Youth counselling is a non-judgemental, safe and confidential space to talk about how you are
feeling and thinking. At this stage in your life there will be many changes in your body physically
and biologically, and your interests and friendship groups may change as you grow and develop. All
of this internal change and external changes such as moving house, school, parents
separation/divorce could affect your self-identity and your mental health, which may go up and
down during this period.
You may be struggling with relationship problems, bereavement, loss and change, bullying, exam
stress, sexuality issues, body image and experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, low mood,
anger and extreme fears. Some of these behaviours and feelings are ‘usual’ as the body, mind and
social development adapts to the fluctuating hormones and any felt peer pressure to become
more balanced. In the Initial session, I would ask questions to get an idea of you and your life and
find out what matters to you. Youth counselling can be a safe place to explore a wide variety of
issues and by understanding and acceptance of ourselves only then can we can create positive
change. You may be self harming which could be cutting the body, drinking alcohol to excess,
smoking, being reckless and taking more risks. All of these behaviours may be showing signs of a
great deal of distress and can be misunderstood by significant others.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and considering suicide as an option then please reach out for
immediate support by using the links page. If you are planning and intending to take your own life
then please speak to someone you trust and ask them to phone for help/go to A n E/pick up the
phone and dial 999. You are not alone.
As a youth counsellor, I do not diagnose or analyse a client like many other children and youth
mental health organisations. If I am concerned about any of the issues explored then I would
discuss with the youth to hopefully give consent to talk to a parent/care giver and if for an ethical
reason, I may need to breach that confidentiality and offer guidance and signpost to the relevant
agencies. I have an understanding of the current UN, UK and Scottish Laws made to protect
children and youths from serious harm and aware of safeguarding and reporting, if needed. It is
legal for a 13 year old child to access counselling without a parent/caregivers knowledge. I would
assess the youth’s level of understanding, maturity and capability. If I find that the youth is not
competent to be able to give consent then I would need a parents/caregivers permission before
proceeding. Once a therapeutic agreement is completed the youth would need to give consent
before setting up any meetings with parents/caregivers/school to discuss the therapy unless there
was a good, justifiable reason to breach this confidentiality.