In the last seven years I have worked extensively with children and teenagers in a variety of settings. I have seen how they are faced with an ever growing number of challenges. Sometimes they are just unable to cope with life situations or the dysfunctional thought patterns they experience. Emotions become intense and counselling offers them a space to explore them in a safe environment. I believe early intervention can often alleviate problems thus allowing for a more fulfilling life.
Young people often ignore feelings. They internalise them and this in turn leads to a change in their behaviour. Alternatively feelings are externalised expressed through destructive behaviour which is very visible to those around them. Whether you’re child or teenager is internalising or externalising negative thoughts, they will be feeling very alone and confused. They will have developed coping strategies or behaviours that are affecting their well-being.
To recognise their strengths and weaknesses. To identify what they would like to change, support them and show them ways of overcoming worries, pressures and negative behaviours. This will lead to increased self-worth and confidence. In turn this will improve communication and relationships with others in the future. Skills learnt can then be used later in life.
For some children expressing themselves purely through a ‘talking therapy’ is a difficult prospect. I will work with a child's strengths using a variety of creative tools, such as art, clay, sand trays and puppets. These tools are used to communicate issues and feelings and can provide an insight into any conflicts that may be present. I often see the success of integrating these therapeutic methods empowering the young person to move forward.
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