Marian Holmes, Child, Adolescent & Young Adult Counsellor/Psychotherapist
Hi. My name is Marian and I've worked with children and young people in various capacities for most of my life. I know that many young people struggle to achieve their potential if they are worried about things in school, college, at home or elsewhere. Often they keep anxieties to themselves, not wanting to worry mum or dad, make the problem worse, cause a problem for a friend etc.. But this can cause problems for them as buried fears and worries don't just go away. Counselling can provide a safe, neutral and non-judgemental space for the young person to explore feelings or painful events and to try to make sense of them, thus empowering them to cope better.
For younger children, play is a natural part of life through which they learn essential skills of relating, and creating and solving problems. Inner conflicts can be explored at a safe distance and at the child's own pace, through toys, dolls and other play materials available in the room; I provide support not only with a reliable, non-judgemental presence, but through reflection and interpretation of what I see and feel. In this way, the Unconscious is brought gently into Consciousness where it can be thought about and assimilated into everyday life.
For others, talking may be preferable or more appropriate, but sometimes drawing or writing provides a useful medium for communication too. Once again, the aim is to be able to bring difficult feelings and experiences into Consciousness and think about them.
Some young people and/or their parents or carers may not wish to have school-based counselling or sessions during school time, for many reasons. Missing academic lessons each week may actually create more stress for the student, or they may fear being the object of teasing or bullying if there is a stigma attached to seeing a counsellor. I can offer after-school, early evening or Saturday sessions if this is preferable so please do contact me to discuss this.
I offer a free telephone consultation during which we can discuss the presenting issues. If you decide to take the process further, a face-to-face assessment will take place over three 50 minute sessions with combinations of parent(s)/carer and young person. I will, at times, observe interactions between those present and at other times, interact with you, gaining some insight into interpersonal relationships as well as learning about what you perceive to be the difficulties you are facing. Building a relationship between counsellor/therapist and patient is essential for the therapeutic work to have an effect, so this would be a good time to assess this. Additionally, it is important to discuss whether the type of therapy I offer is right for the young person or whether some other type of therapy might be better. It is important to have a full understanding of what is involved in therapy before beginning, as ending before the patient is ready can be a painful experience.
I hope this information is helpful to you in deciding whether or not you would like me to work with your child. If you have any questions, please do contact me for further information. I look forward to speaking with you.
Training, qualifications & experience
I have an MSc in Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy with Children and Adolescents from Birkbeck, University of London and have since completed further training to work with young adults aged 18-25. I have worked as a volunteer counsellor with Place2Be in Croydon Primary Schools and am excited about building my private practice. I have also had many years experience of personal psychotherapy, which, in my opinion, has been an essential part of my journey and training. Knowing ourselves as fully as we can enables us to support others in their journey; knowing what it is like to be "on the couch" builds understanding of, and empathy towards clients in our care.
Prior to training in this field, I worked for 19 years as a school teacher with Nursery - Year 8 children and a tutor to young people up to the age of 16, many of whom were "school refusers", "Looked After Children" or refugees. I still work part-time as a tutor and piano teacher.
A few years ago, I was tutoring a 16 year old child in a foster placement. At first she wouldn't stay in the room with me without her carer present, but gradually she began to trust me, until in session 7, she played me a song she had written. The following week she showed me a scrapbook of poems she had written about her childhood experiences. It was beautifully illustrated and I felt deeply moved that she now trusted me enough to share this with me. I look back on that young person and the relationship that developed as being my final impetus for training in Psychotherapy, and one that embodies my philosophy of the therapist/patient relationship.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Anger management
- Attachment disorder
- Carer support
- Child related issues
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
- Domestic violence
- Family issues
- Learning difficulties
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Personality disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Relationship problems
- Separation and divorce
- Suicidal thoughts
- Work-related stress
Initial Telephone Consultation (Max 30 minutes) Free
Face-to-face assessment (for young people up to 18) £183
Individual Counselling/Psychotherapy sessions £57 (invoiced at the end of each month)
In the case of genuine financial difficulty, fees can be negotiated within reasonable limits.
With children/adolescents, the assessment consists of 3 sessions (adapted as necessary to meet the needs at the time):
1) I meet with the parent(s)/carer(s) of the young person to take a full medical and developmental history, including presenting difficulties and expectations;
2) I meet with the parent(s)/carer(s) and the young person together to observe the interactions between you all and encourage conversation about the presenting difficulties.
3) I meet with the young person on their own, allowing them the opportunity to play, talk, ask questions and explore their own experience of being in the therapy room.
Verbal feedback is usually given to parents in an additional session, charged at £57.
For Young Adults (18-25), the assessment will consist of up to 3 meetings in which I will take a full medical history and we can explore together how psychotherapy could be of help to you. Each session will be charged at £60 and I would ask you to commit to the assessment process in order to benefit fully from it. Further sessions are charged at the individual rate of £57.
Parent-child work (with children under 5): all sessions are charged at £60.
I am a Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
I can offer after-school or Saturday sessions if this fits in better with the needs of the young person and their family.
Types of client