While youth counselling may involve similar therapeutic approaches to those used with adults, the ways in which the process is guided may differ according to an individual’s age, developmental stage, personal goals, and needs. I believe it is important to recognize the youth’s unique qualities and strengths, meeting them where they’re at, so the two of us may collaboratively determine strategies that will work best for their life. This concept is rooted in what’s called a person-centered approach to counselling.
Being a young person can be extremely hard. Being a parent or guardian to a young person can also be extremely hard. There are a lot of emotions, moving parts, and transitions between ages 12-24, and your child may not yet have built the capacity to articulate their needs in a way that makes sense to you. Communication can sometimes feel like hitting your head against the wall, and yet, it’s likely you and your child share similar objectives: to ensure their well-being, happiness, and success.
As your child’s counsellor, I also maintain a dedicated interest in their mental and physical wellness; which is why I opt to work with them throughout the counselling process; not against, in front, or behind. Together, your child and I will have opportunity to explore their experiences, perspectives, hopes, and challenges. I will support them in developing various skills and strategies to work toward their goals for counselling, while also helping them (and you) understand their role within your family system.
Counselling can be deeply impactful and you may notice positive outcomes such as:
- A better mood
- Less conflict
- Improved communication
- Increased ability to cope with stress
- More confidence
Other changes may be more subtle, as counselling for youth can often set the stage for deeper awareness later in life. Worries and fears related to exploring the self may have lifted, making it easier for your child to ask for support if they need it in the future. A foundation has been laid, and your child now has a greater capacity to navigate their developmental needs moving forward. Go team!