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Welcome to Victoria's blog - Here I'll post articles and thoughts you may find useful.

By Victoria, Sep 4 2021 07:51AM

Mermaids offers excellent online training around supporting LGBTQ+ young people. The training is open for parents, carers and those working with young people. Mermaids mission is to embrace, empower and educate.


Jo Thompson of Mermaids outlines the “burden, worry and strain” on LGBTQ+ young people and how coming out can be immensely stressful. Stonewall’s School Report 2017, outlined that 45% of young transgender people attempt suicide, 84% self-harmed and 1 in 10 had received death threats. These figures are shocking.


The UK school curriculum now includes LGBTQ+ into the curriculum including inclusion lessons. However, if you are requiring support, either for yourself or as a means to support someone else, you can call Mermaids; they have a helpline open Monday to Friday from 9:00am - 9:00pm: 0808 801 0400.


You may wish to talk things through with me; I work inclusively and support young people in regards to their gender and identity.


Other websites that may help, include:-


Gendered Intelligence


Stonewall


Anti Bullying Alliance


Galop



I am a child psychotherapist (UKCP Registered); a counsellor; arts and play therapist, covering Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. You can contact me here



By Victoria, Sep 1 2021 11:24AM

The journal of Addiction has outlined a rise in young adults who have taken up smoking over the pandemic. Research suggests that there may be over 600,000 extra adults now smoking, although some of those already smoking used the pandemic as a reason to quit. Addictions are complex and can be difficult to overcome, stress is an important factor and this may also explain the increase in alcohol consumption over the past 18 months.


If you are concerned about a young person; their levels of stress or difficulties coping with every day life, you may want some support as a means to help them. They may also benefit from some time in therapy to discuss what is going on with someone unrelated to their day-to-day life.


It may feel difficult and rejecting if your child wishes to confide in someone else, but this can be an important communication that they don’t wish to burden or worry those they love - part of the healing can be leaving difficult thoughts and feelings in the therapy room, so-to-speak, so that they can go home feeling differently, with the sense of leaving a problem behind or in a safe place that they can revisit the following week.


Sessions and meetings are confidential, I am here to listen to your concerns whatever they may be: I offer a non-judgemental, emotionally warm and safe place to work things through.



I am a child psychotherapist (UKCP Registered); a counsellor; arts and play therapist, covering Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. You can contact me here



By Victoria, Jul 28 2021 12:15PM

Vicky has opened a new therapy room - the Therapy Barn at Woodhorn Business Centre, Oving, near Chichester. The room offers free parking in a rural location just outside of Chichester. Vicky works directly with children and adolescents offering psychotherapy, counselling, play and art therapy; as well as offering parenting advice and support through face to face and online consultations. Online therapy is still an option, but face to face sessions can now be held at Woodhorn, you can book an appointment directly by contacting Vicky here. Training continues to take place either face to face in locations such as schools and community centres, however this can also take place online.


Please contact Vicky directly here or by calling 07867 433 558.



I am a child psychotherapist (UKCP Registered); a counsellor; arts and play therapist, covering Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. You can contact me here.



By Victoria, Jul 12 2021 01:26PM

We are hearing increasingly in the news that children’s mental health is being severely impacted by Covid19 and all the changes that have been occurring through the pandemic. The Pharmaceutical Journal highlights how prescriptions for anti-depressant medication for those under 18 years have risen since the pandemic began and in particular, our young people are suffering from anxiety born out of uncertainty for the future, this is manifesting through self destructive behaviours as means of coping. Anxiety issues are increasing and as a consequence there has been a rise in eating disorders as well as self-harm.


It is important that we keep talking to our young people about what is going on for them. Unfortunately though, as you may have found, sometimes words are not enough - it can be hard for all of us to explain what our feelings are at times. If this is the case, art can be a means to open up dialogue. For example, you could ask ‘What song best describes your mood right now?’ or ‘Can you paint what your (angry, sad, worried, etc…) feeling looks like’, or ‘If you were a character in a movie, who would you be today? Which one is most like you?’.


Once you have the response, if there is one, you can meet this with curiosity; How does the song they’ve chosen sound through their ears? What is the song actually about - could they explain the lyrics to you, or could you look them up, what is the meaning for them? If they create a painting or picture, try not to describe what you see, instead ask them - why did you choose that colour? Who/What is that in the image? What would your painting say if it could come alive?


After curiosity, comes empathy; try to really get what it is they are feeling, how it is for them.



This is how we begin to heal, when we feel fully ‘got'.



If they responded with ‘don’t know’ or have no response to their art/music, perhaps you could paint a picture for them or play a song in return that guesses into what my be going on. They may not dig your response, but they might appreciate the effort (even if they don’t show it!).


Art is a really powerful means to communicate and just the power of creating something can tune the mind and bring some peace, or not, as it may be, but it will allow some of the feelings out and enable them to become less powerful in the process.


To find out more about how to use art and creativity with your children or teenagers call me for a chat - I can offer one-off support sessions for parents and carers without working the the child directly.


Take care,


Vicky



If this sounds like something that might be helpful and you would like to find out more, please get in touch with Victoria either via telephone: 07867 433 558 or email: [email protected].


I am a child psychotherapist (UKCP Registered); a counsellor; arts and play therapist, covering Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. You can contact me here.



By Victoria, Jun 14 2021 08:54PM

Covid 19 has brought many stressors into our lives, it has challenged us in ways we had not known before.


Save The Children have conducted a global study on over 13,000 children and families to assess the impact of the pandemic on children’s lives; children expressed many fears around health, socialisation and education, more than 8 in 10 children reported an increase in negative feelings.


