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Children & Adolescents

The techniques used in counselling children and adolescents are a little different from those used with adults. Your child may tell you that they played a game, drew a picture, played with toys, or played in a sandbox.

You may think this is a very odd way to get to the bottom of whatever the problem is, or you may think it doesn’t sound very helpful in developing healthier strategies in life.

However, if we were simply to invite your child to talk to us, they would probably feel hesitant and uncomfortable about telling a counsellor their concerns. Child and adolescent counselling combines verbal counselling with other strategies, such as the use of games, art media or work with symbols and sand.

These strategies are intended to help children and adolescents feel more at ease and provide them with alternative or additional means of communication.

If given the opportunity, children and adolescents are able to tell their story, sort out a problem or gain a sense of control over an issue. The role of the counsellor is to facilitate this process, and sometimes, we cannot explain precisely what has helped the child feel better. The counsellors can assist parents and caregivers on how to support their child through counselling, support their improvements and maintain the changes.

We believe the most helpful things you, as parents and caregivers can do are:

  • Provide opportunities for your child to talk about the work they are doing if they wish to.

  • Do not continue to question them if they seem unwilling to talk about it now.

  • Provide the usual limits on unacceptable or destructive behaviour.

  • Remember that you know your child better than anyone else, so please share your opinions and observations.

We respect the privacy of each child regarding their disclosure of information during counselling. We are able to tell you an outline of what the sessions involved are but unless your child wants to tell you, or the content is harmful to themselves or someone else, the content will remain confidential.

At Happy Brain we work holistically with the family unit. It may be a requirement for the parents or caregivers to participate in the information and strategy sessions while your child is participating in counselling.

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