We feel it only fair to tell you that there are free face to face counselling services for children and young people within the South West Wales area and such counselling may be available in your childs school or college.
Sometimes however, parents or young people feel that they would rather see somebody privately, and if that is the case we would be happy to see you/them. Jo Ashburner is a qualified child and adolescent counsellor in addition to being a qualified CBT psychotherapist, and she is very experienced working with children aged 7-18.
Most parents that bring a child to see Jo seem to have similar initial apprehension about their child talking to someone outside of their family, whilst at the same time feeling at their wits end and not knowing what to do or how to help their child and so are desperately seeking someone to help, someone for their child to open up to, and someone who knows how to help.
Jo aims to nurture a safe and trusting space for your child to feel comfortable enough to talk about whatever it is that is causing them distress. Jo is not interested in judging anyone or assigning blame and will treat you with the respect that being brave enough to bring your child to a counsellor deserves.
The way it usually works, is that in the first session, a parent will accompany the child or young person - lets face it, it can be daunting meeting someone new for the first time, and so it is natural to feel nervous and most youngsters will want mum or dad to come too. Parents can be very helpful in letting us know their perspective of the problem. During this first meeting, Jo will talk to you and your child about confidentiality and it's limitations, which will depend on your childs age and understanding, and about your participation in the sessions. Some children like mum or dad to come for the first and last 10 minutes. Others don't want mum or dad to come in at all, and some may want mum or dad to stay the whole time (which is family therapy rather than individual therapy). Some parents choose to wait in the waiting area, and others prefer to pop to the Costa coffee downstairs and enjoy a quiet hour. For some youngsters, half an hour sessions are preferable to an hour and that is fine too. What we hope is that the young person can guide us in these choices and that parents will be supportive of those choices.
Jo works using games, stories, creative materials and fun things in addition to talking and listening. If you have any questions, please call and ask - she acknowledges how important a decision this is.
NOT GETTING ON WITH MUM / DAD / SIBLINGS
NOT COPING WITH SCHOOL