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Therapy for Children and Young People

Therapy for Children and Young People

As well as providing therapy for adults, I also offer therapy for children and young people (from age 5 / Primary School Year 1).

 

Does my child need therapy?

The reasons for wanting to access therapy for a child or young person can be a wide and varied as for adults.

Significant life events — such as the death of a family member, friend, or pet; divorce or a move; abuse; trauma; a parent leaving on military deployment; or a major illness in the family — can cause stress that might lead to problems with behavior, mood, sleep, appetite, and academic or social functioning.

In some cases, it’s not as clear what’s caused a child to suddenly seem withdrawn, worried, stressed, sulky, or tearful.  But if you feel your child might have an emotional or behavioral problem or needs help coping with a difficult life event, get in touch and discuss your concerns.

Examples of the issues for children and young people include:

  • developmental delay in speech, language, or toilet training
  • learning or attention problems (such as ADHD)
  • behavioral problems
    for example:

    • excessive anger
    • acting out
    • bedwetting
    • eating disorders
  • a significant drop in grades or school perfomance
  • episodes of sadness, tearfulness, or depression
  • social withdrawal or isolation
  • being the victim of bullying or bullying other children
  • stress
  • anxiety
  • decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • overly aggressive behavior (such as biting, kicking, or hitting)
  • insomnia or increased sleepiness
  • excessive school absenteeism or tardiness
  • mood swings (e.g. happy one minute, upset the next)
  • development of or an increase in physical complaints (such as headache, stomachache, or not feeling well) which are not explained by physical illness or injury
  • management of a serious, acute, or chronic illness
  • signs of alcohol, drug, or other substance use (such as solvents or prescription drug abuse)
  • problems with transitions
    for example:

    • following separation or divorce
    • moving house
    • changing schools
  • bereavement issues
  • therapy following sexual, physical, or emotional abuse or other traumatic events

 

How does it work?

First steps

  • Contact me to discuss your concerns
  • If it seems that therapy might be useful, we will arrange an initial assessment session

Initial assessment

  • For children under 13, the initial assessment will include the parent(s)/guardian(s) and the child
  • For children and young people over 13, the initial assessment could be with the child or young person on their own

Confidentiality

  • Therapy with children and young people is a confidential process, as with adults
  • It is natural that parents may be concerned about their child, and want to know what is happening in therapy sessions
  • Regular updates will allow parents and guardians to understand the themes of the work
  • Detailed accounts of what has been discussed or explored in sessions will not usually be shared, unless either the child has requested this, or there is a safeguarding or wellbeing imperative to do so

Therapy Sessions

  • In general, therapy with younger children tends to be more expressive, creative, and imaginative, using play to explore feelings
  • As children get older, this tends to move towards more talking based therapy
  • Therapy with children and young people is an individual process, and so as with adults, their experience of therapy will be unique
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