When I work with children/young people I may invite the parent/guardian of the child into (part of) the first session to enable me to carry out an assessment which involves history taking, and an exploration of current issues. Therapy with young people works best when it is collaborative, and parents/guardians are an important part of the process. Therefore active participation is required from parents/caregivers and a positive partnership between you and I means that we become allies in your child/adolescents’ positive mental health. My aim is to motivate and empower parents to recognise their child’s needs, strengths and resources, and encourage them to take an active role in changing things for the better. When working with a child I am there to hear their concerns, and attend to their agenda. I do not work towards an adult-oriented outcome. Parenting is not an easy job – and sometimes we need support to recognise, then focus, on where the child is coming from. Counselling theory recognises that ‘misbehaviour’ or ‘acting out’ in children is a coping strategy, and that the behaviour we see is often not the problem – but the child’s solution to the problem, their attempt at communicating that an emotional need may not being met appropriately, be this at home, at school, in the community ……….
Adults can begin working with me following our first contact if you wish – you may have been referred to me, received a recommendation regarding my services from someone you trust, or may be curious about how we could work together after checking out the information provided here…..
At our first session together we will discuss what might be causing you distress, I can check what issues you would like to work on, and we will explore together what you would like to achieve from counselling. If you feel comfortable, and we establish that I am the most appropriate person for you to work with, then I usually suggest we meet weekly. We would review our work regularly to check you are getting what you want from counselling. Our work together might be short or long term, dependent on your needs and what is most useful.
Couple counselling sessions, also weekly, are for one hour. The initial session incorporating assessment is for 90 minutes. You as the couple are my ‘client’ and we work respectfully to understand why things have gone wrong between you, and how problems could be overcome. We may consider factors you previously had not considered important, to identify what the issue may be and how, if possible, your relationship can be rebuilt.
Therapeutic coaching – we begin work at the first session which is 90 minutes, then hourly sessions from thereon – just 5 to 6 sessions are usually required as work is brief, intensive, and short term.