There are many different reasons why a young person can benefit from seeing a counsellor. The teenage years are not always plain sailing and for some there may be periods during this time that are confusing and troublesome.
The adolescent stage of life is a transitional time of growing and changing physically, emotionally and psychologically. The needs of young people are varied and so its helpful if the support they receive is too.
How this time is managed and supported is very important. No matter how concerned or caring parents friends and family may be, having someone who is professional, independent and confidential to speak with can make a real difference.
Many of the people in a young persons life have opinions or agendas for them. A Counsellor is someone who is completely separate from friends, family and school and can give a unique kind of support which can be hugely beneficial.
The reasons for having counselling are varied, events or changes may occur in a young persons life that may be causing them difficulties;
parental divorce, bereavement, exam pressure, body image, bullying, behaviour problems, anger control problems, relationship difficulties, friendships issues, attachment issues, self-harming, depression.
Whatever the problems may be, seeing a young persons counsellor can help build coping strategies, raise self esteem and help provide the tools needed to manage problems more successfully.
For counselling to be beneficial it is important that the young person themselves has shown a real desire or interest in having counselling.
Different types of therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): The approach of CBT is about thinking more positively about life, looking at how you can get stuck in patterns of behaviour and ways of changing these rather than dwelling on past events. There are typically six or 12 weekly sessions and the therapist sets goals with the young person, often with ‘homework’ to do in between.
Mindfulness: Mindfulness is often combined with CBT and helps a young person to focus on difficult thoughts and feeling, rather than avoiding them, so that the fear of them gradually lessens.
Psychotherapy: This is a more long-term therapy and involves talking about the effects of past events and can be more helpful with long-term problems such as depression, trauma and loss.
Person-Centred Approach: Person-centred is where ‘the counsellor’ facilitates the relationship so the young person is the expert in their therapeutic journey. It’s a non-directive approach which enables the young person to seek out their own resolutions. Counsellors use their active listening skills, reflective paraphrasing and guides the client through the issues that are presenting.