Counselling and Play Based Therapy for Children and Young People. PGDip., MBACP
PLEASE NOTE: I AM SO SORRY BUT REGRETFULLY, I AM CURRENTLY UNABLE TO TAKE ON NEW 1:1 CLIENTS FOR COUNSELLING AND MY WAITING LIST IS FULL. PLEASE SEE THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE FOR ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND SUPPORT.
IF YOU ARE A FAMILY AFFECTED BY PARENTAL ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE PLEASE CONTACT ME BY PHONE OR EMAIL TO DISCUSS YOUR SITUATION.
I am a Registered, Integrative Child Counsellor offering Counselling and Play based Therapy for children and young people in Wimbledon, South West London. I work with individual children, parents and whole families.
I use a wide range of approaches including play, games and toys, as well as talking where that is preferred. I am friendly, flexible and approachable and work with each family to provide the support which feels most helpful to them.
As well as my work with children, I offer various types of support for parents, from individual consultations, to longer term counselling which can help increase understanding of a child's behaviour as well as the parent's own responses to challenges in the relationship.
I trained at Post Graduate level with the country's leading Children's Mental Health charity and am a registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. I am fully insured, with an enhanced DBS certificate.
I am based in Wimbledon, South West London, but also able to work in schools in Raynes Park, Putney and Wandsworth.
Issues I work with include but are not limited to:
Behavioural and Emotional problems at home/school
Child Counselling and Play Based Therapy
Children and Young People can sometimes struggle with big feelings which are difficult to explain or understand. These feelings can become overwhelming and lead to a variety of problematic behaviours. Whether a child is coping with explosive, upsetting or turbulent feelings, or struggling with debilitating shyness, their ability to concentrate in school, make friends and achieve in all areas of their lives can be affected. The use of play in counselling can help children begin to understand their feelings and put words to their emotions so that they can communicate better with their family and peers. Having a better awareness of their physical and emotional responses to situations means that they are then more likely to be able to control their behaviour.
There is more information explaining Counselling and Play Based Therapy in the relevant section of this website. There is a message for your child here if you would like them to understand a bit more about counselling and what I do
How I work with children
I have a wide range of toys, games and art materials for children to use - some benefit from the freedom of exploring their feelings through play, and others prefer to talk. We can work effectively in whatever way suits your child, there is no "right" way to work. My training allows me to be flexible and intuitive, drawing on knowledge of Child Development, Attachment Theory, Psychodynamic, Systemic and Person Centred approaches.
How I work with Parents
I offer a variety of options for parents ranging from a single consultation to more in-depth, ongoing work. Even when working 1:1 with a child, helping the parents to gain a better understanding of their son or daughter's emotional responses can really help improve relationships and communication and increase the likelihood of positive change.
Resilience and Mental Health
Even when problems feel completely overwhelming, everyone has their own strengths and resiliences, and part of my role as a counsellor is to support children and parents to utilise their own resources, rediscover and build on what works well in their family. Parents are the experts in their own children and I work to enhance their confidence in their abilities to know what is right for their child.
I have worked as a school counsellor in both primary and secondary schools, working individually with children and also running groups for children with emotional and behavioural issues. I have also facilitated support groups for parents and am used to working with schools and families to ensure that the child gets the best support possible.
Families affected by Bereavement
I have worked as a Bereavement Counsellor with children, young people and their families after the loss of a loved one, including complex and traumatic bereavements such as suicide, sudden death and long term illness.
Families affected by Parental Drug and Alcohol problems
I also support children and families affected by parental problems with alcohol or drugs. (The parent does not have to have a diagnosis of an addiction for the family to benefit from this approach.) Despite the many hundreds of thousands of families in the UK struggling with this problem, because of the associated stigma, there is very little support available. Many studies have shown that helping children to understand what is happening, and manage their emotional responses can reduce the potentially huge negative impact which results from this problem. Unsupported, these issues can manifest as anxiety, low self esteem, behavioural problems, academic under achievement, and other long term mental health problems. Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss any of this in complete confidence.
On My Mind is the world renowned Anna Freud Centre's new website supporting the Mental Health of young people and their families
Stem4 is the website for the Wimbledon based Mental Health charity Stem4, with a wealth of resources for young people and their families
Young Minds is a website supporting children, young people and parents. Parent support helpline
The Mix gives honest information and support for young people
Beat supports young people with eating disorders and their parents
Gingerbread for support for children whose parents are divorcing
NACOA for support for children of alcoholics. Website and telephone helpline
DRUGFAM for support for adult family members affected by another drug or alcohol addiction. Website and telephone helpline 365 days a year
NSPCC for support and information on what to do if you are worried about a child. Also link to Childline helpline
FINDING A THERAPIST/COUNSELLOR
The following organisations have registers of therapists and insist on therapists/counsellors attending accredited courses which require them to have their own counselling. This is not a condition in all counselling trainings but in my view it is essential for safe practice. Feel free to ask about the training and development of any therapist you contact, it's very important. Click on the links below for more information
BACP British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
UKCP UK Council for Psychotherapy
BAPT British Association of Play Therapists
BAAT British Association of Art Therapists
IFT Institute of Family Therapy
My practice is in Wimbledon, within easy reach of Merton, Raynes Park, Putney and Wandsworth, South West London