© 2019 Adolescent Wellbeing

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Information for parents and carers 

As a parent or carer of a young person experiencing a difficult time, it can be comforting to know that help is available to them. Here are some frequently asked questions from other parents and carers. 

What does a counsellor do? 

Counsellors are trained to listen without judgement to help people manage their thoughts and feelings or whatever is concerning them. They may be able to see things from a different perspective and help to make sense of a very often, confused world. 

Is counselling confidential?

Yes counselling is confidential even for young people. Counselling is a time when it's OK to talk about concerns without fear of them being discussed elsewhere. This includes not discussing information with parents or carers unless the young person requests or gives consent for this. This can be hard for parents or carers to accept, but ensuring confidentiality is crucial for establishing trust so young people feel confident to speak openly and freely about whatever is concerning them. However, if a young person discloses information that puts them at risk of serious harm, it may be appropriate to contact parents or carers. It may also be necessary to contact other services to keep them safe. 

How long will counselling last?

Counselling usually lasts between 8 - 12 sessions, although it really depends on the nature of the work. This may need to be extended if there are complex issues. Sessions will be reviewed at regular intervals to see if progress is being made towards achieving the therapy goals.

If my child needs to see a counsellor, does this mean I am failing as a parent or carer?

Absolutely not. We all experience occasions when it's hard to speak to those closest to us about difficulties we are facing. Young people feel this way too and it's not always easy for them to speak to a parent or carer. They probably won't want to worry you and talking to someone who is unbiased, is often more helpful.