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  • Children's therapy FAQ
  • How can I improve my child’s self esteem?

    To improve someone's self esteem, it's taking out the time to really listen to them, engage with them, and find out what really matters to them. Just by trying to understand someone, and what makes them tick can quite often give them a real boost to their self confidence and their self esteem.

  • What are the different ways that trauma affects a child to an adult?

    Trauma obviously is a very important issue to tackle in therapy and it can affect adults and children in different ways. In fact it affects everyone differently, but when a young person goes through a period of trauma, often they are experiencing that for the first time, and when we experience it for the first time, their impact can be greatly heightened. So it's about working with the young person to understand why the event that they have gone through is traumatic. As much as working out how to forge a way ahead and really deal with the underlying issues.

  • What types of problems can children's therapy help with?

    Again, you can treat anything, in fact, I wouldn't even kind of call it treatment. I would say that when you're working with a young person my aim as a therapist is to help them explore what's going on for them right now, where they want to be, and how to get there. So very much it can be...therapy can be used as something just to help them in their daily life, or something to address a specific problem, it can be anything.

  • Are the children’s therapy sessions confidential?

    Trust is very important in the therapy session, and that's why generally it's one-on-one and people don't sit in or listen in on it. Quite often if a young a person feels that someone's listening in, especially those in their immediate life, they might censor their replies or censor what they explore for fear of impacting on their parent or their siblings. So for that reason, I would generally say that therapy sessions should be private. If the client wants to actually share what's going on in the session, then I actively encourage that. They can talk to their friends, they can talk to their family about it, but they need to know that what they share in the moment and what the therapist is told is kept confidential. Obviously safeguarding issues aside, but apart from that, the session should be confidential.

  • Do you usually work with a child on their own during therapy?

    Usually, the large majority of therapeutic relationships are one to one, so a client and a counsellor. The reason for this is that for a person to really open up, there has to be that trust between them and the counsellor. And also that knowledge that things aren't gonna go outside of the therapy room, safeguarding issues aside. And so, therefore, if a parent or a sibling or someone else has sat in on the session, the young person might sensor what they're going to say. And so they won't be able to really explore what's troubling them. That's not to say that the young person can't go and share the highlights of the session afterwards. In fact, if they want to talk to their parents or peer group about the session, I'd actively encourage it. But normally the actual session itself would just be a one to one.

  • How can I improve communication with my child?

    Communication is very much about actively listening and really engaging with the person, so making sure that, you know, you take time to truly understand what they're trying to say and view things from their point of view. Don't just look at it from your standpoint, because the minute you really engage with someone and try to understand how they see the world, that can actually give them a lot of boost in their self-confidence to know that you're truly listening to them.

  • How many therapy sessions would a child need?

    It really does depend on the individual and everyone is different. I would say as an average I usually work with people 6 to 12 sessions. But that's not to say that some people don't come for a lot longer, and some people find just a couple of sessions is all they need.

  • My child has been diagnosed with anger issues, ADHD or depression. Can you help?

    Depression, ADHD, they're all very common reasons for people coming to therapy, whether that be a young person or an adult. All I would say is, just make sure you mention it as part of the first session and it can be taken into account in the assessment, and usually a counsellor won't have any problems working with such an issue.

  • My child is reluctant to attend therapy. How can I encourage them?

    Think, first off it would be to work out why they're reluctant. Some people can be really nervous first off when they first come, and so that could just be nerves. Or if it's something more deep-seated or deep-rooted, we can always explore that in the session. So I'd welcome the chance for...to discuss that with the person. And if it is their first session, I would always say to a parent or similar, just say to them they've got nothing to lose. There's no obligation by coming for the initial session. In fact, it's normally an assessment to see whether the client and the counsellor feel that they're a good fit to work together. So all they've got to lose is a little bit of their time.

  • What age groups do you work with and who can you help?

    There's no hard and fast rule but, generally, I work with people from 13 and above. The idea being that what I offer is a talking therapy. So it's a two-way conversation between the client and the therapist, whereas working with younger people can quite often involve more creative work, so, sand tray work and play therapy. And that's not to say you can't be creative with older people, you know, with teenagers, but it doesn't form the basis of the relationship.

  • What can I expect from the therapy sessions for my child?

    Parents, obviously, are quite concerned when their child comes to therapy. They want to understand what it is, how it works. So, generally, they can join the child for the first 10 minutes of the session, where they've got a chance to understand the explanation from myself as to, what is therapy, how does it work, what isn't therapy, you know, what won't we be doing, and also a chance to ask questions. They're also welcome, at any point, to contact the service if they've got specific questions. The only thing I can't ever do, as a therapist, is break confidentiality and tell them the contents of the session, but if they've got a question about therapy itself, then of course, we have to answer that.

  • What experience do you have working with young people?

    I've got over 12 years of working with young people. For the last three years I've been...since I qualified as a psychotherapist, I've worked in a number of different settings, from higher education working as a student counsellor at local university, and I've also worked at a young people's charity that's focused on 11 to 25 year olds, and I also see private clients that are young people. Prior to that, my experience with young people was working with a national voluntary youth organisation, again, for 18 to...sorry, for 12 to 18 year olds. And this...through this role I've worn many different hats, including being a trainer in various different disciplines, independent listener, and a mentor.

  • What if only the parent thinks there is an issue but the child doesn't?

    So, if a parent thinks an issue's really important, what I say is, quite often, as a part of the initial assessment session, the young person and their parent will come in to the session. This is a chance for them to ask questions and for both of them to mention what's brought them there today. So, if a parent's got something that's on their mind, that's the time to share it, and then during the sessions in private with the young person, I can then explore whether they feel that's something they want to look at, and if so, we can continue with it, and if not, we might park it should something more important come up.

  • What is the difference that you make?

    What I would like to think the difference I make is offering a safe space where a young person can really explore what's troubling them and to do this in a non-judgmental way, to help facilitate the change that they want to make so, whether that be becoming more confident, understanding their emotions or just being able to be more resilient and self reliant in their everyday life.

  • What types of patients can you help?

    Usually when I'm working with young people they're coming with the troubles and the difficulties of growing up, whether this be peer pressure, whether this be issues of things to do with school, but a lot of it is just to do with growing up and the change from going from a child to a teenager and the responsibilities that that can bring.

  • When should I look at therapy for my child?

    Again, there's no set rule. It depends on what the individual wants. So, quite often, a child or a young person will want to talk to someone, but they can't necessarily share their issues with those closest to them for fear of affecting their relationship with the person or burdening them. So, generally, I'd say, if a young person wants to explore what's going on for them, it's a good chance to do that, but outside of their daily life.

  • Why do I need a specialist therapist for my child?

    Working with young people is essentially the same way as working with an adult in the way that you practise. It just might be that you use your skills in a slightly different way. When young people come to therapy, it's often to talk about the things that are troubling them to do with being a young person. So adolescence can be a time of opportunity, a time of, you know, feeling like you've got the world at your feet, but it can also be a confusing time, a challenging time when there's constant change. You know, there's hormones, there's pressure, there's schoolwork, lots of things going on. So sometimes just going to a therapist who's someone outside of your daily life can be really useful for a young person to use that to share their problems and really explore and get to the heart of what's troubling them.