Who can I help?
I offer psychotherapy and counselling services to children, teenagers and young people between the ages of 0 and 25, and their parents, families or care-givers. I have extensive experience of working with children who are fostered and adopted.
What can I help with?
There are many signs which alert us to emotional or psychological difficulties in a young child. A child who is usually confident can become excessively ‘clingy’. Some children may suddenly become withdrawn, or begin to behave in very challenging ways.
Children may have difficulties with sleeping, eating, crying and sometimes toileting.
Your child may be struggling with learning, with friendships, with bullying, excessive worrying or obsessive behaviours.
He or she may be fearful, suffer nightmares or psychosomatic symptoms. They may not be able to explain, or even know, what is really troubling them.
When worries and confusions grow, they can sometimes develop into bigger problems, such as school phobia or selective mutism. Some children later receive diagnosis, such as anxiety and depression, or may fit the profile of a neuro-developmental condition such as ASD and ADHD.
Child psychotherapy focuses on the unique needs of each individual child. I will work together with your child, to understand their difficulties, in order to alleviate emotional distress and troubling symptoms.
What will therapy be like for your child?
Depending upon the age and needs of your child, my approach will be flexible. Young children are often unable to put feelings clearly into words. However, they often communicate strongly through non-verbal means.
Child Psychotherapy is (most usually) a non-directive form of therapy which provides a safe space where a child is helped by the therapist to make sense of confusions, fears and upsets. This form of child therapy can help to reduce anxiety and enable confidence in relationships to develop.
For a young child, simple creative equipment and toys are provided. These enable exploration, expression and understanding through imagination and play. Often younger children are given a therapy box which is private to them. Children may use a dolls’ house, a sand tray, art materials or musical instruments. Children often share their worries and fears through expressive drawings and stories in play.
Parents and Families
Sometimes a child needs a separate space for themselves and sometimes it helps them to work alongside with a parent, or with other people in their family.
For some families, where there are worries about relationship difficulties, therapy with parents and children together can help us to change patterns of behaviour which have become problematic. Work together with a parent can be particularly important with a very young child or infant.
It can also be very helpful sometimes, for parents to have their own confidential space, to freely discuss their worries about their child without their child present.
Sometimes a single appointment may be all that is required, or sometimes further help is needed.
Therapy can be short-term, focused on a particular difficulty, or it may take place over a longer period of time.
Children and young people who experience chronic and deep-seated difficulties, may need longer term treatment. Some children with very complex difficulties will benefit from intensive work. Intensive psychotherapy means seeing a therapist more frequently than once a week.
Longer term psychotherapy is most effective when it is regular and reliable. This structure is of particular benefit for those struggling with Autism, developmental difficulties and high levels of anxiety.