For Children and Adolescents
Coming to see a Psychologist or Psychotherapist is something that children and adolescents can have very different thoughts and feelings about. Young people don't all feel the same about it, and like everything in life, there are a range of views and opinions. This page is to tell you a bit more about seeing a therapist, to help you decide what you think and feel about it.
Lots of young people want to come. They know that they have been feeling unhappy or worried for some time. They don't understand what is going on for them, and they want some help. Some young people ask their Mum or Dad to find them someone to talk to. They want to get it off their chest, and find answers to their problems.
Other young people, whilst recognising that things are difficult, have more mixed feelings about coming. They don't see how talking will help. They are nervous that it will be awkward or that they won't know what to say.
Others feel stronger still, they don't want to talk about it. They hate talking about it. It makes them feel worse.
Maybe even some young people don't want to change: Their Mum or Dad thinks it is a problem that they don't want to go to school or aren't eating enough or that they have habits or routines, but they don't think its a problem.
As Psychologists and Psychotherapists we sometimes spend all day listening to and talking with young people. We don't think its odd at all! We like it! We can reassure you that it won't be awkward or difficult. Its perfectly OK if you don't know what to say, and we will ask you questions or suggest things we should talk about. Sometimes the questions we ask or the topics we talk about are upsetting and difficult, but we can take it slow, and go at the right pace for you. Lots of young people like it that we spend a lot of time trying to understand things from their perspective: Trying to see things as they do. That means mostly young people feel that we are "on their side" and "understand them". This is key to therapy going well. So, sometimes when children and adolescents who have mixed or negative feelings about coming to therapy, find that they actually quite like it.
We will try to set goals that both you, your parents and we can sign up to, and think about changing things that will make things better for you in the long term (but are sometimes really hard in the short term). Sometimes it is "just talking", but sometimes we will encourage you to try out new behaviours between sessions, or write things down so we can talk about them more effectively next time. We will talk to you about what we keep private in the session and what gets shared with your parents.