What is counselling?
It’s a talking therapy that gives you the opportunity to talk and reflect without being judged. We don’t always connect with how we really feel: sometimes we disconnect ourselves from the things we say. Counselling is a way to shine a light on that disconnect, and take a look at what is really going on.
There is no clear distinction between counselling and psychotherapy; both are talking therapies that allow people to explore their feelings and emotions and the effect they have on their lives.
How does counselling help?
When our children do start growing up, parents can be part of the problem. We all have hopes, dreams and ambitions for our kids, and sometimes these clash with reality. We can have outdated pictures in our heads of who our children really are – fixing our view of someone at a certain point and then tension arises when that picture no longer fits.
Counselling helps to fix this. It allows children to be fully seen, and express themselves in a way which feels true for them, without the risk of being closed down and told how that behaviour doesn’t measure up.
What can you expect from a session?
When we’re counselling children as individuals rather than as part of a family session, there are obviously some caveats that don’t apply with adults. We see it as a three-way relationship, where we need to respect the confidentiality of the children, while ensuring open and honest communication with parents and carers.
Typically the first counselling session will be all together with the parents, before one-to-one counselling starts. Or they might come in at the end. Either way they will get regular updates. We’ll negotiate upfront on what feels like an appropriate level of involvement for parents and carers.
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“All of us want to know that we’re OK. Teenagers often wonder how much of their true selves to show the world, fearful that they don’t fit into the norms. That much has always been true, but it’s only made worse these days by the magnifying glass of social media. Counselling can help to provide the validation that all of us, particularly adolescents, are looking for.”
Richard Reid – CEO, Therapist & Coaching Psychologist