There are a wide range of issues that affect children. Sometimes children find it difficult to express their worries, which means that problems can be left unresolved and undetected. At home, they may try to draw attention through silly behaviour, immature actions, making inappropriate noises and gestures. At school, the child may disrupt the classroom by interrupting the teacher, talking excessively, or blurting out remarks. Poor social skills may manifest by lack of awareness of important social cues and/or failure to follow expected social norms.
It is therefore often helpful to seek out professional help if it is evident that your child is unhappy, is constantly getting in trouble at home or at school. Counselling for children depends strongly on the construction of a trusting relationship between the therapist and the child. As a therapist, I will allow your child to tell their own story without fear of judgment or interrogation, in a safe reassuring environment.
Counselling for children and young people may differ from counselling for adults, and will depend on the child’s age, specific difficulties and their development. Different methods may be used to encourage young children to be able to express their difficulties, such as play and art. For example, reading stories and talking about feelings of a character in that story may help the child to discuss their own feelings, or drawing/painting/drama may help children to express themselves. These methods all give the counsellor a great insight into the unconscious mind of the child.
I combine the above techniques with Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for addressing issues that cause a child to feel distressed. CBT is an evidence-based treatment model. Research studies support the use CBT being very effective in interventions targeting communication, problem-solving skills, anger control, impulsive control, anxiety, depression, and phobia (Kendall, 2000).