I recently read an article regarding parents and their attitude towards counselling.
Statistics quoted said that:
- Almost a third of parents would be embarrassed if their child asked to have counselling.
- 22% of parents would not encourage their child to have counselling even if they asked for it.
- 84% of parents whose children had received counselling said that their child improved.
- 73% of parents whose children had received counselling said that their child’s learning improved.
- 73% of parents whose children had received counselling said that their child now had more friends.
- 64% of parents whose children had received counselling said home life was better.
I have to admit to feeling surprised by the first two statistics. My referrals for young people seem to be increasing. Suicide rates remained relatively stable from 1992-2012 however now seem to be on the increase. The age group between 15-24 seems to represent around 590 suicides annually. Self-harm statistics cannot be said to be very reliable due to the fact that so few young people report it. It is thought though, that around 13% of young people between the age of 11 and 16 may try to hurt themselves on purpose at some time. I guess that a lot of people would feel shocked by the fact that young people commit suicide and by self-harm as a concept. It does though represent some of the things that parents and young people seek counselling for.
The latter statistics I was not surprised by, however they support quite clearly the fact that counselling works, and works exceptionally well. BACP http://www.bacp.co.uk are currently lobbying for more counselling to be available in schools and it’s really not surprising if you look at the above results.
Specific Advice for Parents and Young People Considering Counselling:
- The young person must be supportive of the move to seek counsellling. If it feels forced to them then a positive result is unlikely.
- Relationship is key here – it needs to be honest, trusting and supportive between the young person and the counsellor. Please consider here confidentiality and how it works in a counselling relationship.
- Select a member and if possible an accredited member of a professional organisation such as the BACP. This ensures the right skillset, qualification levels, insurance etc.
- Select a counsellor that has experience and/or qualifications in working with young people. It is a different skillset to working with adults versus working with teens and young children.
- Think about the best approach for you and/or your child. Will they work better on their own with their counsellor or will your support be necessary? Some parents and children require a first session where the parent is present and then afterwards sole therapy is possible. Speak to your prospective counsellor and select one that matches what you need.
Counselling will always be available privately and easily researched online however not everyone has that level of resource available to them. Please find below free resources that may help if you have issues in this area.
http://www.samaritans.org available 24 hours per day and 365 days per year.
NSPCC Helpline for adults concerned about a child 0808 800 5000
NSPCC Helpline for Children and young People 0800 1111
Your doctor may provide free counselling for your child.
https://www.kooth.com – online counselling for young people.
http://www.youngminds.org.uk/for_parents/services_children_young_people/counselling_children_young_people – some generalised advice for young people or parents requiring counselling or help and support.
The above is just a small selection of what is available. There are many specialist organisations that offer support with specific areas of counsellling e.g. bereavement, addiction etc. and these are too many to mention here.
I really hope that this article helps parents and young people who may be considering counselling or just simply looking for support. Please contact me if you wish to consider private counselling but bear in mind that I quite often sign post people to suitable resources for them if private counselling is not available to them financially or for any other reason. I am always happy to help.
Sources of Information
Place2be Survey of 864 Parents