Young people often come to solution-focused counselling feeling unheard, misunderstood, angry and confused. They may be tussling with different relationships, struggling with bullying, course pressures or life choices; often they are feeling depressed, have anxiety, or are bereaved; some are refusing to go to school, or may be overwhelmed by some incident which is adversely affecting their lives. Some may have eating disorders or are self-harming. More often than not, they find it really useful to talk to someone not directly involved in their lives, someone neutral and non-judgmental. In a therapeutic environment they feel able to discuss their choices and find their own solutions, thereby establishing control over their lives and issues. Ultimately this benefits everyone with whom they are in daily contact.
I work with young people from about the ages of 10 onwards, with a range of problems. I’m able to facilitate their exploration towards solutions in an atmosphere which is relaxed and in which they feel safe to explore solutions. Again, my approach is not to give advice, pronounce judgment, preach or teach. Although I may make suggestions, coming out of what they tell me and related to their particular circumstances, ultimately the solution comes from them, (otherwise it wouldn’t work!) This applies to all young people, whether they see me voluntarily or whether they are required to do so by an outside agency or service.
Young people’s counselling is also confidential, unless they or someone else is at serious risk of harm or if they request that certain issues are discussed with their carers, parents or guardians. (This is applicable mainly to those adolescents able to understand and deal with their own issues, rather than to younger children, who are too young to tend to their own issues).
Young people can choose to attend all sessions on their own, or have a mix of single and family sessions, where appropriate. Young people who come to see me do so either by choice, or by referral. Sometimes, against their will, it is their parents’ wish that they enter into therapy. Whilst, initially, they may view this as coercion, once they feel comfortable and realise they are being heard and that I don’t take sides, they often find themselves able to engage and ultimately benefit from the sessions.
Some young people, including school and university students, prefer to have online counselling. I counsel by Skype video, call or chat and this works very well – all they need is privacy and access to a computer. There are some who wish to remain anonymous and prefer email counselling or chat – they find it easier in this format to talk about difficult things without seeing or being seen by the therapist.
If you would like to have online counselling in the format you prefer let me know and I’ll send you the details of how it works; it’s simple to arrange, there is quick entry to appointments, it’s confidential, cheaper and hassle free.