SUPPORTING YOUNG PEOPLE AND THEIR FAMILIES IS MY PASSION
I’ve spent the last 20 years working with children and teenagers with social, emotional and mental health challenges (SEMH). I’ve been a special needs teacher, a school mental health counsellor, the head teacher of special needs schools for children with SEMH and am a BACP accredited psychotherapist.
I'm experienced in working with young people with internalised and externalised mental health challenges including anxiety, emotionally-based school avoidance (school refusal), depression and social difficulties. I've worked with young people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, and with neuro, gender and identity diversity.
I'm a passionate life-long learner and often 'geeking out' on an audio-book or podcast from leading experts in the field of teen anxiety. I'm also a husband and father to two boys.
My approach is to help young people build skills, discover what they care about, take action, experiment and learn from the world. I work with children and teenagers aged 10-18 and aim to involve their parents/carers in some capacity as change happens most powerfully when everyone is included in the therapeutic process. If a child isn't ready for counselling, I work with parents, coaching them to use therapeutic frameworks to support their children.
What is anxiety?Anxiety is a normal response to stress or a perceived threat, but when it becomes excessive and interferes with daily life, it may be considered an anxiety disorder.
How can I tell if my child has anxiety or OCD?Look out for signs such as excessive worry, avoidance of certain situations, physical symptoms like stomach aches or headaches, and repetitive behaviours or rituals.
How can parents support their child with anxiety or OCD?Parents can support their child by providing a safe and understanding environment, avoiding criticism, and encouraging their child to express their feelings. I like to work closely with parents helping them to learn effective coping strategies and how to provide support at home.
How long does treatment for anxiety and OCD typically take?Treatment duration can vary depending on the individual and the severity of their condition. However, with proper treatment, many people see improvement within a few months.
What can I do to help my child cope with anxiety or OCD on a daily basis?Encourage your child to engage in activities they enjoy, connect with friends, try new things and help them develop healthy coping strategies. It can also be helpful to maintain consistent sleep and eating habits.
Are there any resources or support groups for families dealing with anxiety and OCD?Yes, there are resources and support groups available for families dealing with anxiety and OCD so look for both local or online support groups. Check out Anxiety UK, OCD UK & OCD Action.