Young people are sometimes faced with things that can make them feel unhappy, hurt, angry, worried, overwhelmed, confused or unable to cope. These might include friendship or family problems, anxiety and depression, childhood experiences, illness, trauma, problems at school or college, the loss of someone important to them, questions about life or any other issues. They may need to talk about these things to help make sense of them or find ways to cope with them. Sometimes it is difficult to discuss things that are troubling them with the people they are closest to, such as parents or friends.
Counselling will give young people the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings in a safe, confidential space, without judgement. It can help them gain a better understanding of themselves, address their experiences and responses and make choices that feel right for them. Counselling can help them feel supported in finding their own solutions through explorations and being listened to and understood. It provides the space to develop a new understanding of themselves and their inner resources.
The therapeutic relationship is paramount and it is important that they choose a therapist they feel comfortable with, as this is a major factor in enabling them to work through their feelings openly.
I provide a safe and supportive environment where young people can feel listened to, understood, respected and valued. Ultimately, they will experience counselling as a place where their voice is heard, where they feel comfortable to express their feelings and where they can process difficult experiences. In building positive therapeutic relationships with young people, I empower them to trust themselves, develop their identities, make decisions and recognise their strengths. I use my personal qualities to build rapport and trust, ensuring that the counselling experience provides young people with a sense of hope, optimism, purpose and meaning.
Recognising the value of arts work and creative approaches in therapy, I use creativity to meet the individual needs of the young people I work with. Creative therapy enables them to tell their stories and get in touch with their feelings, as well as encouraging mindfulness and relaxation. I work with young people to build their confidence, resilience and self-esteem, providing a relationship in which they feel supported to face challenges.
I believe it is important for young people to be kind to themselves and learn ways to comfort and soothe themselves. I am a strong advocate for self-compassion and regularly use this in my counselling practice. I am committed to understanding the young person’s world and making the counselling experience relevant and meaningful for them.