Like all of us, children sometimes struggle with issues or events that have a negative impact on their mental health. In addition, some children may not have the language or understanding to be able to communicate or make sense of how they’re feeling. Often difficult feelings ‘leak out’ as difficult or challenging behaviours. Or in many cases when a child has been hurt, they can become defensive and not want to share their feelings. At LEAD we recognise the value of children having time in a non-pressured, safe space to process and explore their feelings. Research shows that when the brain is calm, we can process and absorb information more easily. We use a variety of methods, such as sand, Lego, puppets, miniature animals, games and a range of art materials to suit the individual needs of each child. Using art and play allows children to explore their thoughts and feelings in a way that is most comfortable for them and gives them alternative means aside from speech to explore the issues they are dealing with. Our focus is always on ensuring children that come to Lead feel comfortable and safe, as we know that feeling comfortable enables us to open up and communicate more easily.
Young people are increasingly struggling with their mental health. They are having problems with the issues that we are all familiar with such as friendships, families, school, but they also have the added pressures of technology and social media. With the increase in self-harm and suicide ideation our young people are a growing concern. Many young people find themselves in a position where they are anxious, scared and worried and feel that they cannot discuss theses emotions with the people they know. Counselling at Lead will offer a safe place for the young person to process those intense feelings in a non-judgemental environment, exploring how they are truly feeling and taking time to ‘talk it out’ will enable the young person to see the situation clearly and rationally.
Sessions with children are confidential except in cases of risk to self, risk to others or serious risk taking behaviour. Parents will be expected to complete a referral and short questionnaire in connection with their child and are required to be present when the confidentiality contract is being explained.