Counselling offers a safe space for you to talk about issues that are troubling you to someone who isn’t involved in your life, who won’t judge you and who has the training, experience and expertise to help.
After their counselling, many of my young clients tell me that they feel happier and are better able to deal with their problems. They often say it has helped them to concentrate better at school or college, or get on better with their friends and family.
I have years of experience working with young people, aged 11 and over, both in schools as a counsellor, and with private clients. I know that young people hate being talked down to and that I have to be open and honest. And I know that it isn’t easy to talk about the big things that are worrying you, so I won’t push you to talk, but give you the time you need until you are ready to open up.
I know that you might feel pretty anxious at the thought of talking to a stranger, so I offer a free 30 minute Introduction Session, which will give you the chance to meet me and decide if you think I’m someone you’ll feel comfortable talking to. You don’t need to make any decisions there and then. You can go away and think about it, talk to your parents, perhaps, and maybe talk to other counsellors, before you make up your mind.
What you say in counselling is confidential, unless I am seriously worried for your safety, or if you tell me about a serious crime. When you come for your free 30 minute Introduction Session, you will have plenty of time to read through the counselling contract. The purpose of the counselling contract is to make the limits to confidentiality very clear, so that you know exactly what you can tell me in confidence and what I will need to take further.
If you do decide to enter into counselling with me, and I am happy that you have fully understood the terms of the counselling contract, and that you are seeking counselling of your own free will, i will ask you to sign the counselling contract, to say that you are giving your informed and voluntary consent to the counselling and that you understand what you are agreeing to.
If you are under 16 and/or if your parent or carer is paying for your counselling, they will also be asked to sign a contract, separate from yours, to say that they have understood that what you say in counselling is confidential, except if I have serious concerns about your safety and have agreed with my counselling supervisor that it is in your best interests for me to discuss my concerns with them.