Katie’s parents finally split up after months of arguing, uncertainty and anger. She worries about money, about how her mum will cope, about telling her friends at school. She even worries that it was somehow all her fault. She is only 13.
But she doesn’t want to burden either of her parents, so she won’t say how she feels and appears not to care, says she is ‘fine’ and spends as little time at home as she can.
Her mum isn’t sure how to talk to her, and doesn’t know whether her behaviour is normal teenager stuff or something else. She has younger children to think about as well as dealing with her own emotions and worries, as she adjusts to a new way of life.
Relate can help. After providing relationship support to Kingston couples for over 20 years Relate, is opening its doors to those who want to make their family relationships better, with Relate Family Counselling and Relate Counselling for Young People. Family Counselling aims to help:
- Parents and children who are struggling to communicate
- Parents/ step-parents who disagree on how to bring up their children
- Adult siblings who don’t get along
- Blended families coping with their ‘new’ relationships
Young People’s counselling is for those aged 10-25 who may be; feeling torn between parents in conflict; having difficulty fitting into new family arrangements; finding it hard to make friends or build relationships. Relate counsellors will see young people individually and the sessions are confidential. They also work with groups of young people, often in a school environment, through workshops.
Joan Healey, a long-term Relate counsellor and Kingston-based professional, is enjoying the challenges that this extension to her work brings, saying:
“Our role is not to judge, but to listen, and we can help make a real difference. Counselling is completely confidential and usually takes place in our offices after school hours. “All families experience conflict, arguments and problems at some time or another, and usually these things blow over. But sometimes they don’t and they might even get worse. This is when a Relate counsellor can help the family to work things out in a safe and neutral setting, and find a positive way forward for everyone.”
If you are not sure whether counselling could help, Relate can advise you, and even arrange an initial consultation with a counsellor who could help you see the best way forward. Family Counsellors and Young People’s Counsellors are experienced in working with relationships, and have undergone extended professional training to enable them to work with families, to help them resolve their problems. Just like couples who want to get help with their relationships, so families can now share their concerns and hopefully move on to a more loving and positive understanding with each other.
For more information or to make an appointment, please call us on 020 8549 3318 or use our contact form.