I have a particular interest in counselling children, adolescents and young adults and have over 15 year of experience working in education in various roles. Young minds continue to surprise and teach me, and I find working with this group of clients tremendously rewarding.
Therapeutically I have worked with children aged 11 up to the age of 20 at times seeing them throughout their educational career. Not only do children have to endure the changes in their body and mind, they are also under continuous pressure of changing demands in their environment such as pressures to perform well at school, trepidations about the future, trying to fit in with peers, wanting to stand out from peers. I currently work for West Kent Mind, where I see many teenagers and young adults, facilitating 1:1 psychotherapy/ counselling. Presenting problems are often around difficult family situations, trauma, bullying, lack of self-esteem, trauma or the death of a family member or pet.
Also teenagers are at a stage where they are exploring their sexuality, exploring their edges, whether to conform or not, exploring where they end and others start… This can be a confusing time for the adolescent growing up, a time full of emotions, rejections, self-discovery and at the same time the push of the demands in the wider environment.
Not only can this time be overwhelming for the teenagers , it can be equally confusing for the people who care for them. The changing shape of their child, the mood swings, pushing the boundaries, the metamorphosis from child to adolescents is often not without humps and bumps. Parents can struggle with how to respond to their teenager’s demands, how to let go, when to say no and how to continue to engage with their son or daughter.
I have specific experience in working with clients who abuse drugs and alcohol through my work at CGL and in schools. Equally teenagers who have difficulty with their body image, who suffer from eating disorders, anxiety, panic attacks, anger control are regular clients of mine.
It is important for any client to find the right therapist for them, which is why the initial consultation is so important.
For younger children, parents can be present for part of the consultation and the young person and the parent/ caregiver have an opportunity to ask questions and get an idea of how I work and agree on the practicalities of the sessions.