How to avoid humiliating a teen
I vividly remember when I was in my first year of secondary school, aged thirteen. I didn't know a lot about mental health then. However I did know that there was one girl in my class who had written a suicide note and given it to my friend.
We handed it to the teacher and it wasn't long before she began disappearing for a couple of hours each week. Word spread quickly that she was going see a therapist because she was 'proper crazy'. In a short span of time she became ostracised, and even though every one moved on over the years, no one ever forgot.
As an adult, I spent many years working with children and young people in foster care. Each time I see a child or young person flippantly removed from the classroom for a session, I can't help but cringe. A common response from caseworkers and carers is "oh they don't mind at all". But young people do mind. They care about what their peers think. In fact, they often obsess over it. And even if they come up with a spectacular story to explain their absence, living with a lie carries it's own stress.
Adolescence is often a wild, confusing and emotionally turbulent time. It's when we begin to explore and define ourselves. It's usually when we ask, "who am I?" for the first time. For young people who are struggling with emotional, psychological or social difficulties, seeing a therapist can be very helpful. However a lack of options for accessing a local therapist outside of school hours means that missing class is often unavoidable.
At Write As Rain, we offer flexible session both within and outside of business hours. We've recently started offering sessions via Skype and instant messaging (in addition to email), and have found this to be a particularly effective method for young people who struggle to talk openly about their issues. It enables them to access immediate support using a medium they are comfortable with, whilst remaining in safety and security of their own space.
We are offering our counselling sessions for young people (12-18 years old) at a heavily discounted rate of £20 per session. Depending on the age of the young person, parental consent and a level of involvement may be necessary. If you are interested in this service for either yourself, a child of yours, or a young person you know, then please contact us by clicking here.
By Jenna Mayhew