Post qualification I have undertaken specialist training in working with young people, from the age of 14. It can be a difficult time, as independence, identity, pressure to conform, and rebel, all intersect. The therapeutic space can be especially helpful as a safe place to explore questions of identity. However whilst I am approached by many parents of gender and sexuality diverse adolescents to provide support it is vital I make clear what I can not do;
- I cannot make someone straight when they are lgbq
- I cannot stop someone being trans
- Rapid onset gender dysphoria does not exist.
That last point may seem quite abrupt for a therapists website. I know how hard it can be for parents to realise that their child has been processing who they are without their input and support. However it is quite common for LGBTQ young people to hold back how they are feeling due to fear of judgement, shame and stigma. It is possible to work with all the family to help facilitate the acceptance and affirmation of a young person, but not to change the young persons identity..
I am also able to work with young people of all genders and sexualities around issues such as divorce, bereavement and exam stress. It is often the fact that issues of identity are not what a young person needs support with, but instead other aspects of their life are causing them distress.
Ideally I meet with the young person and family members before starting counselling, this allows me to have some idea of the family system. I have an enhanced DBS and full and comprehensive insurance. Some young people have found my Walking Therapy, which takes place outside of the usual therapy room especially helpful.
If you would like to find out more please get in touch, and I am always happy to chat, or signpost to relevant support organisations. You can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.