299 – Differences between Counselling Young People and Adults

299 – Differences between Counselling Young People and Adults

Taking Risks in Therapy – Referencing for Assignments

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In Episode 299 of the Counselling Tutor Podcast, your hosts Rory Lees-Oakes and Ken Kelly are back with this week’s three topics:

  • Firstly in ‘Ethical, Sustainable Practice’, we look at the differences between counselling children and young people vs. adults.
  • Then in ‘Practice Matters’, Rory speaks with Sally-Anne Armitage about taking risks in therapy.
  • And lastly in ‘Student Services’, Rory and Ken look at the art of referencing in your assignments.

Differences between Counselling Young People and Adults [starts at 03:24 mins]

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Some students might already know that they want to work with children and young people.

In this section, Rory and Ken discuss the differences between counselling young people and adults, and why practicing with younger clients requires specialist training:

  • Many meta-models of therapy were developed for adults.
  • Every adult was once a child – by working with adults first, you can gain a greater understanding of the impact and importance of childhood on adulthood.
  • Children have less autonomy – you're working within a frame of reference that is much more limited.
  • Working with children requires specialist training.
  • One of the key differences between counselling children/young people and adults is the fact that children's cognitive, emotional, and social development stages differ significantly from adults.
  • Can the child comprehend therapy fully? Do they know what it is? Can the young person fully understand their choices?
  • Confidentiality – does the child understand you may need to break confidentiality? Having their trust broken at an early age can impact their adulthood.
  • Make sure you understand your organisation’s confidentiality policy.
  • Seeing what skills work best e.g. silence might be less effective when counselling young people.
  • Building up trust is incredibly important – it might need to be built up differently.
  • Rewind your phenomenology – look at things from a child’s frame of reference.
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Taking Risks in Therapy [starts at 36:36 mins]

In this week’s ‘Practice Matters’, Rory speaks with Sally-Anne Armitage about taking risks in therapy.

The key points of this discussion include:

  • Touch – could you offer a hug to a client? If you think it’s what a client might need in the moment and you also feel comfortable with it – why not ask?
  • If sessions become too formal, we risk losing the human aspect of sessions.
  • Acknowledge if something doesn’t quite land – maybe you make a joke or comment that didn’t break tension as well as you would’ve liked.
  • Little moments of humanity could really help the therapeutic relationship.
  • They might also help to make a client feel more comfortable in sessions.
  • Be aware of yourself – act based on observations and consider your actions.

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Referencing for Assignments [starts at 54:47 mins]

During your training, you’ll need to complete many assignments. In this section, Rory and Ken discuss how we can make referencing easier for ourselves, and its purpose:

  • By adding a reference, you’re evidencing your critical thinking.
  • Find out the expectations of your tutor – find out what referencing style they are looking for and see if you can have an example.
  • Look for online tools to help you reference – but try to stay away from AI as they might be inaccurate.
  • You’re evidencing the fact that you’ve read widely and engaged with the subject.
  • Allows you to evidence how you reached your conclusion.
  • Allows people to build on your argument.
  • You should be referencing where ideas have come from, making sure you are not claiming things as your own if they aren’t.
  • There are lots of different things you can reference: a textbook, a journal article, a magazine, a newspaper, a YouTube video etc.
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Differences between Counselling Young People and Adults

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