Child Counselling When Counselling children in my Leatherhead Surrey practice, therapeutic techniques are used through art and play, to help children explore the things that are troubling them. For children a therapeutic space is created within which they can explore their issues and feelings and express themselves in a way which is appropriate for their age. I am committed to offering a counselling service which is open to all ages. Working therapeutically with children requires the special use of counselling skills adapted through using art, play, drawing, puppets, drama, story telling, sand and play materials which provide a safe and natural medium for childrens' communication.
Counselling sessions for children can enable them to explore the things that are upsetting or worrying them and helps unlock and express pent up feelings which are affecting their daily life and may be showing in their behaviour.
Parents are required to attend an initial meeting with the counsellor before child counselling can commence. This is an important time for parent(s) and counsellor to explore together the difficulties the child may be facing and how counselling may be helpful to their child.
Child Counselling does NOT offer a magic cure for behaviour problems which may stem from inconsistent or weak boundaries at home, or negative parent/child relationships. In these situations it may be more helpful for parents to explore, with the counsellor, their experience of being a parent, their own experience of being a child, their relationship with their own parents, and how this may be affecting their relationship with their children now and their style of parenting.
WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR CHILD
If you are experiencing challenging behaviour with your child, it is easy to get into a negative spiral, and this can be exacerbated if the school are also complaining about your child's behaviour. This can result in your child developing low self esteem. There are some small steps you can take at home to assit your child.
Positive Reinforcement: Firstly consider if your child is getting more attention through bad behaviour than good? It is easy to fall into the trap of telling children when they're doing something wrong and forgetting to tell them when they've done something right. If this is the case then you can help remedy this situation by focussing on the positive things your child is doing and giving specific praise. For instance "I notice you managed to sit and eat your breakfast today without jumping up from the table, well done" is better than saying "you've been a good boy" without saying specifically what he's done well.
Understanding: make sure he understands what he is doing wrong: If he's being difficult tell him clearly what you want him to stop doing, and why, and then tell him what you would like him to do instead, and priase him when he does this. "When you kick to football around the kitchen I'm worried something is going to get broken, can you kick the ball in the garden please where it's safe"
Special Time: Try and arrange some 'special time' with your child when he has your undivided attention for 15 minutes a day, when you can be by his side while he choses an activity which you can either observe along side him or join in the activity, without directing him or trying to achieve anything. This is very different from homework time and is about you being there for him in his world.
Listen to your child: Be available for him to tell you if something is wrong. Ask youself: Is he being bullied? Is he around people who are appropriate and you completely trust? Is he in any situation where he could be at risk of harm or abuse? Is he on the internet unsupervised? What else could be going on that is causing him to act out? Could his behaviour (withdrawal, anger, aggression) been an indication that underneath he is afraid of something?
Confidentiality & Safeguarding Children.
The content of your child's counselling session is confidential. However, if it is believed that a child brought for counselling may be at risk of harm, then it is important for you and your child to know that I will notify the relevant authorities.
Separation and Divorce
Parent-child and parent-parent relationships can become very difficult to maintain after separation or divorce, and when emotionally affected it can be more challenging to deal with new issues when they arise such as contact problems, parents finding new partners, and blending families where new relationships between step children and step parents are being established. Please visit the website 'Its Not Your Fault' CLICK HERE for helpful information and advice.
The experiences of individual adults, children, teenagers and families in a changing society can be very challenging. Statistics show that over 40% of marriages end in divorce, one in four children live in lone parent families, one in ten children live in a step-family, and more than one in four children will experience their parents’ divorce by the age of 16. Behind each of these statistics there is undoubtedly a mixture of very high emotions and I feel it is important to be able to provide early intervention counselling, where appropriate, to family members affected by changes in family circumstances. See "Care For The Family" CLICK HERE for information, advice and support for families.
When parents divorce or separate it can trigger high emotions for everybody involved and can result in multiple changes for all the family. Changes such as moving house, moving schools, losing contact with friends or extended family members, as well as financial changes, can cause feelings of loss anxiety and depression. Feelings of grief normally associated with bereavement can arise for both adults and children affected by divorce and separation.
My practice in Surrey has shown that counselling for divorce and separation for children and adults can be helpful by exploring and identifying the issues which arouse the highest emotions as well as the changes which are most difficult to cope with. Counselling children and parents after divorce and separation can be particularly helpful in dealing with the losses incurred and allow the grief process to begin. My experience of counselling children and parents affected by divorce and separation in Surrey has shown that counselling is particularly helpful when parents and children find it difficult to talk about feelings without upsetting other members of the family.
As a trainer experienced in delivering short parenting courses to separated parents, it often arises that there is a need for separated parents to be supported and helped through the process of understanding and focusing on the needs of their children during and after separation, often because emotions are high making it more difficult to stand back and see things from the perspective of the children and other members of the family. See "Divorce Aid" CLICK HERE for information and advice.
It is important to acknowledge that although your intimate relationship with you ex-partner has ended, you are both still co-parents to your children, regardless of whether your children live with you or your ex-partner. When children are presented for counselling after parental separation or divorce I have found it beneficial for both parents to meet the counsellor at separate meetings to express any concerns they have about their child or children and have the opportunity to ask any questions they may have about the counselling process. The referring parent will be asked to supply contact details for their child's other parent so they can be invited to a separate meeting with the counsellor.
BACP - British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
SCPI - Surrey Counselling and Psychotherapy Initiative
Phone: 07769 653025 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org