Child and Adolescent Counselling

SHAUN GOODWIN

Child Psychotherapy can help with a wide range of problems including:

• Bereavement
• Divorce
• Attachment Difficulties
• Problems with school
• ADHD
• Aspergers (high functioning autism)
• Lack of Confidence
• Eating Problems
• Coping with Change
• Coping with Illness/Disability
• Trauma
• Experiences of Abuse
• Anger
• Substance misuse
• Self harming
• Feeling Low
• Confused about sexuality or gender

When working with young children, play therapy is used.

With young children a psychotherapist does not usually discuss problems. Problems are explored in the context of play. This is a powerful form of communication, which tells the trained eye a lot about how a child is experiencing the world and the difficulties the child is experiencing. Play is also a form of healing and children are able to ‘move on’ when they ‘play out’ their fears or anger . All therapy sessions take place in a ‘ playroom ‘ . A child will often describe therapy as ‘fun’, but far more than play is taking place.

Psychotherapy with adolescents.

Individual therapy with adolescents is similar to the therapy that adults engage in. It is a place where young people can focus on themselves, on their experiences and relationships, on their problems with family and peers and on their hopes dreams and fears. All of this in a non threatening and non judgemental confidential environment. It is often the case that adolescents do not feel able to discuss their difficulties with anyone, for fear of getting into trouble, or being ridiculed, or upsetting others. This is where therapy can be really helpful.

Tools and Strategies

Very often young people are looking for specific help with issues such as anger management, low self esteem, anxiety, low feelings and others. I am able to offer Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and other useful approaches to help with this.

Assesments

You will be asked to attend an assessment interview of approximately 50 minutes, usually without the child you wish to have therapy. This allows me to find out what the problems are and to get to know about you and your family. You will have an opportunity to ask questions to see if therapy is right for your child and we will decide whether the service offered is appropriate for the child. After this meeting, I will meet with you and the child together and then spend some time alone with the child. With older children (age 10 plus) and adolescents, the initial meeting usually involves both of you, with each spending some time with me alone.

Self Referral

If you are an adolescent you may self refer and if it is deemed appropriate, attend the assessment interview without your parents. You may access therapy without your parents consent. If however, you are in serious danger, or refer to someone who is in serious danger, child safeguarding procedures will have to be followed, which could involve informing your parents, your GP or child protection services.

The Therapist

I am a qualified and UKCP registered child psychotherapist and have completed an MA in Child, Family and Adolescent integrative therapy and a diploma in Sandplay Studies. I have considerable experience of working with children, both privately, for the specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team in South Oxfordshire and for The Abingdon Bridge young persons’ support centre. I also provide counselling to pupils at two schools, lecture on child psychotherapy at Masters Degree level and provide clinical supervision.