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Therapeutic Skills For Working With Children, Young People And Families

Introduction- Therapeutic Skills For Working With Children, Young People And Families

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People, in general, tend to develop a tendency to form a comfort zone around the places they associate themselves with for a long time. It is especially prevalent among the children who find comfort with children of the same age and develop a peer circle that helps them grow forward and have quality time. Transitions or change in school, leaving behind old buddies either unexpected or planned leaves a long-lasting impression on children’s minds.

Children often find it difficult to cope with the challenging situation intensifying changes within behavioural traits. Children often pass through pre-contemplation and contemplation phases that affect their social and personal lives on a spur of the moment. The study in the context of therapeutic practice emphasises exploring skills required to deal with the 11-year-old child going through emotional turmoil. The study further sheds light on diversity in intervention used during therapeutic practices while dealing with children going through mental disturbances from their personal experiences.

Skill acquisition concerning therapeutic practice: personal reflection

It is widely accepted that ‘change is the only constant’, however, it is quite difficult on the part of the children to adjust to the changed environment rapidly. Throughout history and evolution humans collectively have undergone several courses of changes, adapting to various changes in the environment. However, an individual does not accept changes as fast as they think they can. A course of change is never easy for a person. It affects their mental health adversely and challenges the habitual pattern that they have developed over those coarse times in a particular set of environments.

Figure 1: Childhood traumatic experiences

(Source: Collier et al. 2020)

I have noticed that people often undergo quite some changes when they are exposed to a different ambience than their comfort zone and adopt habits that are not helpful to them at all. According to Collier et al. (2020), a child of a growing age especially feels utterly uncomfortable and either tries to fit in too hard with the new environment or just locks themselves which greatly impacts their behavioural patterns.

Therapeutic practices are quite challenging when dealing with young children who hesitate in sharing their experiences with the counsellor. However, in the context of a young girl, I realised that I need to work on my therapeutic skills to gain better results in near future. Initially, it was a challenging task for me to make the girl feel comfortable and get her out of the shell that would help her discover the facts that are bothering her. I have been working on my communication skills ever since. In the case of this 11-year-old girl, I have noticed that she remains confined in her thoughts and is not comfortable opening up. She is having trouble organising her thoughts and put into words properly. I was informed by her parents that she used to be a pretty lively person with her friends and at home before she had been shifted to this new school. In my opinion, school transitions generate the fear of acceptance among the child that often prevents them from being socially active. In thecurrent case scenario, I believe, the loss of attachment with her old schoolmate and fear to adjust to a new place have resulted in vast behavioural changes.

Effective communication is the most crucial aspect to conduct an efficient session. An empathetic communication between two people drives out their hidden causes of concern and discomfort (Postings, 2022). Therefore it has become crucial to undertake several theories into practice to develop effective communication (Clarke and Brawn, 2018). In the stages of communication, I have undertaken the perception of the young girl and how it affects their behaviour and their courses of action implying the concept of the cognitive theory of communication

Figure 2: Cognitive behavioural therapy

(Source: McGuire & Storch, 2019)

 In order to conduct an effective session, it is crucial to take note of the beliefs that the people have developed among themselves (McGuire & Storch, 2019). It is especially evident among growing children and young adults. Thus, I need to develop my listening skills and focus on being empathetic throughout my counselling. According to Cooper and Law (2018), it is very important to stay empathetic towards the clients irrespective of their age; it helps them open up and thereby helps therapeutic practitioners to derive the necessary behavioural traits. Furthermore, while deriving the results and the conclusion it is necessary to stay organised. As opined by Lamont-Mills et al. (2018), every piece of information is crucial when listening to people and critically evaluating their course of thought process and deriving effective conclusions to proceed through the session. Organising information is something that I had struggled with during the initial days of counselling which I need to overcome.

People who are undergoing trouble dealing with certain things tend to stay gloomy and down. As opined by Barkham et al. (2019), a hint of a healthy sense of humour in the course of conversation helps to light up the ambience and also helps with their mental state effectively. I have noticed that it is especially helpful with young children of growing age. I have noticed that it helps them relax a bit during the conversation.

Critical thinking skills are quite essential while diagnosing and developing treatment plans. I realised I need to work on my critical thinking abilities for effective treatment and deliver better therapeutic practices. It is necessary to stay unbiased to derive effective conclusions to help the people. At the end of the day, the counsellors are humans and some case stories impact our general mood and efficiency as well. Thus it is necessary to include practices that propagate personal well-being as well. Over the time I have been meditating and associating myself with a positive ambience, reading positive news and taking breaks when needed to take a breath of life and continue with the course of counselling efficiently and confidently.

Diversity within assessment and intervention in CAMH

Inclusion of diversity in the assessment in the CAMH is important. It helps in engaging the children and adults alike from various walks of life to open up about their issues and talk about their prevalent cases of life. Diversity in the practice of counselling helps to consider and study the cases of people from various walks of life.

