This is for teenagers and young adults who may (or whose parents may) be considering coming to see me.
Everyone’s experience is unique and the journey that brought you to visit this page will be too. I think it’s very important that you have a space to share your journey and feel heard. It might be that either your parents, or other professionals (e.g. teachers) have very clear ideas about why they think you might benefit from seeing me. If it is the case that you do not connect to the ideas of others I would like you to feel reassured that whilst I will hold the goals and hopes of others in mind, my focus will be on working with you to identify your values and areas of change that you would like to work towards.
I would like you to know that I’ve always enjoyed working with teenagers and young adults throughout my career. I understand all teenagers experience a range of responses to the idea of coming to meet with a psychologist. Some people know from the start that they would find a confidential space to talk with an adult (who is not connected to their family, school, or hospital) helpful and are clear about what they would like to focus on and work towards. Equally, I have worked with teenagers who have understandably and quite rightly been very reluctant to come and see me. This can be for a variety of reasons. Young people I have worked with have helped me to understand that it can be frustrating to have to tell your story over and over again, and it can be off putting when adults around you have their own ideas about what you need to change. You might be worried that I can’t possibly understand what you are going through, or might believe that talking can’t help, or change things.
I will endeavour to make every effort to listen to you, to work through any concerns you might have about coming to see me, and to discuss confidentiality and ensure that we both hold the same understanding around the limits to confidentiality. I will work with you to identify areas of focus that you value, and to work together with you to help you to make sense of your experiences, in a way that generates some ideas for ways forwards towards valued areas for change.
I am happy to speak to you over the telephone in the first instance so that you can get a sense of me, how I work and how I might help.