Making the decision to take your child to see a counsellor can be a scary and daunting task. The most common questions I’ve been asked include;

How do I choose? What kind of counselling can help my child? What if my child doesn’t like to talk? We have tried counselling before and it didn’t work so why would it work now? My child has anxiety and doesn’t like to go anywhere new, what can I do to get her/him to counselling?

These are all very valid questions and can make the decision so much harder for you as a parent. So lets talk counselling and what your options are?

I am an Integrative Counsellor which means that I studied three models and their theories for 4 years. The combination of these models offers me huge insight and a toolbox full of tools which I can access depending on your child’s needs. I further went on to study Mindfulness and various creative therapies to support exploration in therapy.

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I am a registered member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy and as such adhere to their ethical framework.

The models I draw theory and tools from include;

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy:

CBT is the study of behaviour and how this is linked to our thoughts, our physical body, our environment and our neurological system. I can help your child to explore the science behind anxiety and behaviour and how this impacts on the brain. We do this in a fun and relaxed way using games, puppetry, art, sand play, stories, talking therapies, computers and gadgets. I explore by working with any current interests that your child has to help deepen the therapeutic relationship and engage your child to share and explore any emotions that present in session. CBT is tailored to your child’s individual abilities.

Psychodynamic counselling:

Psychodynamic counselling enables me to explore childhood using theories and research offered by key therapists and doctors around child development. Exploring how significant relationships in a child’s life can have a lasting impact on development as a teen, young person and adult. Exploring your child’s perception of important people in their world and how they experience life and the world around them.

Person-centred counselling:

PCC looks at the relationships that your child has with themselves and others around them. Exploring a sense of self, confidence, self-esteem, conditioning and self-worth. Placing a huge importance on building the relationship between myself and your child as a therapeutic tool for support, encouragement, exploration and change. Allowing your child to take the lead in counselling and share what ever comes up for them within a session. Offering empathy, a non-judgmental approach, honesty, respect and autonomy and in so doing allowing your child’s views to take precedent in the room.

Mindfulness:

Offering your child the space to explore how sitting with your feelings, your physical reactions and your thoughts can offer deepened calmness, peace and curiosity about life’s big questions. Learning how to breathe for relaxation, anger, meltdowns and rage. Exploring self-compassion, kindness and wellbeing to promote an overall health.

I believe that your child has an infinite pool of wisdom within themselves and that this pool can sometimes dry up a little when they feel drained, flooded or overwhelmed with life. Counselling can help your child to explore what is working for them and what isn’t.

As a mom to a young person with Aspergers, ADHD and anxiety I understand how exhausting it can be sometimes to try to work things out. When you are emotionally connected to your child this can make it so much more difficult. Having someone work with your child who is trained in interventions which support young people with additional needs, can help to lay the foundations for more positive self-worth, increased positive social skills experiences and better communication with the world around them.

I specialise in supporting young people to explore;

A diagnosis, anxiety, confidence, relationship choices, sex, self-worth, low self-esteem, sibling relationships, career choices, issues around schooling, lack of motivation, self-control, OCD, feeling overwhelmed, sexual violence and many other life problems.

It is not uncommon for young people to refuse counselling and in this case, we would need to explore whether it is the best option. However it can sometimes be a symptom of anxiety, a lack of trust or  simply not understanding that they keep the control within sessions. If you’re child is worried about attending, then in some cases I can offer a home visit or take a phone call to ease any initial worries about coming.

Maybe your child has tried counselling before? I’ve recently supported a child who had worked with three different counsellors before he felt comfortable to open up within our sessions. There are a number of reasons for this. It could have been down to better timing, or just a different approach from a different therapist.

If you’re child struggles to talk about feelings then I have a number of creative, playful and engaging interventions which I can draw from to support exploration. As counsellors we look for the meaning behind the words. I look for body language and creative expression as this gives me a deeper insight into what may be going on in your child’s world.

If you would like support or would like to find out more, get in touch with me by emailing tanja@tanjasharpe.com.

Connect with me on Social Media here;

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I can offer appointments between the hours of 10-7 Monday to Friday. I can also work online and can offer home visits in some cases to “break the ice”. If there are no appointments available then there is usually a maximum of 3 weeks on the waiting list. I work as quickly as I can to support you. If during our consultation I feel that you would be better supported by another professional, then I would help you to make a referral.

I believe that a child explores their world through curiosity. It’s this curiosity which is my greatest therapy tool!

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Tanja x

 

 

 

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