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Working with young people, 12-17
As a parent, carer or guardian of a young person, finding the right support to help them with emotional issues can be a real concern.
Having supported children and families for nearly 20 years as a primary teacher, I know how to best help children achieve their goals, and have always recognised that their emotional wellbeing is paramount in this process. I start with getting to know them; their likes, worries, how they learn most effectively and their own reflections on what helps or hinders them in challenging situations. REBT is suitable for younger clients, but 12 is really the minimum age at which most are able to best access the principles behind it (dependent on their own emotional maturity and ability to verbalise their feelings).
As with my adult clients, psychoeducation – learning about how the brain functions, our developmental needs, and the role that we sometimes play when things aren’t going so well – is essential in helping children gain insight into their experiences. It’s particularly important for us to build a trusting relationship, to show that we are on their side and that this is not something being imposed upon them. Humour can also play an important role (but I promise not to claim to know every band they might mention…)
An integral part of my practice is teaching REBT concepts which empower children and young people to use what they have learnt so that they feel confident to manage complex feelings themselves. My role is to help your child talk through whatever’s worrying them, but to understand that they have some control over their thought processes, their emotions, and that they can continue to use the skills they learn throughout their life.
Throughout my career I have engaged with families from many different backgrounds and of varying structure, and, as an adoptive parent myself, I have a good understanding of childhood development issues that different families can face. I have supported adopters undertaking therapy to aid their adoption applications as well as providing support during the process. I hold a current DBS for working with children and young people.
REBT is most effective at helping young people with; anxiety, exam/school pressures, self-image, relationships – more complex needs might not be suitable for this form of work so onward referral might be necessary.
Parents and carers play an essential role in supporting the young people I work with, and will usually be on hand to join parts of our sessions where necessary
What do I do next?
If you feel your child (aged 12-17) might benefit from learning new tools to help them understand emotional challenges, then get in touch. I am happy to talk through the process and answer your questions.