Is your child anxious, angry, or sad? However hard the school and family try, nothing seems to help - or seems to make things worse? Children and teenagers can really benefit from counselling therapies, and studies show that these are hugely effective, both in the short and long term. For some, having someone independent with whom to talk through their difficulties helps all their relationships. Talking, play and art therapy help children understand distressing events or complicated emotions.
I believe we develop defence mechanisms as a way of protecting ourselves from dealing with painful or difficult aspects of ourselves and what's around us. These defence mechanisms can cause problems at home & school and with people closest to us. Understanding why we behave the way we do can help make changes that have a positive impact on us and our loved ones and peers.
Training, qualifications & experience
Twelve years ago I moved to Edinburgh and went back to university, to focus on working with children and young people. In my previous career, I often worked in areas of conflict, or crisis. I was deeply affected by the trauma suffered by young people in these situations and also passionately interested in how different cultures address young people's mental wellbeing.
Trauma, bereavement, divorce, anxiety, identity issues, and other childhood challenges are problems that young people face across cultures: they happen everywhere. As a parent myself, I could see just how vital the right help at the right moment can be for a child, and the benefits not just for them but for everyone around them.
The solutions vary, but studies show that talking, art and play therapies are hugely beneficial for young people. For many, it helps to have someone independent with whom to talk through their difficulties. Communicating in these ways help children understand distressing events or complicated emotions, that can enable them to talk more effectively and easily to those who love them.
Over the past five years, I have completed 800 hours of 1-1 child/adolescent counselling, in the private and public sectors. My approach is flexible - I use the techniques - play, art and talking - according to what suits the client. I've worked with young people with diagnosed conditions such as ASD, ADHD, anxiety, attachment disorders, behavioural disorders and autism. And I've worked with young people who don't have a diagnosed condition, but who were suffering from anxiety, depression, behavioural problems, trouble at school, fall outs with family, being excluded from school.
I truly love this work, and have been able to see the positive impact a therapeutic intervention can have on a young person time and time again.
College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSCA)
COSCA is the professional body for counselling and psychotherapy in Scotland, and seeks to advance all forms of counselling and psychotherapy and the use of counselling skills by promoting best practice and through the delivery of a range of sustainable services. COSCA Counsellor Accreditation is a pathway to entry onto the UKRC.
It is a requirement of all individual and organisational members of COSCA to abide by its Statement of Ethics and Code of Practice and be accountable to the Complaints Procedure. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.
British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP)
BACP is one of the UK’s leading professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy with around 60,000 members. The Association has several different categories of membership, including Student Member, Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP, Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Accred) and Senior Registered Accredited Member MBACP (Snr Acccred).
Registered and accredited members are listed on the BACP Register, which shows that they have demonstrated BACP’s recommended standards for training, proficiency and ethical practice. The BACP Register was the first register of psychological therapists to be accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).
Accredited and senior accredited membership are voluntary categories for members who choose to undertake a rigorous application and assessment process to demonstrate additional standards around practice, training and supervision.
Individual members will have completed an appropriate counselling or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but they won’t appear on the BACP Register until they've demonstrated that they meet the standards for registration. Student members are still in the process of completing their training.
All members are bound by the BACP Ethical Framework and a Professional Conduct Procedure.
Accredited register membership
Accredited Register Scheme
The Accredited Register Scheme was set up in 2013 by the Department of Health (DoH) as a way to recognise organisations that hold voluntary registers which meet certain standards. These standards are set by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).
This therapist has indicated that they belong to an Accredited Register.