Information for young people
Thank you for reading this.
Some information about my experience of working with children and young people.
I have experience of working on a one to one therapeutic basis with children aged between 4-11, and young people aged between 12 and 18, gained from working in schools, youth centres, youth counselling organisations and in my private practice. Issues that I have addressed include, anger, anxiety, depression, self-harm, low self-esteem, suicidal intent, bullying, stress, abuse, including sexual abuse, trauma, identity and relationship difficulties.
I have received training in using the expressive arts and play in therapy. I would like to stress however, that the approach we use is decided by you. In other words you choose what issues you want to work on, the pace and the how. For instance, some of my clients may like to use play therapy whilst others may like to use drawing, painting, sand tray, music, writing, or drama alongside talking to express and make sense of the feelings and thoughts they have. You however, may not. It may be that you are interested in using other creative channels or you may prefer to talk without the use of any creative tools. That's ok too – as said above – you decide.
It’s entirely up to you what you choose to tell your parents/guardian or anyone else about the therapy sessions. I think it’s very important to let you know though that I will treat everything you say as confidential. I will not pass on information to anyone including your parents/guardian. I will only break this if I believe you are in harm or putting someone else in danger. At this point, parents/guardian and other agencies, depending on the nature of the information you’ve told me might have to be informed.
Additionally, in the work I do with younger clients, I often have a review meeting with parents (normally every six weeks or so). If this meeting was to take place we would discuss together what would be shared with parents. Do please read the next session to get more information about these meetings, as it gives you more information on the nature of my contact with your parents/guardian.
Information for parents/guardians
Many parents/guardians can quite understandably feel quite concerned about what might happen in therapy. To alleviate some of this, I always speak to parents/guardians before the first session to get an understanding from them as to why they feel their child needs therapy at this point and what they perceive the issues to be. This may take place in person or by phone and will last up to forty minutes. It can also be used to answer any questions parents/ guardians may have about the process including ones around safeguarding, child protection and confidentiality.
I also have an up to date Disclosure and Barring Service check (formerly known as Criminal Records Bureau Check) clearance, which I am always happy to show parents/guardians.
As mentioned above, I may arrange meetings with parents/guardians to review and assess how they feel the therapy is progressing. This may happen with or without the child but always with their consent and their understanding and agreement over what is discussed and shared with parents/guardians in these meetings.