Welcome to my website and the first steps to getting help!
You are not alone. On average 3 children in every classroom find it difficult to cope with their feelings, thoughts or behaviours. Think how many that is in your school, town, or county, let alone across the whole country.
Seeking help can give you hope but also feel scary about what might happen. I have written down some questions that other children and young people have asked me before.
I see many children and young people every week for a range of reasons, whether:
Coming to see me is always your choice and you can stop coming at any time, although it is most helpful if we can have a chat about that so that we can talk about what type of support might be more useful for you.
We might meet alone or with a parent, depending on what you feel most comfortable about. The appointments are usually an hour but can be shorter if that feels too long for you.
We will talk about stuff that you are good at and things that you enjoy. We will talk about things that might be troubling you and how you would like them to be different. Together we will try to come up with a formulation to summarise your difficulties, to explain why they may be happening and to make sense of them. The formulation summary also helps us to work out what needs to be done in order for you to feel better and recover - whether that is ways of solving problems, get help from others, or find ways of coping differently with things. I have training in lots of different ways of helping people depending on what the situations seems to be.
Once we have had a chance to work out what you want and what might be useful, we will make a treatment plan. This usually means meeting every week or every other week for about 8-10 sessions. Sometimes I see people for less than this or sometime more. You can stop seeing me whenever you like, but I would really appreciate it if you could tell me before you stop coming, especially if there is something about the sessions that you do not like.
Our sessions are private and confidential, which means that I will not talk to anyone about what you say, unless I am concerned that you or someone is in immediate danger. If I want to talk to someone else to ensure your safety, I will always try to talk to you first about who and what should be told. Given parents/carers are often people who can help and are responsible for looking after you, it is often useful to let them know things, but again you will be in control of when and how this happens as long as there is no immediate risk of harm to anyone.
I am not the only place you might be able to get help. It is always important to talk to someone if you are having thoughts or feelings that you do not know what to do with. If possible talk to your parents first. Maybe a trusted friend will have some ideas what you can do or where you can go for help. Otherwise you can talk to your teacher, Head of Pastoral Care, school counsellor, school nurse, SenCo or GP. They are all used to helping children and young people with their thoughts and feelings.
There are also free helplines for children and young people, such as Childline 0800 1111.
Please look on my "Useful website" page to find some other sources of support.
It is important to remember that thoughts and feelings can sometimes feel overwhelming and leave you believing that you are all alone. All feelings are temporary and will go, especially if you find the right people to talk to. You are never alone - just keep on looking and never feel embarrassed about what you are feeling or for asking for help.