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Natalie Hawkins Counselling in Balham, South West London

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Working therapeutically with children and adolescents

through the mediums of play, creative work & talk

My way of working

As in my work with adults, when working with children I aim to offer them a safe and confidential space in which they can express themselves and be heard. For younger children, this can be through play and art as it allows them to express their thoughts and feelings in a way that is most comfortable and natural for them. It can also allow them to express things that they may not yet be able to put into words.

I work in a child-centred way, so will follow the child's lead during the session. I offer a range of toys and materials, including clay, sand, paints, puppets and toy figures, and encourage my clients to engage with these if they wish. This is very much a child-led activity, helping me to gain a sense of a child's experience and how it feels to be them and live in their world.

Over time, I find that children are able to open up about their thoughts and feelings using the medium with which they are most comfortable. For some this may be play, and for others it may be simply talking about their concerns with an adult who is not part of their family life. By expressing themselves children can better understand and cope with their feelings.

In order for counselling to be effective your child will need to feel able to talk openly and confidentially with me, so the content of your child’s session will remain confidential. The only time this may not be possible is if it appears that your child or someone else is at risk of harm. In such circumstances, where appropriate, I would share my concerns with them and you before considering further action.

I understand that that the thought of not being fully informed of what is occurring in the sessions can sometimes feel difficult for parents, so I would like to assure you that I will keep you informed with regard to the overall process. I tend to meet with parents at the start, during and at the end of the counselling. During these sessions I will aim to give you some feedback on how your child is using their sessions and any general themes arising for them. It will also be an opportunity for us to think together about how you can best support your child going forward.

Issues I work with

Some of the issues I am experienced in working with include bullying, parental separation/divorce, transitions (including the transition from primary to secondary school), bereavement & loss, anger, anxiety, behavioural issues, exam stress, abuse & trauma.

"I have noticed a proper joy and child-like-ness return to particularly my interaction with my son. You have diffused a lot of the anger that was building up in us both and really enabled us to express the love and mutual respect I know we have for each other." Feedback from a parent

"My child has gotten a great dealing from the counselling sessions and we leave the year with productive strategies, more self-awareness and a very positive outcome all round. Natalie has been very kind and professional, and I would have no doubt in recommending her to other parents in a similar situation. We have a teenage child with high functioning Autism who can sometimes find themselves at odds with the world around them. Natalie provided them with a strong guiding light through a stressful but vital time in their life ." Feedback from a parent

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