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I work therapeutically with young people from ages 13yrs  to 18 yrs.

I have had the honour to watch young people create change in their internal struggles, confidently, innocently and powerfully without the inhibitions that society starts to create in adults. Below is a list of issues I have had experience working with.

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  • Re-constituted families through divorce and separation

  • Deployment and establishing a new home

  • Self-harm

  • Bullying

  • Confidence and self-esteem

  • Neglect

  • Child abuse

  • Anger

  • Behavioural problems

  • Anxiety

My professional career has spanned 14 years of working with young people in a variety of capacities;

  • Nanny

  • Children with autism in a residential school

  • Family assessment centre

  • Supported living service with leaving care young people in an administration role.

Therefore it was a natural progression to start my career as a Psychologist with young people. Following my training I was employed by Relate Mid-Wiltshire as a Young persons Counsellor. With them I received extensive training that utilises all of my skills as a Counselling Psychologist, an artist, and my professional experience stated above.

I provided Young Persons counselling in 3 primary schools  and 1 secondary school in a Wiltshire army town from ages 5yrs to 18yrs. In addition, through Relate, I provided client hours for PCAMHS in Marlborough offering me the opportunity to learn about processes and procedures with the NHS and Social services, liaising at different levels in order to ensure the safety and care for each client. I provided some time to Relate Swindon to help set up the Young Survivors project funded by Comic Relief.

From working in primary schools I have found children from yr6 onwards are at a significant developmental stage in their life when they start to see themselves as individual beings. They start to become aware of other around them , and start to think more about peers, relationships and social issues outside of the family system. They start to want to find their own solutions for their problems, seeking help outside of the family, and  start to find their own voice and views of the world. 

I therefore offer a space in which a young person who may be experiencing problems wants to start solving these problems independently. 

Whilst young people are part of a larger system, I am not a family therapist and my focus lies completely on the young person's perception and experience of their world.

This means......

I stand by a strong confidentiality framework, that, regardless of age, nothing the child says is disclosed to the parents without permission. I do not write reports or offer case notes of sessions to parents. I will however support a young persons to communicate particular information to their family if it may be in their best interest to do so. If the intention or report of serious harm is disclosed I follow clear procedures about how this is handled.

I focus on the childs agenda, not the parents. Whilst an initial understanding is required from the parent as to what they see as being the problem, how the child understands the problem may be very different. What may also be a problem for the parent may not be for the child. This enables us to explore all of the childs world where we may discover the real reason for their problems or problems that had not previously been expressed.

I require a commitment of a minimum of 6 sessions to start with in order for me and your child to establish a trusting relationship, do some therapeutic work and end effectively. I will ask for some feedback about how you feel the child is progressing along with how the child is feeling about being in therapy so we can collaborate in a further plan. The child's choice about this is always paramount in this decision making. 

Initiation of therapy has to come from the young person. 

I don't have a toolbox of strategies in which to give the young person. The toolbox lies within them and I have a toolbox of my own which I use to help the young person to help them find what works best for them. 



These stipulations can be difficult for parents to work with but they are essential in creating a safe and secure environment for the child to explore their private worlds effectively. It is therefore important, before considering sending your child to counselling, if you are comfortable with this.

It is also important to consider beforehand if you think the young persons problems are part of a wider systemic problem. If so then it may be better to consider a family therapist who can advise accordingly. There may also be underlying health or learning issues which should be discussed with your GP and the child's school. 

For further information to help you decide if therapy is right for your child click on the box below

How therapy works for your child
Every generation is faced with it's own new challenges. Todays young people are having to deal with a world only known through social media which can be fast and intense and presents conflicting opinions and ideas. They are also faced with an unsettled political and environmental future.

Mental health is becoming openly encouraged to be talked about because there is an epidemic of depression, anxiety and suicide amongst young people. This in itself is creating new issues when faced with a struggling NHS system where the only way to get help is to be in crisis. 

Getting on top of emotional difficulties is crucial in preventing a young person reaching crisis point. Having a safe place in which somebody is listening too them can empower them to find their own solutions to their problems. 



Young people have the capacity to make rapid changes in their thinking due to the plasticity of their brain. They are still creating new synapses which, when reinforced with continual practice, will strengthen into automatic ways of thinking. As new synapses are being grown, old one's (negative and unhelpful ones) eventually weaken and dissipate. As adults we still have this capacity to change our brains this way, however the connections are much stronger and harder to change. Therefore it is helpful to create this change where possible when young and permeable.

My work is to facilitate a place where the young person can find a way for their internal world to meet with their external world. To find ways to understand their reactions and feelings to things happening around them, to  become more resilient and robust when faced with stressful situations, and to learn ways in which to cope with a fast and diverse world so they can feel they are in control of their own lives within it. 

A young person may be experiencing feelings and bodily sensations in which they cannot truly understand or grasp. Or they may have been through some kinds of stressful situation in which they haven't the sophisticated language to really make sense of. Without the right words to help make sense of what they experience a young person may act out in unhelpful, unsocial, unhealthy or  destructive behaviours.  Through talking and through creative means I help the young person to find the words for their experiences, to gain a sense of meaning and understanding for it and create new ways of thinking that will help them feel better able to cope in the long term. 

Using creativity in counselling offers a medium and language in which young people can relate to and express themselves in an abstract form without the pressure of finding the right words. 
Through creating art or telling stories they can explore their internal state as fantasy. In doing so they can then re-tell or re-draw their internal world so it starts to make sense in relation to their external world, particularly if they have no control in changing their external environment.

Creativity may also just help to facilitate a cathartic emotional response and expression. With a therapeutic alliance being built between myself and the young person through this medium a child is enabled to do the therapeutic work required, even in abstract form. 

I'm just relieved to get my little girl back

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