Adolescent years can be a time of great emotional upheaval and distress. Peer pressure, studying for exams, making life choices, major physical and emotional developments and friendship environments can all be challenging for students of secondary school age. The years prior to leaving school can be a vital time to find out who they are as a young person, how they feel about themselves and how they fit into the world, in and out of school. If the young person feels unsupported within their life they can act it out in the form of addictions, self-harm, eating disorders and depression etc. All these things can prevent a child / young adult from achieving his or her full potential and restrict their ability to be open to their educational environment.
In today’s society and environment young people are often faced with difficult struggles and stresses impacting on their own inner world. Counselling can provide these young people with a safe, supported environment in which they can feel their vulnerabilities and explore and understand their needs, feelings and behaviour. A safe counselling space allows the adolescent to explore these emotional issues, to find new ways of dealing with their problems, to learn healthy social integration and to support them to achieve their academic potential. Sometimes it is not possible to make all the changes a young person desires but it is vitally important that they are listened too and recognised as individuals with valid thoughts, feelings and actions. Counselling provides an opportunity for young people to learn how to look after their emotional and mental health. This is the philosophy that underlies my passion to work with adolescents.
I am experienced in holding the confidential space with clients. It is my experience that if a young person feels safe and listened to then they can engage fully in the counselling process and make steps toward a healthy adult life.
My style of work allows me to use a range of approaches to hear each client’s individual story, sometimes using art materials to act as a bridge to exploring and understanding their feelings alongside empathic listening and reflecting; hearing about the dynamics of their world, family and peers, helping them to explore and understand the complexities within these relationships.