Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy

Firstly I believe it is important to say that seeking therapy for your child does not mean that something is wrong with them, or that you as their parent/s have not done a good job.

More than ever we are aware of the difficulties children and teenagers are dealing with, and even more so with the impact of the covid-19 pandemic. Often children won’t be able to verbalise how or what they are feeling, yet they may communicate this to you in unwelcome behaviours at home or at school. This can be an overwhelming and anxious time for both the child and parent/s.

Working with younger children…

Child psychotherapy provides a safe space for a child to find ways to express and understand their emotions. My aim is to build a strong relationship with your child and work alongside them to help them make sense of angry, painful, sad or confusing thoughts and feelings. I am trained to work creatively and depending on the age of your child our work may involve the use of sand tray therapy, drawing, painting, and play, as well as talking through events and experiences.

Cassie Carson Psychotherapy & Counselling Bexhill & Crowborough UK
Cassie Carson Psychotherapy & Counselling Bexhill & Crowborough UK

“Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul”

Working creatively and making use of play especially in therapy with younger children helps to form and strengthen the working relationship with a child. Play, the use of stories and metaphor can also help enable a child to express and process their own story, in a safe and non re-traumatizing way. It can also be instrumental in helping the therapist understand the child’s inner world. In this work I draw from the works of Dan Siegel, Virginia Axline, Margot Sunderland and Dan Hughes. I follow Hughes’ PACE model, approaching my work with every child from a position of playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy.

When working with younger children I might work more closely with the parents and families and joint / family sessions may be appropriate at times.

Cassie Carson Psychotherapy & Counselling Bexhill & Crowborough UK

Working with teenagers…

However well a young person might get on with their parent/s, sometimes they need a space of their own to talk through troubling thoughts or experiences that have caused them distress. I think we can all agree that being a teenager can be a difficult time, and this has somewhat been enhanced and complicated by external factors such as social media, peer pressure, increasing academic demands, and wider fears about the world and the environment. 

Struggles in school might also be attributed to both diagnosed and undiagnosed difficulties related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Being a teenager can also be a hugely exciting time, a time of emotional spark, social engagement, novelty and creative explorations. A time for asking ‘Who am I?’. A strong working alliance with a trusted therapist can provide the necessary conditions to look at this question together. A young person may often feel judged by the outside world whether that be from peers, teachers or social media. For this reason the core of my approach is vital – congruent, respectful, non-judgemental and empathic, always respecting the young person’s autonomy and giving them permission to work out who they are and want to be.

I strongly believe in the importance of the relationship between the client and therapist and this being an important aspect of the therapeutic process. For this reason I can offer an initial informal consultation for any child or young person to meet me and decide if I am the practitioner they would like to work with. Psychotherapy sessions remain confidential unless the child, or other children are at risk.

Cassie Carson Psychotherapy & Counselling Bexhill & Crowborough UK

I am a registered member of the UKCP and I practice in accordance with their code of ethical framework. I hold a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) enhanced certificate, full indemnity insurance and I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Cassie Carson Psychotherapy & Counselling Bexhill & Crowborough UK