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“In 2018 10% of UK children were considered to have a mental health problem and the UK had one of the highest rates of self-harm in Europe at 400 per 100,000 (Mental Health Foundation 2014) and one-in-five 14-year-old girls have self-harmed (Children’s Society 2018).

In 2021 1 in 6 children, aged 5-16, were identified as having a possible mental health problem. Nearly half of 17-19 year olds with a diagnosable mental health disorder in England have self-harmed or attempted suicide at some point (NHS Digital 2021 Mental Health of Children and Young People in England 2021) and 2023 analysis of the latest NHS Digital data by the charity YoungMinds  showed that the number of children and young people undergoing treatment or waiting to start treatment with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) reached 466,250 in May, the highest number on record”

“Children are less likely to suffer from serious mental health difficulties in later life if they receive support at an early age” (BACP 2015)

Adolescents take their difficulties to University with them and the number of students declaring mental health problems when they arrive has increased over the last four years by 73%’ (BACP 2019). Counselling with me during years 12 and/or 13 can help teenagers to consider their current difficulties and the support and strategies they will need to enjoy and thrive at Uni.

I can work with children from the age of five and I believe counselling can be beneficial for children and young people experiencing any of the following, especially when they feel they can’t express their feelings or thoughts to their parent/carer for fear of upsetting or angering the parent/carer but are showing their distress through their behaviour:

  • Family discord including Loss of family stability, Separation or Divorce of Parents or Stepfamilies
  • Bereavement/terminal illness
  • Bullying
  • Self-Harm
  • Sexual abuse
  • Abuse and neglect
  • Domestic violence
  • Change of schools
  • School stresses
  • Illness
  • The effects of poverty and deprivation

It can help young people express and explore many feelings including

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Panic
  • Stress
  • Low Self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Disappointment

Counselling, whilst an expense to the family purse, can be seen as cost effective in the long term when it helps a young person evaluate and challenge their feelings and thoughts and can lead to a more contented child able to learn and achieve and enjoy life’s pleasures as well as withstand life’s trials.

The early recognition of any of the symptoms above and the provision of counselling can be seen to assist a young persons’ future well-being and emotional and psychological health (NSPCC 1995).

As with all counselling, a young person’s counselling, however young they are, is confidential. However if I believe a child is being harmed or is at risk of harm I will notify the child’s parents, GP or Social services, as appropriate.

Before commencing counselling with a young person I expect to meet with the child’s parent/s or carer/s to discuss the counselling contract and boundaries and to think about whether counselling is an appropriate intervention for your child if your child is 12 or under.  This meeting lasts up to 1.5 hours and is charged at £55 per hour.

Children 13 years and above may attend an Assessment session with me alone, if they wish to, after I have had an initial telephone conversation with a parent/carer.  The Assessment session lasts up to 1.5hrs and costs £55.

A note on Poor behaviour

Young people’s counselling should not be seen as a cure for behavioural problems and cannot promise to help a young person’s behaviour, but is a space for exploration and challenging of one’s thoughts, feelings and difficulties. As such it may improve behaviour and relating with family members for the child but this should never be seen as the mark by which a counselling relationship with your child would be viewed as helpful.

Some young people’s behaviour stems from inconsistent or poor parenting, which confuses and distresses children. If you suspect this to be the case within your family then I would suggest counselling for the parent might be more appropriate and helpful.

I can work with you to look at your childhood and experiences of being parented, both in the past and your current relationship with your parents, or any other issues which may be having a negative effect on your abilities to offer positive parenting now and is making parenting your own young person problematic.


MindEd for Families offers information for families with concerns about their children’s mental health, free of charge. The resources have been developed by mental health experts in partnership with parents.

Find out more at



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