‚Äč What is Counselling for Children and Adolescents?  

Counselling is commonly known as a 'talking therapy' to help bring about change and enhance resilience and well-being. Counselling for children and young people may differ from adult counselling and will depend on the child's age, specific difficulties and development.

Sometimes children are unable to talk about what is troubling them, either because it is too upsetting, or simply because they do not yet posess the maturity to articulate their feelings. As a result, different methods such as play, art or story telling are used to help children express themselves and their emotions.

Older children may prefer talking therapy, or a mixture of both, and the counselling approach will depend on the particular individual. Although different methods may be used, the aim of counselling for both children and adults is ultimately the same; to help the individual cope better with their emotions and feelings.


How does Counselling benefit Children and Adolescents?

One-to-one counselling can help support children in a safe, containing environment, allowing life issues or painful and uncomfortable memories to be confronted. Counselling children involves helping the child to develop a positive attitude to life, to respect themselves, accept their feelings and express them responsibly. It helps children to develop self control and direction, learning creative and resourceful ways to confront problems, whilst making independent, positive choices.

Counselling children does not involve making decisions for the child, preaching at, or imposing beliefs on them; but, instead, helps them to find new ways and insights to understand problems constructively, allowing the negative impact to be reduced.

Counselling for children is an effective early intervention and has been shown to improve well-being, playing a vital role in the prevention of mental illness later in life. Research also suggests, in time, counselling can improve academic attainment, allowing children to better focus on school and studies.