Five the most common questions about young people counselling:
When does my child need counselling?
If you have come so far already, you are probably worried about something but might not know how serious the problem might be. Please do not be too worried—many young people nowadays experience mental health issues and it is usually absolutely normal and needed to develop a mature personality. Maybe your child experiences problems at school, mood swings, inability to sleep or eat, unexplained aches and pains. Have you observed any sudden changes in your child’s behaviour? Is your child unexpectedly angry or withdrawn? There are also times that unpredictable circumstances might affect your child, for example death of relative, divorce or accidents when your little one is not sharing their feelings very openly.
2. Will you be able to tell me what you are talking about in the sessions?
Everything that your child tells me in the session is confidential. There are however limits to the confidentiality when a child’s life or safety is in danger or a child poses a threat to others. In this case I am obligated to inform adults responsible for the child as well as other services. Nevertheless, nothing will happen without your child’s knowledge.
3. How counselling might help a young person?
Counselling is a wonderful tool which might help with self-esteem, mood regulation and confidence. A young person might explore in the safe space, all the issues he or she was afraid or ashamed to talk about with parents or carers. Counselling works on anger management, teaches a young person how to express their emotions in assertive but respectful and safe way. Counselling is a space where a young person might vent their disappointments and discover real motivations behind actions.
4. What if my child is shy or does not want to go to counselling?
As a caring parent or guardian you might suggest to your child that the counselling might be beneficial to them, but the decision about counselling has to come directly from your child. If your child is shy and has a difficulties with expressing feelings there are different techniques that we might try during the session to make the communication easier.
5. How long will it take?
This depends on how your child feels and works in sessions. It might be as short as 6 -12 sessions and as long as a year. I do not tend to work with younger clients longer than a year at a time, but there is always a possibility of coming back into therapy after few months.