I am a BACP accredited counsellor based in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex.
I offer counselling services for children, adolescents, and adults.
I also offer therapeutic support for parents/carers, families as well as teachers and professionals involved in the care and development of young people.
Due to current social distancing requirements, I am operating online or phone sessions. Unfortunately this is not suitable for younger children but I can support their parents/carers during this time.
Can Counselling help?
Counselling can help us achieve a deeper understanding of ourselves and how we relate to those around us. It enables us to explore our inner processes, in a safe and sensitive space. We can then make choices about our future – about acceptance or change, coping or starting anew.
The work with younger people can enable us to catch problems early, and start a process of regrowth which can make enormous differences in future.
But it is vital that the Counsellor understands about the developmental stage of the person they are working with, so it is age appropriate and accessible.
When I work with younger children I always involve the parents/carers and often the school too.
Younger children sometimes cannot verbalise what is going on for them. Instead they express themselves through play and art. Each session goes at their pace.
Pre-teens and adolescents can be very good at describing their feelings and needs - but sometimes this remains difficult as it is for younger children. A solid therapeutic relationship is vital, where the young person feels they can talk about things which might be hard to discuss at home.
Young and not so young adults can find themselves at cross roads in terms of their development. Issues around sexuality, independence, loneliness, expectations and identity can loom large.
Adults can turn to a wider range of coping strategies, but not all are helpful or healthy.
Parents/carers can find it difficult to understand what is happening in the family, and how to cope with the ups and downs. It can be very difficult to offer your children the parenting they need when you are not feeling supported yourself, and if you have not experienced enough care.
Supervision of counsellors, teachers, and professionals can be essential for unpicking the feelings and responses to the co-workers, families and children we work with. While Counsellors' regulatory bodies require them to have regular supervision, with other professionals it is not mandatory. Nevertheless it can give professionals that safe space to talk about the difficult aspects of the work, thus helping to manage stress.