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Information for parents and carers

I appreciate that finding appropriate psychological support for a young person can feel like a bit of a maze. I have worked extensively with young people aged 11-25 since 2002 in a wide range of settings.

If you are considering contacting me about setting up an appointment for a young person, it is important to note that I will always meet with them prior to beginning any work. This is to ensure they understand what counselling is and to offer them the opportunity to make an informed decision for themselves about whether they wish to engage.


Counselling simply does not work unless the young person commits voluntarily and the counselling goals reflect his / her wishes. I do understand this can be frustrating for parents who are often extremely concerned for their young person's wellbeing, however timing and consent are crucial.

Young people under the age of 16 who contact me of their own accord need to involve a parent or appropriate adult before our first meeting. This is because there is a point in adolescence when a young person becomes “competent” to make an informed decision about accessing services such as counselling and healthcare, but this needs to be assessed carefully on an individual basis.

Counselling sessions with young people are confidential with specific exceptions relating to safety and managing risk. These exceptions and procedures for sharing of information are discussed with the young person and relevant adults at the beginning. Review arrangements are also discussed and, if helpful and agreed with the young person, these meetings may include parents / carers.


Some further resources which you may find useful are: Parents Mental Health Support | Advice for Your Child | YoungMinds


Parenting NI

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