Supporting My Child Through Counselling

By The Willow Team, February 2021

Attending the sessions

One of the best ways you can support your child is bringing them to their sessions every week, and being on time so they can benefit the most from counselling. Consistency is key.

Missing a counselling session should never be part of any child’s punishment.

Talking about things that trouble us can be a scary, daunting and upsetting experience.

It can feel a while before things start to feel differently or better, and during this time, your child may display some emotions after they’ve had a counselling session. The best thing you can do to support them is to ask how they would like you to support them. They may need a hug or be distracted with a film or activity, or they may want to be left alone.

Let them have some time if they need it and let them know that you’re there for them. If it’s too difficult for them to ask for support from you, maybe have a discussion on a day that they haven’t had counselling to plan how they can ask for it, and this could be a signal or a code word.

Bad days can follow the good days

When they are receiving counselling support, it can be hard to see your child still experience bad days, and it can sometimes be hard to understand why your child is having a down day, if they have had a series of good days. It’s important to remember that counselling is a process, and your child might experience bad days following the good.

Overcoming struggles is rarely achieved within a few sessions, remember it’s usually less than an hours support per week. Try to be patient with them, see what they need from you, and offer them support.

Not knowing what goes on in the counselling room can be difficult

When your child finishes their counselling session, you might ask them what they did in their session or what they spoke about, and this might feel like a natural response to your child attending something out of the house. Or, maybe, it could be out of curiosity and wanting to know as their parent, but this is not always helpful to a young person, and can make them feel pressured to talk about it.

It can be really difficult not knowing what goes on in the counselling room, but if your child wants to talk about what went on in the session, trust that they will do.

Issues covered in counselling

It’s really important that the young person talks about what’s important to them, and this may not be the same as what you feel they should be talking about. Likewise, unless there has been a serious issue or concern at home please don’t be tempted to contact us to report something about the child that isn’t relevant, i.e. they won’t tidy their bedroom. As tempting as it might be to want to tell the office or your child’s counsellor something about your child, this information will not be spoken about in the counselling session and won’t be passed onto their counsellor.

The Willow Team

About the Authors

The Willow Team

Hi I’m Karen!

I’m Willow Project’s Manager. I absolutely love my job and so passionate about mental health, especially for children and young people. I’m also a counsellor and a supervisor.

In my spare time I play saxophone, have a daily yoga practice, and love spending time with my family.

Hi I’m Liz!

Started at Willow Project as a client, and saw a counsellor as a teenager. I then started volunteering here, and now I’m an employee, and just qualified as a counsellor!

I have a beautiful daughter, I love walking my dog, and I love spending time with friends and family.

Hi I’m Sadie!

I’m Willow Project’s Mental Health Facilitator; providing you with all things mental health and I also run Willow’s weekly support groups, with my wonderful volunteers.

I have a degree & masters in clinical psychology, I love fashion, shopping, doing my own acrylic/gel nails, and I love music!

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