Child/Young People Related Issues

Children or young people often experience difficulties dealing with their behaviour, feelings or emotions. This is often just part of growing up, but it can relate to problems in other areas of the child or young persons life. Counselling can provide those children and their families with help and support to understand what lies behind that behaviour, feelings and emotions and to help them find a way forward. Counselling may take place between the child and the counsellor, or it may involve the child’s family in part or all of the process, where there is a broader family issue to explore and address, or the child’s problems relate in part to their relationships with other family members.

The methods used by a counsellor working with children or young people will depend very much on the individual circumstances, but the purpose of counselling children and young people remains the same as adults. Broadly speaking, younger children will be encouraged to interact with the counsellor and express themselves through play, story reading or art. By discussing the feelings of characters in a story, or a child’s painting for example, the child will be better able to express his or her problems. These methods will give the counsellor a better understanding of the child’s problems than conversation alone, where the child’s stage of development may mean they are unable or reluctant to express themselves directly.

Young people or older children may interact and express themselves better through talking and discussion with the counsellor, or the counsellor may blend the two approaches.

Children and young people can benefit from counselling in a number of areas, including:

  • Learning and motivation problems
  • Family relationships and family breakdown
  • Bullying
  • Behavioural issues
  • Anxiety, phobias or low self-esteem
  • Eating disorders or self harm.
  • Depression
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Bereavement and grief