The Counselling Corner
Welcome to the Counselling Corner: A space where we will discuss all things mental health.
We cannot give from an empty cup!
Navigating parenthood, your job, your family, and your relationships can be challenging. Never mind keeping the house in order, squeezing in an hour of Netflix, and taking care of yourself.
We are bombarded with things fighting for our attention every day, making it especially challenging to make time for ourselves. We often forget to pause and check in on ourselves, to reflect on our wellbeing. This reflection is crucial as we are at the centre of everything we do. Our emotional wellbeing influences every aspect of our lives, including the people we interact with. My hope is thus that you choose to take a moment each day to focus on your wellbeing this year—to ask yourself how you are really doing.
My aim is that the Counselling Corner will serve as a space where you can learn how to fill your cup; where you can be equipped with the tools to improve your mental health and overall wellbeing; where you can check in on yourself and be reminded of the importance of your emotional state and its effect on the wellbeing of your child/ren.
Some topics we will discuss throughout the year include:
· Dealing with adjustment
· Positive discipline strategies
· Managing depression and anxiety
· Healthy childhood development
· Barriers to learning (how can I help my child?)
· Emotional regulation
· Time management
· Self-esteem and motivation
The What, Why, and Who of CounsellingThe What, Why, and Who of Counselling
WHAT is counselling:
I like to describe counselling as a process that aims to help people feel better about themselves, to cope better with their emotions and environment, to understand their thoughts, behaviours, and problems, and develop coping skills and solutions for them.
Counselling is a supportive, trusting, empathetic, genuine, and reflective relationship, aimed at helping individuals express themselves fully, without fear of judgement or condemnation. It is a safe and confidential space where someone can figure out what they want or need and how to accomplish it. A space to implement positive change and make positive choices by working through challenges.
During counselling we talk, play, draw, complete worksheets, and participate in physical activities with the aim to encourage the processing and expression of emotions.
Going for counselling does NOT mean:
• “Something is wrong with me”
• “I am crazy”
• “I am weak”
• “I’m just going to lie in a chair”
• “Someone will be telling me what to do”
Children move through several psychosocial developmental stages as they grow up. These stages require them to overcome social and emotional challenges to successfully move to the next stage of their development. Sometimes (due to loss, trauma, change, behavioural challenges, and/or emotional turmoil) children may require extra help to successfully move from one stage to the next.
Counselling can be extremely helpful to support your child’s development. During counselling, I will help your child express their feelings and thoughts in a safe and appropriate way. I will help your child feel better about themself and develop a stronger sense of self. I will also work on helping your child communicate and cope better with their environment. When working with children below the age of 14, the collaboration of parents (and sometimes teachers/family members) plays an important role.
Adolescence can be a stage of emotional turmoil, uncertainty and confusion. Adolescents experience many challenges, especially regarding their self-esteem, identity formation, relationships, school performance and peer pressure.
During counselling, I aim to provide a safe space for your adolescent to speak freely, without shame or fear of judgement. Helping your adolescent develop the skills and emotional competence to better cope with life’s challenges will be a core focus of the counselling process.
When working with children/adolescents, I utilize an integrative approach to counselling, primarily drawing upon Play Therapy techniques, Person-Centred Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioural skills training.
WHO would benefit from counselling:
Any person (young and old) who experiences any of the following:
- Lack of self-esteem
- Need for subject/career guidance
- Wanting to hurt oneself/someone else
- Sadness/ loneliness/depression
- Home/work challenges
- Loss of a loved one
- Being bullied
- Struggling with school (which includes specific barriers to learning)
- Prolonged fearfulness/hypervigilance
- The effects of trauma
- Substance use/addictive behaviour
- Adjustment and life changes
- Feeling overwhelmed/struggling to cope
- Struggling to make friends or effectively communicate with others
You are welcome to contact me with any enquiries, comments or discussion topics you would like to see in The Counselling Corner.
Until next time.
Ms Inge Smit
HIS School Counsellor