Children and Teenagers

Jackie Simmons
Relationship Counsellor

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My work with young people

I have been working with young people from the ages of 10 to 19 years for over 15 years. In this time I have supported them through such issues as parents separating and divorcing and adjusting to new family situations. I have extensive experience in counselling young people who have become anxious at the prospect of up and coming exams.

As a normal part of the transitions we go through in becoming adults we learn to deal with our emotions in appropriate ways that do not cause harm to ourselves or others. This process may not always be easy for young people to become proficient in. I can assist young people in obtaining more control over their anger and frustration

From time to time children just like adults may experience a difficulty in dealing with or understand the emotions you are going through. You may feel quite isolated believing that no one can understand or help you with what you are going through. It might be difficult for you to talk to family and friends because you don’t want to worry them or you might feel that they would not really understand what is going on for you or that they will judge you. Talking things through with a counsellor, who is not judgemental or involved with the situation, can be beneficial in helping you to reduce your fears and anxieties. In counselling we will work together to find solutions to help you deal with your issues that lead you to seek counselling.

The effects of separation and divorce on children and young people

Although research shows that it is normally in the child’s best interest to have a continual relationship with both parents, sometimes through unforeseen circumstances contact might not be as frequent as parent and child would like. In my counselling sessions with children and young people they have the opportunity to speak about their feelings and come to terms with the major changes that have occurred in their lives.
Young people can be easily affected by what is happening in their home life. This could mean that their behaviour changes and impacts on family life. Often young people express how their stress has triggered an unusual frequency in the arguments that have now started to take place in the home with parents and siblings. Most express a desire to develop a better relationship with those that they live with. Counselling can give them the space to develop appropriate ways of dealing with conflict and find better ways of problem solving.

Exam stress
Many teenagers have come to counselling with anxiety and stress about up and coming exams. I have explored with them how their stresses and anxieties may be linked to other behaviour that is now causing them problems.
Many students in the upper schools where I work have found that counselling has helped them cope with the pressures of exams. Together we develop strategies that work for them to help them feel more able to deal with their anxious feelings.
What to expect from counselling
Counselling should always be something that you have chosen to do. It may have been suggested by someone that it could be helpful but it will always be your choice if you wish to enter counselling or not.
Counselling is a place where you can feel safe and free to speak about what is troubling you, without being judged and to know that confidentiality is respected.
Sometimes it may be necessary to talk about painful feelings or difficult decisions that you need to make. As a counsellor I will support you through that experience.
Counselling can give you an opportunity to explore together with your counsellor appropriate ways of finding solutions that meet your needs.
How long does it take?
Counselling is a very personal process. There is no set time on how many sessions it will take as each person is treated as an individual. Some people come with multiple problems that they would like to work upon and this may take a few sessions before a measurable improvement is felt but sometimes clients have felt that one session has brought about some positive changes in themselves they have been looking for.

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