Why do young people come to counselling?
Young people usually say they find talking to a counselling professional who is impartial and who holds a professional distance, to be a big relief. Young people see me for a variety of reasons.
Some of the main difficulties that I see young people for are when they are coping with the impact of anxiety or low mood on their day-to-day life. I also work with young people who have a lack of confidence and self-esteem, difficulties around relationships, friendships, and coping with bullying (including on social media) or coping with an upsetting life event.
I support young people who are coping with the loss of someone close to them, who are having stressors and anxiety relating to family, relationships, identity, school, college, university, an impact of a disability or illness and coping with parental separation.
How I work
I provide warmth and safety so young people can explore the worries they are bringing without judgement. I support them to gain insight and make meaning of their worries, through exploration and enquiry, as well as providing some supportive coping strategies.
I can work dialogically and creatively when working with young people. This means I can engage a young person in conversation and I am proactive in this approach. I can also use more creative approaches such as drawing, if a young person struggles to open up initially. I try to support young people to put their experiences, thoughts and feelings into a narrative, which helps them process what is important to them in a meaningful way, so they feel more positive and hopeful.
Specific counselling experience with children and young people
As well as working with young people in my private practice, I have a number of years of experience in counselling and working with children, teens and young people, having worked in primary schools, secondary schools and colleges across London and Sussex as a counsellor. I worked as a College Counsellor managing a busy campus counselling service as well as providing counselling therapy to students and staff. I have also worked extensively with students, as a specialist mental health mentor and specialist autism mentor across several London and Sussex universities.
I mainly draw on Gestalt (which is a highly positive and integrative humanistic form of therapy), Systemic and attachment theories in my work, as well as interests in other modalities such as psychodynamic and existential theories.
Like all suitably qualified and accredited BACP counsellors I can work with a wide range of issues, but here are some areas in which I have a special interest or additional experience.
Anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, loss, complicated grief, low mood, low self-esteem, family conflict, loss of meaning and purpose, identity, autism, neurodiversity, communication difficulties, impact of illness or disability and academic stressors.
Sessions are 50 minutes at £55 and can be offered in person or remotely or as a blended approach.
(At the moment I only offer counselling to children who are 13+ . I have some limitations of providing a suitable play therapy environment for younger children from my private practice room).