There are various aspects of diversity that are to be included, be it the cultural factors or the demographic factors. It is the demographic diversity that helps in the proper assessment of people

Figure 3: Mental disorders for adolescents aged between 10-14 years

(Source: UNICEF, 2022)

As of 2019, across the world, around 89 million boys and 77 million girls suffer from some sort of mental disorder due for various reasons (UNICEF, 2022).It is this aspect of diversity that helps in the process of assessment of the treatment of the children and young adults from the diverse sectors, be it demography, ethnic background or gender. In the scenario, a girl of 11 years is suffering from mental health issues due to her change in school. There have been several such cases that are needed to be addressed properly. Demographic diversity helps in the assessment and organisation of the data available to study the factors that are affecting the children. According to Lorenz (2021), the availability of proper data helps in proper counselling of the young details which helps them to chart a positive course of life. It helps in the proper assessment of children from their preferences, orientation and cultural backgrounds as well.

In the case of psychology, every case is different from one another and therefore it is crucial to take note of every aspect carefully to notice the factor of influence that has been affecting the course of behavioural changes (Holm-Hadulla & Jenkins, 2018).

Figure 4: Therapeutic care provision

(Source: Bager-Charleson & McBeath, 2020)

Case studies are unique to one another and therefore diversifying the course of study and research purposes in the process of assessment and psychoanalysis helps in deriving a proper course of counselling. In this case, an 11-year-old girl is undergoing a rough patch in her life due to the change in school, a shift from her immediate friendly ambience, and her friends. I have noticed that this complete shift of the immediate culture she was initially exposed to and the particular diverse environment where she had spent her initial school years has affected her behavioural pattern. The cultural shock that she has incurred through this transition has had a severe impact on her course of behavioural management with other people including her family members. 

The elder family members have seemingly adapted to this transition without much stress and it has not affected their daily course of life however for a growing child of her age it has been a lot to process. This has left a trauma to her cultural strengths that she is yet to recover from and follow through with a healthy course of life. I believe, diversifying the process of counselling is helpful in this process rather than a single traditional approach. Therefore, along with CBT(Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), a humanistic approach in the course of counselling is beneficial in such cases. According to Hoffman et al. (2019), it helps children to reach their potential in the shortest period. I believe implementation of this process can be helpful in assisting the young girl to open up about the emotional t5urmoil through she has been going through. I believe this diverse approach will help her engage with this new environment and progress through her course of daily life.

Personal role while working within a professional context

In the course of the assessment, I have noticed that the girl is undergoing a crucial phase of her teenage life and she needs to be nurtured with proper guidance and care. It is crucial to make her feel confident in her shoes around her immediate ambience that would help her resonate with confidence and take important life choices with a healthy set of mind.

Change of schools can be a pretty complex problem for a child to deal with this process imparts a serious impact on their conscience and make them feel vulnerable in their immediate environment. It affects their emotional health aggressively leaving their previous friends behind.

Figure 6: Effects of mental health problems for young people

(Source: Statista, 2022)

Mental health issues shave an advent effect on children and it affects their day-to-day life. 94% of young adults and children suffer from self-esteem issues due to their mental health conditions. 84% of the children develop a strenuous relationship with their friends and 82% of them develop a troubled relationship with their parents due to their prevalent situation of troubled mental health (Statista, 2022). Therefore, I believe it is important to take note of the mental health of the children to assess its impact on their behavioural change.

After considering all these factors, I have noticed that it derives rather a positive impact while being honest to children rather than feeding them with white lies to help them cope initially. The reality on the hand disappoints them and that deteriorates their mental health. According to Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan (2018), it is also important to point out the positive outcomes concerning their fields of strength to generate a sense of confidence among them.

In context to the case scenario of the girl, I have noticed that she has lost her confidence and is not able to fit in with her new classroom and surroundings. Therefore I have taken an integrative therapy session instead of the traditional talk therapy in the process of her counselling. As opined by Pinsof et al. (2018), it helps to dive deeper into cognition and address those complexities effectively. She has been responding positively so far. However, on the professional font, I need to be more empathetic towards the individual’s facing difficulties to cope up with the bitter experiences. It is my job role as a professional therapist, to help my patients gain confidence and help them to recover from their painful experiences. Professionally it my responsibility to analyse the situation affecting the patient’s lives and accordingly utilise methodologies and approaches that would help them become emotionally strong.


The human mind is complex in general and people develop their own set of perceptions in a stern set of through processes influenced by their immediate surroundings and when theta re expenses to a new change it often breaks them out of the bubble. This situation is predominant among the children and therefore their issues are to be addressed immediately to initialise the course of action required to acclimatise to the new environment and encourage them through their course of life. Young adults are easily impressed by their immediate environment and thus need close monitoring of their behavioural changes and address their concerns.



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