Help Counselling

For 9 - 25 year olds
Bristol, Yate, Chippenham, Bradford on Avon
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is counselling?
Counselling is a way of helping people with different kinds of personal problems. it is based on the building of a trusting
relationship between the counsellor and their client and it can enable people to talk about their experiences and make
sense of them. Counselling can also allow people to express difficult feelings and to learn how to manage them in a
helpful way. Counsellors are trained to listen thoughtfully and carefully to people's problems without judging or criticising them. They do not give advice, but support their clients to make positive decisions for themselves. Counsellors will have received counselling themselves as part of their training and commitment to personal development.

What's the difference between Counselling and Psychotherapy?
There's a lot of overlap, so we refer to both as 'therapy'. Both can be enriching and help you to deal with your problems in
a more effective way. Counselling often focusses on a specific problem, whereas in general, psychotherapy may take longer and involve greater exploration of someone's past experiences in order to make sense of their present and to deal with more deep-seated issues.

Many people who seek psychotherapy are not in a crisis, but are interested in finding out about themselves, improving
relationships and living a more rewarding life.
Will you tell anyone what I talk about?
Many young people are concerned about who might be told what happens in their sessions. We regard the privacy of a
client as essential to the success of the work that we do. This means that we would not normally discuss what you say with anyone else - parents, teachers, probation workers, social workers - unless you want us to.

There are some legal and ethical limitations to confidentiality and these are explained on the intake forms and can be
discussed at your first session, so that you understand and are comfortable with the safeguards that we offer before you
disclose any private personal information.
What if my child says private things about my family?
It is important that your child feels free to talk about experiences in the family that may be troubling or confusing. It matters
that you give approval to your child to talk to the counsellor or psychotherapist. It is understandable that you might feel
worried about what your child may wish to talk about in their sessions. However, you should bear in mind that the strict code of ethics that counsellors and psychotherapists follow includes clauses about confidentiality. The therapist is not there to judge you or anyone else in your family, their sole purpose is to help your child to manage their problems and to try to resolve them in a positive way. We recognise the courage it may take to trust your child to us and acknowledge that in placing that trust in us you are making a positive choice for the well-being of your child.
Can I ask my child about the counselling sessions?
The counselling relationship is very private and personal, and each child will respond differently to it. Some children may
wish to talk to their parents about the sessions, while others, especially teenagers, may wish to keep the content of their
sessions to themselves. It is important to be guided by your child and to respect these individual differences. There may be times when your child feels more upset following a session, and this may be because they have been talking about painful feelings. Showing sensitivity to their distress, while also respecting their right to privacy, is a difficult balance for parents and carers to achieve.
Can I ask my child's counsellor how the sessions are going?
It is natural that you will want to know how your child is getting on in their counselling. A therapist may arrange to meet with you occaisionally to review progress if your child has asked for this. It is important to remember that the counsellor will have agreed to a confidential relationship with your child and has a professional duty to safeguard confidentiality, their privacy. The only very rare exception to this would be if the counsellor thought that your child was at serious risk of harming themselves and others.
Help! Counselling for 9 to 25 year olds (South West) Ltd is a charitable company, limited by guarantee. Registered No. 4294790 Reg. Charity No. 1103888