Counselling for Young People

What is Counselling?

Counselling is a chance to talk about things that are important – relationships, feelings, memories- things that sometimes get in the way of us living our lives.

I’m not here instead of family and friends or teachers and staff and all the other people in your life, but as well as those people. The difference is that I have the time to listen, and those other people are often very busy. I have lots of special training to do my job, and sometimes it is useful to talk with someone who doesn’t already know you. Someone who you are not going to see every day.

I don’t really give advice, as lots of other people can do that and I don’t have a magic wand but I am here to better understand what is going on for you and your feelings and thoughts and by having someone to listen to you, and by helping you to explore these things, it can help you to understand and that can make it easier to live with the stuff that’s troubling you. You take the lead and I will work at your pace. You can always ask any questions if you are unsure.

What kind of things might a young person talk about?

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Exam stress
  • Bullying
  • Family
  • Behaviour
  • Bereavement
  • Self-harm
  • Depression
  • Sexuality
  • Divorce and Separation
  • Substance misuse
  • And anything else that is worrying you…

Confidentiality

Is counselling confidential ?

Yes, however there are exceptional circumstances when confidentiality needs to be broken. If I feel there is a need to talk about something you have told me with another adult because I have a concern, I will talk about this with you first, so that maybe we can do it together. This is clearly explained at the start of our counselling relationship. It is important that as a young person you feel completely safe and trust the counsellor to help you with your concerns. This helps you to be completely honest about some more of the difficult feelings in life like anger, sadness, shame and unhappiness.

Do other adults need to be informed that I am having counselling?

If a young person is assessed as competent under Gillick* they have a legal right not to tell parents or carers. But you are free to tell whoever you want to that you are having counselling. *Gillick Competence

Helpful Links: Mental Health Support Young People.