I appreciate that it is often difficult to bring your child to counselling. Sometimes parents feel they must have failed their child in some way, or worry that they will be blamed or judged by a professional.

You can be assured that I do not judge parents, in fact I believe it is a sign of a committed parent to bring your child to counselling. I usually see the parent(s) first, for one or more sessions, to get a history of the child's difficulties and also to enable us to form a working relationship and for you to ask any questions. This is also an opportunity to explore parenting support, strategies, and coaching.

Sometimes we agree together that you are present for your child's counselling sessions. This depends on the age and confidence of the child. This can be a very useful way of working, and in sessions we can look together at ways for you to support your child at home and facilitate strengthening your communication with each other. I can also work with you alone or with your partner to hep you understand and manage your child more effectively. I try to be as flexible as possible to meet the needs of the family. At times I may refer on to another professional, such as Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) or family therapy.

If your child begins individual counselling with me, especially if they are teenagers, it is vital that they trust their sessions are confidential. This means even from you - unless they are in serious risk of harm, when I would let you know. This can be challenging to manage as a concerned and caring parent who naturally wants to be kept informed as fully as possible. I will normally review how counselling is going every six weeks with the parent/carer present for part of the session, unless there is a very strong view from the child or young person that they do not want this to happen, which all parties agree on. Within this confidentiality, I will also aim to support you to support your child while they are having counselling and keep you informed on general themes we are covering.

It is important that you understand I cannot at as your counsellor. It can be very stressful parenting a troubled child. When a child is having counselling, their behaviour may at times be unsettled following sessions as difficult themes are explored and old issues stirred up. Please do think about your own support and whether you might also benefit from counselling for your own self care.