Who needs Counselling?

The problems children and teenagers face are individual to each of them, but there are a number of key areas that can be resolved through counselling.


These are:



Each year, thousands of children and teenagers are subject to forms of emotional, physical or sexual abuse, usually at the hands of someone they know. This can range from neglect or over-controlling behaviour through to physical violence or sexual abuse. Counselling can help to rebuild self-esteem, control and break the cycle of abusive behaviour.



Compulsive or repetitive behaviour is often the result of a child or teenager trying to find a temporary escape from other, underlying problems. The reasons behind alcohol, drugs, eating, exercising, gambling, shopping, smoking and video game addictions can be realised and understood through professional counselling, helping young users to control their habits.


This emotional response triggers physical and chemical changes in the body, and when out of control can be harmful to the child or those around them. Anger management and behavioural counselling looks at understanding emotional triggers, and how to project more positive responses.

AnxietyAnxiety and depression

Worries and feelings of sadness are surprisingly common in young people, and can be caused by physiological changes, experiences or sudden events. Counselling can help children and teenagers learn to manage their fears and build self-esteem to gain more positive control over their lives.



Aspergers and autism

Asperger syndrome is a form of autism, which is a lifelong disability that affects how a person makes sense of the world, processes information and relates to other people. People with Asperger syndrome can find it harder to read the signals that most of us take for granted.

This means they find it more difficult to communicate and interact with others which can lead to high levels of anxiety and confusion. Counselling can enable a person with Asperger's syndrome to make sense of this confusion.



The loss of a loved one can have a marked effect on children and teenagers. They may find it more difficult to adapt and move on, become angry at the loss, or fearful that it will happen again. Bereavement counselling helps to explore the mourning process, adjust to life without a loved one, and find constructive ways of remembering them.


Verbal, racial or physical harassment is often devastating to a child’s emotional wellbeing. Counselling to lift assertiveness and identify the roles ‘victim’, ‘bully’ and ‘bystanders’ play in this form of behaviour can break the cycle . Likewise, bullies may explore why they feel angry, inadequate and whether they have been the victim of bullying earlier in life, or at home.



A young person's self esteem can be damaged at any time. Young people coping at school with dyslexia are particularly vulnerable. These children and young people may know that they are in no way less intelligent or capable than their peers but their struggle with the chore of reading, spelling, short term memory and maybe handwriting can lead them to lack self belief and can even lead them to 'give up' on their studies. Children can be provided with all the strategies to cope with dyslexia in a busy classroom but the key is to support them in maintaining their self belief so they can access those strategies. Counselling can help them with the way they approach such difficulties they may face with tasks at school and those they work alongside.

Eating disorders

Girls and boys as young as six can suffer from anorexia, bulimia or binge-eating, while the teenage years continue to be a time when destructive habits can form. Body image, control issues and low self-esteem are some of the issues which cause eating disorders and can be modified through counselling.

Family relationship issues

From the break-up of parents or the introduction of a new step-family, to brothers and sisters that can’t stop fighting, family relationships can be tough. Through individual or group counselling, families can learn how to understand each other and moderate behaviour to get along.



A number of factors can cause loneliness in young people, including moving to a new location or school, family breakdown, or older siblings leaving home.

Helping children and teenagers to cope with feelings of loneliness and learn new ways to become more socially involved is an important area of my counselling.


Low self-esteem

Lack of self-worth, a low opinion of abilities and feelings of not deserving love or happiness is a common cause of other problems in young people, including addictions and eating disorders.

Counselling can help to nurture self-esteem by developing new interests, positive activities and achievable goals.




Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

Compulsive washing, checking, counting and other ritual behaviours are a physical way of managing obsessive thoughts – by carrying out the ritual, the ‘bad thing’ won’t happen. Cognitive behavioural therapy helps the sufferer to rationalise their thoughts by being exposed to emotional triggers in a gradual, structured manner, and seeing that the ritual is not needed.


Gaining independence and control over some aspects of life is an important part of becoming teenagers and young adults. This, however, isn’t always an easy emotional transition, and perceived powerlessness can lead to stress, anxiety and behaviour that try to compensate for or mask the emotion. Counselling can help young people understand how to feel in control of their lives.


Sexuality and self

Counselling can help young people make more informed decisions, to cope with anxieties about sex, sexulity and gender dysmorphia. Through counselling young people can be empowered to lessen risk and keep themselves safe, giving them an opportunity to express and understand their feelings in a non-judgmental environment.

Sexuality and sexual activity

Children of all ages may show unhappiness with the gender roles imposed on them by culture and convention, leading to confusion and more complex issues in later life. Counselling can help children and teenagers express and understand their feelings in a non-judgmental environment.



A shock, accident or sudden change in a young life can spark changes in outlook and character. Counselling offers the opportunity for children and teenagers who have suffered such a trauma to discuss and express their feelings, and understand how to work through them to regain a positive outlook.

If you would like to discuss any of the issues above, or any other issues or behaviours affecting your child, please contact me for a free, confidential chat.


Counsellor and Psychotherapist in Peterborough, Bourne, Stamford, Oakham and Oundle areas. Philip Boddey’s counselling and psychotherapy services are also now available in Hitchin, Stevenage, Letchworth, Baldock and the surrounding areas.

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