Years old

 It is essential to gain trust as so many adolescents feel that adults are untrusted

Legally, adolescents from 12, don’t need consent from their parents/carers to access therapy, as long as I deem them compos mentis, as their therapist. Therefore, it depends on what and how the adolescent feels and wishes when it comes to parents involvement on their therapeutic journey. I of course have a duty of care, so this does not include if there is any risk involved or I deem them unsafe.

It is essential to gain your adolescents trust, as so many adolescents feel that adults are untrustworthy, or undeserving of being let into their world. Therefore, I work a lot outside with this age group as I have seen huge benefits from the natural involvement of walking and talking therapy combined. As it allows your adolescent to control the pace, rhythm of talking and how much talking they are okay with, without the feeling of it being ‘awkward’ as the nature surroundings form a blanket of dopamine and freedom to stop, breathe and reflect without the intensity of direct eye contact in a confined space.

This setting also works really well for any of you/your adolescents who are neurodivergent as there is less pressure to ‘mask or perform’, reducing anxiety.

This age groups sessions translate as very much a person centred therapeutic approach which is led by the client meaning that the themes will be dictated by them as I guide, support, stretch their narrative around their dialogue and understanding of their situation and environment. The arts can be used to compliment the walking therapy but this tends to be once the therapeutic relationship has been formed.

4 week blocks are necessary here as your adolescent needs to know that they have time to open up and unpick the emotions in relation to their family, friendship and school systems while also balancing their hormones present. Identity and attachment work from me as the therapist is key to revealing how best to support this age group.