Teen Counselling is not a crisis service
What to do if you are: in crisis, in danger, in an emergency,worried about someone’s immediate health or safety.
Here’s some things you can do that might be helpful:
If it is not an emergency but you would like to speak to someone to talk things through, there are many excellant support lines that can help you come up with a plan:
Parents can make a referral for their young person directly to our service. Please call our HUB team on 01 5574705 where our clinical admin secretaries can take your referral.
You and Your Young Person
Let them know that you love them and are proud of them. Even when things are busy or stressful, and it feels like you are in survival mode. Praise them for what they do well, and encourage them to try new things
Be honest about your feelings - you don’t have to be perfect. We all get things wrong and shout or say unkind things from time to time. If this happens, say sorry afterwards and explain why it happened, They will learn from you that it’s OK to make mistakes
Be clear about what is and isn’t acceptable - and tell them why in a calm way. Young people need to know what is OK and what isn’t, and what will happen if they cross the line. The next step is to follow through on what you say as otherwise they may get confused or stop respecting the boundaries
Own your own role - you are the parent, so don’t be afraid to take tough decisions. If your young person sees you are scared of their reaction and always give in to them, it can make them feel very powerful, which can be frightening. Young people need to know that you are there to keep them safe
What issues do we work with?
With the wide range of issues that young people and their families/carers experience at adolescence including: behavioural problems at home, in school or in the community; emotional problems such as anxiety, depression, low mood and self-harm; family breakdown; bereavement; trauma; bullying; substance misuse; experience of being in care, gender and sexuality. We work in collaboration, combined care and partnership with all the services that may be involved in the life of a young person including schools, juvenile justice, Tusla, CAMHS, GP’s and other voluntary organisations
Our service is not appropriate for every young person
Our aim is to work with as many young people and families as possible. However, there are limitations to the service we can provide. The following are examples of when we suggest a more specialist service:
- Young people who are at a severe level of difficulty where a more specialist service may be appropriate at that time
- Young people for whom talk therapy is not appropriate due to a communication difficulty for example, developmental or intellectual disability
- Where it is the first disclosure of an allegation of sexual abuse/assault as a more specialist service is required
We are not crisis service. Young people experiencing active suicidal ideation or engaging in significant self-harm may require a more intensive intervention to keep them safe. We advise GP, CAMHS and Pieta House for these referrals
Helping your young person
Worrying or difficult behaviour might be short-lived, so give it some time. All young people go through stages of different feeling and show this in different ways. They might be adapting to a change in the family or in their school life, or with new peers, and will generally grow out of worrying behaviour on their own or with family support
Talk to your young person: Take it gently, you may have to have a number of short conversations with them over time. They might not want to talk at first. Let them know you are concerned about them, and are there if they need you. Sending a text can work better if this is the way your child likes to communicate
Ask your young person what they think would help - they often have good ideas about solving their own problems and this helps them feel empowered
If you can, talk to your young person’s other parent about your worries, when the young person is not around. They might have a different take on what’s going on. Try and sort out how to deal with the behaviour together so you are using the same approach, and can back each other up. Young people are quick to spot if parents disagree, and can try and use this to get their own way
Why do carers/parents have to be involved?
Our service is a family based service. We work with young people and parents/carers in parallel and together in sessions. In our experience parents/carers play a vital role in supporting their young person and working towards a solution together. Parents often don’t realise how important they are to their young person and how their active engagement in the work can make a real difference
Looking after yourself
If things are getting you down, it’s important to recognise this. Talk to someone you trust and see what they think. Many people go on struggling with very difficult situations because they feel they should be able to cope, and don’t deserve any help
Friends and family can often help and maybe able to talk openly with your young person - you can repay them when things get better for you!
It’s easy to say to take some time for you but in reality this may not feel possible. You might be too busy, exhausted and can’t find time for exercise or hobbies. But even a night in with a friend or your favourite dinner can help
If things are getting on top of you then it’s time to connect with your GP. Asking for some support from your doctor or a referral to a counselling service is a sign of strength. You can’t help your young person if you are not being supported yourself. Some people worry their parenting will be judged and their young people will be taken away if they admit they are struggling to cope. This should only happen if a child/young person is being abused or neglected and the role of professionals is to support you to look after your young person as well as you can.
What is Teen Counselling?
Teen Counselling is for any young person between 12 and 18 years old who's having issues that are causing them to feel worried/stressed. You might just not feel yourself, have issues with school, parents or family, or feel like you have a mental health concern such as anxiety or low mood. Teen Counselling deals with all the issues that come up for young people during these difficult years. We are a ‘family based model’ which means that we also offer parental support to the significant adults in your life so that they can support you through these difficult times. We can even have sessions with young people and their parents/carers together to help them if young people think it would be helpful
What's Different about How Teen Counselling Works?
Each young person is allocated a team of two counsellors, one to provide counselling for the young person, the other to work with the young person’s parents/carers. Young people don’t get to hear what their parents/carers talk about in their sessions, and parents/carers don’t get to hear about what the young person is talking about in their session, unless there is a safety concern. Sometimes parents/carers and young people come together to review progress and to improve communication and understanding. This is something that only happens when both you and your parents/carers feel ready. It is very important to us that you feel safe and heard in this space, and we will let you know when we are considering this so that you can feel prepared. It is a very useful way of working
What can I Expect in Counselling
You can expect to be helped by a supportive and non-judgmental counsellor. You can expect that your voice will be listened to and respected. You will work together with your counsellor to address the issues that cause you stress or concern
How can I be referred to Teen Counselling?
You can be referred by your parents, a teacher, social worker, or any professional – what you say is confidential unless the counsellor is worried about your safety or the safety of another child or young person
How can Counselling Help Me?
Most of our client tells us that the first session was better than they expected and some say that things have improved a little from that one session. Our clients tell us that they feel better after they see their counsellor and are better able to deal with their problems. They use their sessions to work on the issues that they want to, at a pace that suits them. Most clients can see improvements in the difficulties that brought them to Teen Counselling. Some say that the feel happier in themselves, are getting on better with friends and family and are managing school in a better way