This leads to the question of how we can help reduce the impact of Covid 19 on our children and young people?


In the field of trauma and attachment, we know that resilience and relationships make the most difference. This is what enables young people to heal and move on positively, in ways where they can continue to meet their potential and perhaps do even more than they would have without adversity.

All is not lost and this can be a time of great growth.


Victoria is offering attachment informed guidance around how to support your child. Parenting sessions may help with:


- Increasing your knowledge of child mental health and neuro-biological stress systems.

- Offering tools to better support your child’s emotional needs, including anxiety and anger.

- Ideas to nurture and strengthen parent-child bonds.

- Providing time to reflect on your experience of parenting in a pandemic.


If this sounds like something that might be helpful and you would like to find out more, please get in touch with Victoria either via telephone: 07867 433 558 or email: [email protected].




By Victoria, Feb 14 2021 08:26PM

I recently attended a fantastic conference through Pesi UK based on the need for creativity and imagination, especially in relation to healing trauma and providing wellness to us all, regardless of our backgrounds.


Presenters of the conference included Lemn Sissay and Bessel van der Kolk. Lemn discussed how creativity had literally ’saved my life’ and talked about how we can build children’s sense of self worth through the very act of creating. Art enables children to feel seen and be witnessed.


This is not about the end result and critiquing what has been made.


Instead, the healing and self-worth comes from engaging in the process, the ‘doing’ the art, the experimentation and the use of the imagination. Despite what may come at the end.


I am thinking about how crucial creativity and imagination is for children, particularly at this time. Helping children to access their creative spirit and artful connections is key to the therapy that I offer, however, this can take place in any setting - such as making use of what is available at home or looking to nature to encourage the imagination.


For more ideas feel free to get in touch.


I am a child psychotherapist (UKCP Registered); a counsellor; arts and play therapist, covering Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. You can contact me here.




By Victoria, Jan 15 2021 01:00AM

At this time I am offering consultation and therapy sessions online, such as through Zoom and over the telephone.


Please get in touch to organise distanced therapy or for a conversation regarding your concerns for your child.


Wishing you a peaceful and healthy 2021.


I am a child psychotherapist (UKCP Registered); a counsellor; arts and play therapist, covering Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. You can contact me here.



By Victoria, Jan 4 2021 12:00PM

In this day and age it can be more difficult for children to value and accept themselves. Social media is making it harder for young people to fully embrace who they are, it is highlighting a blemish-free, filtered, edited ‘ideal’. Therefore, more than ever it is important that we empower young people with the knowledge that we are all different and the things that make us unique ought to be embraced and cherished.


If this is a particular issue for your child, Childline have a very useful video ‘Nobody is Normal’ on their website regarding how we are all different, this may be helpful for children and young people who are struggling with their self esteem and identity



I am a child psychotherapist (UKCP Registered); a counsellor; arts and play therapist, covering Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. You can contact me here.



By Victoria, Dec 18 2020 08:49AM

If you are reading this over the Christmas period it’s probable that you are experiencing difficult feelings either for yourself and/or about someone else.


It must feel really difficult. You are not alone. Generally speaking we are not very good at sharing the hard parts of our lives, so if it seems better for everyone else, chances are they too have problems. Social media presents us all with an ideal, but it has been an especially tricky year and it’s okay to feel all the negative feelings that you may have. You won’t always feel this way, try to hold on to that.


It might help to share how you are feeling with someone. Can you think of someone now you can go and talk to? Sometimes writing a text or letter might be easier to start a conversation…


However, if you are here, reading this, the chances are you might not feel you can turn to someone you know. Sometimes we need someone not involved to give us a hand. There are services still open over Christmas.


Firstly, if you are in immediate danger to yourself please do call the Police 999 or Samaritans 116 123. You can also email the Samaritans [email protected], there is also a self-help app on the website that might be useful. You do not have to be in a crisis or suicidal to access the Samaritans, this is explained on the website - please see here.


Perhaps you are feeling overwhelmed and it would help to share this, or you might be a parent experiencing difficult behaviours from your child, so time to talk confidentially to someone over the phone may help at this time.


If you are a child, you can call childline for free, the number is 0800 1111, there is a really helpful website too. If you are scared or in danger call the Police - 999. You will not get into trouble from the Police for doing this.


If you are in an abusive situation and need to alert the Police, you can do so discreetly by following the steps outlined here involving ’55: Silent Solution’.


If it’s all feeling too much and you just need a breather, see if you can do some mindfulness or breathing exercises, or go for a walk if possible. You might want to listen to some calming music, YouTube has a lot of videos with beautiful scenery alongside restful music, such as Maravillosa. The world is a beautiful place, don’t forget to dream big, where do you want to go when the pandemic subsides? What would you love to see in nature? What places would be calming or inspiring to visit?



I am a child psychotherapist (UKCP Registered); a counsellor; arts and play therapist, covering Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. You can contact me here.




By Victoria, Nov 30 2020 08:28AM

I hope you are keeping well at this time. This week the government released their policy paper on staying mentally well this winter. This addressed plans to increase NHS funding next year as part of an aim to shorten the waiting times for mental health services, whilst providing increased support so that more people can be seen through the NHS.


Whilst this sounds promising, clearly the health priority currently remains focused on Covid-19 with treatments towards fighting the pandemic.


Rishi Sunak has also pledged to increase the budget within schools next year, with a focus on disadvantaged young people.


I am a child psychotherapist (UKCP Registered); a counsellor; arts and play therapist, covering Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. You can contact me here.




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