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Creative Counselling Sussex
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As parents, we want our children to be happy, confident and keen to explore the world around them.
When this is not happening it can be distressing to see and difficult to know how best to support your child and manage behaviours that are affecting siblings and the rest of the family unit.
Children may be triggered by bereavement, divorce or separation, other changes in the family, stress at school either in friendship groups or with academic pressures. It may feel as if there is no particular reason for their distress or change in behavior.
I offer children (7+) a safe, warm, relaxing space to explore what is troubling them. This is where creative counselling can offer so much as young children can rarely have a logical answer to their issues, or the ability to sit and analyse as adults may like to do.
Children natural language is play, so feelings are expressed and issues explored through story telling, art, puppets, sand tray, clay, drawing and drama. This helps to unlock pent-up emotions which are affecting their behavior. For example, a child may find it easier to draw a volcano and describes how it erupts, than talk about how they are feeling angry about being bullied at school.
They may find it easier to tell and act out a story about a lost dog who needs to find a safe family to live in rather than share how unsettled they feel about their parent’s separation and having to move between two houses. Within these creative mediums, I work therapeutically and carefully with the children to help them explore and honour their feelings, so they are fully heard.
When children feel supported in their difficult feelings, it can help them relax and bring about the change in behavior that parent’s are looking for. Other children like to find solutions, these also come about through play and at their own pace, often in very creative and imaginative ways which the children can own and really integrate into their way of being and thinking
I have worked creatively, supporting children to build their confidence and sense of well-being through:
new siblings or step parents
Parents are invited to a consultation before the work begins. This is important as it allows time for parents to explore the issues affecting the young person and how the family situation may be able to change to offer extra support. It is a time for parents to express concerns and hopes for the future and of course to meet me and ask questions about the counselling process and what to expect.
We can then arrange a time for the session and discuss how best to explain counselling to your child. I recommend an initial 6 week contract to offer time for issues to be explored, feelings expressed and possible solutions identified.
Counselling is confidential to children so they feel safe enough to express themselves. On the rare occasion, there may be a risk of harm, then I work with the child and my supervisor to think about the next steps and who needs to be informed to keep them safe.
"Creative counselling can offer so much as young children can rarely have a logical answer to their issues, or the ability to sit and analyse as adults may like to do."