I really enjoy working with both adult and adolescent clients and with the parents of my adolescent clients. The relationship is the most important factor in counselling/psychotherapy so the initial meeting is very important. This is particularly true when working with teenagers. I work from a humanistic/ integrative way, which simply means I see each individual as unique and special in their own way. I honestly believe that each client I see has all the answers within themselves, a client knows themselves better than anybody else.
We will work collaboratively together to find a way forward. I work relationally and try to really understand the client’s unique self-experience in the social or relational context and to respond with empathy and genuine presence and, of course, real compassion which will in turn facilitate the client allowing compassion in to their life space.
I want clients to feel very comfortable and supported in the therapeutic space. Through the relationship old wounds and patterns may emerge. I aim to facilitate a safe and nurturing non-judgmental space. Each person’s life and experience is different and must be treated with respect and integrity.
What do you first do when you learn to swim? You make mistakes, do you not? And what happens? You make other mistakes, and when you have made all the mistakes you possibly can without drowning – and some of them many times over – what do you find? That you can swim? Well – life is just the same as learning to swim! Do not be afraid of making mistakes, for there is no other way of learning how to live!
When it comes to working with adolescents, I work a little differently. I ask that both parents attend the first session when possible. I believe that it is important to support both parents, and the adolescent.
Adolescence can be both surprising and frightening for both parents and adolescents but with support and help the experience doesn’t have to be as frightening. That is the most important point that they need support to grow and develop. Adolescents are a resilient bunch and with the right help they can go on to live their lives to their full potential. But with a little help and support the young person can truly flourish. I also combine mindfulness and being in the Now a core piece of the working relationship.
- Member of Irish Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (IACP)