.  Therapy can help create stability where it is lacking by providing space for processing and understanding emotional and psychological complexities.  

 

Therapy offers a structured and consistent stable environment in which the young person can try out new behaviours and aspects of one’s identity.  Therapy is a non-judgemental place creating a safe environment where one can express, explore and try out new ways of being. 

 

 

Benefits

A Confidential Space

Therapy offers a confidential and non-judgemental space for the young person to call their own.  This enables them to express and explore their thoughts, feelings and experiences in a safe place. 

 

 

Building Self-efficacy

Through open discussion and self-exploration strengths and limitations are uncovered.  One’s internal resources are explored to aid the management of emotions and life experiences.

Facilitates Healthy Developments

Therapy works to create a positive and supportive environment which facilitates healthy growth and development, helping to repair disrupted emotional development caused by life events. 

 

 

Self-Control & Management

Therapy is not about making decisions for the young person or teaching them life lessons, instead it encourages them to find their own way.  Through communicating their thoughts and feelings, reflecting on their past and present experiences, and becoming more self-aware, the young person uses the confidential place to make their own decisions, taking responsibility for choices made.

Communication

Communication skills are built through discussion and expression of one’s thoughts and feelings, strengthening one’s capacity to recognise and express one’s needs and when to ask for help.

Identity

Therapy for adolescents runs parallel to their developing identity.  Self-Awareness supports this growth exploring the young person’s identity providing insight into their purpose and meaning of life.

Reflection & Evaluation

Insight is a natural part of the therapeutic process encouraging the young person to reflect on their thoughts and behaviours.  Recognition of the consequences of their behaviour and actions is a natural response to the understanding gained from reflection and evaluation of one’s experiences. 

When to seek help?

If you think your child could benefit from therapy please get in touch to arrange for a telephone consultation. 

Change of behaviour can be part of healthy development or a natural reaction to change in their environment which destabilises them.  Asking your child what they feel is wrong opens up lines of communication and can be sufficient to support them through this time of struggle. 

 

If the change of behaviour is long standing or reoccurring and having a negative impact on the young person’s life and relationships, then professional help can provide guidance to the appropriate next steps for you and your child. 

 

Therapy is the most beneficial when the person in need of therapeutic support is willing to engage and commit to the time of their own accord.  Trusting someone with deeply personal and frightening feelings is not easy and making a commitment to therapy can be a hard step for a young person to take, particularly at a time when they are striving for independence.  It is therefore important that the option of therapy is discussed between parent and child before therapy is sought, this may take a few conversations, with possible resistance at first.   

Could your child benefit from therapy?

Has your child’s behaviour changed suddenly?

Is this change in behaviour reoccurring or consistent?

Have they recently been through a difficult time or experienced a change to their life or normal routine?

Is this change in behaviour negatively impacting their development and/or enjoyment of life?

Do they appear to be struggling academically, socially, at home or behaving uncharacteristically (rebelling, acting out or withdrawing)?

 

If you want to find out more about next steps in the therapy process please get in touch for further information. 

For the Adolescent

What is therapy?

Therapy is a way to help manage or overcome problems.  In talking with your therapist you work together exploring your thoughts, feelings and behaviours.  This is a collaborative relationship where you can talk in a safe, confidential and supportive environment without judgement.  The therapist will ask you questions to learn more about you.  Sometimes it can be difficult talk, sometimes we might worry that we have nothing to say.  However you wish to express yourself, the therapist is there to help you find the words.  It can take time to settle into new experiences and that’s okay.

Why do people need therapy?

People seek therapy when they have problems they feel they cannot cope with alone.  Therapy is a place which helps people express their feelings and work through problems. 

People need therapy for different reasons, some need support in times of stress, some to understanding confusing emotions and behaviours, and some to alleviate feelings of depression and anxiety.  Others use it to help improve attention, learning, and focus.  

Who is it for?

Those suffering from Anxiety

Those who find it difficult to Concentrate

Those with low Self-esteem and Self-confidence

Those experiencing Friendship difficulties

Those suffering from Stress (exam, school, sports performance)

Those who struggle with overwhelming Feelings

Those who struggle to manage their Anger

Those suffering with Low moods

Those who find difficulties with Change (moving home, changing schools)

Those struggling with Family relationships

Those experiencing Parental divorce

Those suffering Bereavement

Those who need support in exploring and forming their Identity

How does it work?

Acceptance

Talking is a healthy way to express feelings.  It helps people feel accepted and understood which helps to reduce social anxiety and build self-confidence.

Being Heard

 Being listened to and being heard is a powerful process and can bring instil confidence and build self-esteem and self-worth.

Problem Solving

Talking about what you find difficult reduces the worry and anxiety surrounding the problem.  Therapy allows you to workout solutions to your problems bringing about a sense of self-control and achievement. 

 

 

A Supportive Space

Therapy builds helpful thoughts and encourages healthy behaviours.  Therapists help people feel encouraged as their learn.  They help people see the good in themselves and recognise their strengths.

Communication

 The therapist will ask questions to understand what your needs are and what it is that is causing you distress.  It is a collaborative relationship where you are listened to.  Through the back and forth conversation between you and your therapist you will learn to communicate your thoughts and feelings.

Benefits

Encourages Positive Attitudes;
Encourages Self-respect and Self- control;
Builds Communication Skills
Aids the Healthy Expression of Feelings
Aids Identity Discovery & Formation
Increases Self-awareness
Promotes Recognition of one’s Strengths
Encourages Self-acceptance.
Provides Insight into one’s Behaviours
Aids the process of Problem Solving
Promotes Focus & Concentration
Helps Reduce Anxiety
Helps to Regulate Moods
Provides a Non-judgemental Space to Decompress & Reflect
Builds Self-Confidence & Self-Worth
Encourages Self-care
Enables Healthy Management of Emotions
Develops Communication Skills

Meet Sophie Barrett MSc, BA (Hons), Dip, CertHE

As a Child and Adult Counselling Psychotherapist I have extensive experience working with a variety of different issues and presentations in short and long-term therapy, from 1 month to 3 years.  I have worked with Children and Adolescents for a number of years in the community and in primary and secondary schools, and currently in private practice. I see young people for a variety of reasons including developmental and emotional complexities with experience in issues of depression, anxiety, peer relationships, family dynamics, academic stress, separation anxiety, bereavement, self-esteem and identity.  In addition, I often meet and work with parents to aid the support of the young person’s therapy. 

Areas of experience specific to adolescents 

Academic stress
Peer relationships
Family and home environment
Anxiety
Transitioning (school years, university)
Relocation settlement difficulties (moving house, schools)
Grief & Loss
Parental divorce
Identity
Self-confidence

 Email Sophie.barrett@lifestudiobysb.com to discuss whether therapy would benefit your child. 

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