Counselling for Children 

When your child is suffering with mental health it can feel like you are hitting a series of brick walls to get help which can leave you feeling powerless.  I have had over 11 years of experience of working with children as a registered childminder and a further 18 months experience of working as a play and outreach worker at the local family centre.  I have qualifications in child development and working with children and young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties and special needs.

I work face to face where required but I have discovered many young people choose online sessions as it can make them feel really anxious about seeing a counsellor in person and research shows online therapy gets the same outcomes so this is very much a personal choice for the young person.  However, for younger children I feel face to face is better as I work with young children through play.  I incorporate art, sand play, playdough, story sacks and play in my therapy. I sometimes use art with young people too which can work just as well whether the work is taking place online or face to face.

You can book the first session and let your child decide if I am the right therapist for them. Many do carry on to see me but if they decide they don’t want to carry on that is okay.  Your child may not be ready and they will let you know when they are.

Once I have got to know your child I will use the approach that best meets your child’s individual needs.  This may include some CBT, teach them how to coregulate their body through mindfulness techniques, play therapy, talking therapy.  I use an integrated approach to best support the child or young person in a way that suits them.

Hypnotherapy for Children

In the same way as adults enter a state of hypnosis many times each day, children are no different.  If you have ever had to call your child a number of times to get their attention when they are playing, or when they are watching something on television, they are lost in thought.  This is the state that enables the unconscious mind to listen and accept positive suggestions. For younger children hypnosis includes imaginary games, as imagination is the most powerful part of hypnosis and children in particular have amazing imaginations. I use metaphors within the games such as thinking about their worries and imagine how they can put them into a bag. What do they look like? What colour are they? They may even choose an imaginary cloud or a balloon to put there worries into.

For older children (around 10 and up), I work in a similar way to adults. Being able to sit and relax can feel really good for children and they generally enjoy it.  I sometimes ask them to view their mind as a room with negative words on the walls and suggest they paint over them and replace them with positive words instead.  They may feel relaxed and happy but they never fully go to sleep. They are just like adults in hypnosis, able to hear everything and be in complete control. It is all very enjoyable and COMPLETELY SAFE, it is nothing like the tv shows and stage hypnosis which are not part of hypnotherapy in any way. 

If your child is under 16 you do need to be present throughout hypnotherapy sessions.  Please note this is not the same as counselling where I only suggest you sit in the first session to put your child at ease.

Parenting Support

Being a parent is always challenging and when we are managing both our child’s and our own mental health it can become very overwhelming.

Through parenting support, I can help you to understand your child’s emotional development as well as discovering strategies for the management of boundaries and expectations. If you think it will help, we will look at your own childhood and how your parents/carers parented you so we can get a better understanding of parenting styles and look at ways to adapt and build confidence in your parenting abilities.  I can offer support if your child has mental health issues or special needs.

I have a wealth of knowledge in child development having been a registered childminder for 11 years before working as a play and outreach worker at the local family centre for 18 months.  I have qualifications in children’s learning and development, training in working with children with behavioural problems and special needs, I have years of experience supporting parents and I am also a parent whose child has autism and a diagnosed serious mental health illness.

Some of the aims of working with me would include increasing self esteem and confidence building, to develop and understand strategies for repair when things go wrong, to enable sensitive and effective parenting, to develop the parent-child relationship through having fun together, to improve communication, to work on issues around self-regulation and anger, and to support you in tuning into your child’s needs.