Your Child and Confidentiality
CHAT counsellors treat information shared with them from the young person as confidential, following guidelines set out by BACP (British Association of Counselling Professionals). The sessions arranged between the young person and counsellor remain confidential, which will be explained fully at the initial assessment. We can act as a voice for the young person if requested by them with parents or others.
We take a young person’s safety extremely seriously, and will therefore always share any concerns if we’re worried that a young person is in danger, either to themselves or others, but would not do so without, whenever possible, informing the young person first, in accordance with the Children’s Act 1989.
How you can help your child?
- Notice changes in your child’s mood. Your instinct will probably tell you if your child is not feeling their best.
- Let them know that you care about them, want what’s best for them and are willing to help if you can.
- Be open and available for them to talk over problems, things that are bothering or stressing them or how they are feeling.
- Pick a time that is good for you both, where you have enough time to have a proper conversation without being interrupted.
- Ask what you can do to help. Stay calm and positive and try to be the ‘strong one’.
- Be positive about counselling as an option.
- Respect their confidentiality. Make it clear you will not say anything to anybody else if they don’t want you to. (An exception will be if you have a significant concern for their safety).
- Help with practical support; for example, if your child has to go for an appointment but feels uncomfortable about going on their own, go with them, even if you wait outside.
- Provide emotional support; this is often a case of listening and being empathetic, rather than trying to find answers or solutions.
- Suggest people your child might be safe to confide in (e.g. mum, dad, sibling, other relative, GP, helpline). Encourage them to think about:
- who they feel easy talking to about personal matters
- who is non-judgemental and a good listener
- someone they have known for a while and can trust, rather than a new friend
- someone who may have been in a similar situation and would have empathy (This is often why people choose forums because they feel comfortable talking to people who have experienced similar things to them).
- Encourage them to spent time with other people. Friends and family can be vital sources of support and can help young people cope with stressful situations and difficult times. When a young person is feeling down or having a hard time, it is important for them to spend time with others doing things they might enjoy.
- Have practical ideas on coping with difficulties leaflet available to share with your young person. You might like a copy of the ‘U can cope!’ leaflet (Royal College of Psychiatrists) nearby to read for practical strategies they could try.
- Remember to be hopeful!