Childhood can be difficult for some children and young people and whilst families and friends are often able to support them through this time, sometimes it is appropriate to access professional help.
I have worked as a Counsellor at the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). I have also worked in Educational Settings including Infant, Junior and Secondary Schools, and Colleges of Further Education. The individuals that I worked with were aged between 5 and 21 years, and experiencing a wide variety of problems.
Children and young people may suffer bereavement with the loss of a close family member and in your own grief you may not be able to fully support your child. Or it could be the loss of a school friend or even a much loved family pet.
Some individuals endure bullying or abuse, experience difficult relationships and may become socially isolated. This can create feelings of low self-esteem, a lack of confidence, anxiety or depression, which may escalate into an eating disorder or self-harm.
Some children experience nightmares or night terrors, sleepwalking and associated problems of lack of good quality sleep.
Others need help with dental phobias, or fears of medical procedures e.g. blood tests.
Sadly, some children and young people undergo periods of acute or chronic ill health such as Infantile Arthritis, Cystic Fibrosis, Heart and Lung Problems, Diabetes and Cancer, all of which can be stressful for the child and the whole of your family.
In an educational context, some individuals may struggle with concentration, recalling facts and figures for examinations which can create anxiety symptoms and even panic attacks.
I am fully trained and experienced in working with children and young people (see my list of qualifications on the ‘About Me’ section). I work with young children in a creative manner e.g. play, Art Therapy, storytelling and the use of metaphor which encourages flexible exploration to meet each individual’s needs. I offer an age-appropriate service, where we can explore social and emotional skills, working to reinforce self-esteem and confidence, celebrating positive qualities and address fears. I feel privileged to help children and young people grow intellectually and emotionally into well-adjusted adults.
Hypnotherapy may be appropriate for some children and young people particularly in cases of fears or abuse, lack of self-confidence, bed wetting (Nocturnal Eneuresis) and difficulties concentrating. As a fully trained and experienced Hypnotherapist, I would guide your child into a safe and pleasant state of relaxation, similar to when they are just falling asleep or just waking up. They would be able to hear all the sounds around them but feel so peaceful and safe that they just wouldn’t want to pull themselves round into a fully waking state.
I would work upon releasing stress from their mind and tension from their body, helping them remove the reasons for their difficulties which may have become ‘stuck’ in their Subconscious Mind. I would offer positive ideas, often in the form of story or metaphor. Where appropriate, I would offer reassurance regarding their ability to sleep peacefully and dream pleasantly. On waking, I would encourage feelings of confidence, competence and capability to carry them through their day.
Sessions for counselling with a child or young person cost £40. In special circumstances a discount may be applied.
Length of Therapy
Depending on the Child or Young Person’s needs, I offer:-
Brief Therapy of 6 to 10 sessions, each session lasting up to 1 hour.
Longer Term Therapy over a number of months
One-off appointments as a “safety net” at the ending of our therapeutic alliance.
It is not uncommon for me to work with a child or young person for a period of weeks or months, for them to cease counselling and then come back for further therapy months or years later, even as an adult.
Sessions are confidential between the young person and myself, provided I determine that they are competent to make clear and valid decisions. However, with their agreement, I might speak with you, as their Parent or Guardian. As I would explain, I would only break our confidentiality agreement if I believe they are at risk of injuring themselves or someone else. In such a scenario, in discussion with you we may enlist the help of their Doctor. Similarly, if they were to disclose a current Child Protection issue, again in discussion with you, we may be obliged to enlist the help of the Children’s Social Services Team.