• Sally Turberville Smith Dipl. Psych, BA Hons,

    MBACP, UKCP

    Counselling & Psychotherapy Nutritional/Lifestyle Coaching

    Willesden Green, NW2

  • Adolescents & Young People

  • Adolescence can be a difficult  time.  Transitioning from childhood to adulthood is not easy as we attempt to separate out from our parents and discover our passion and purpose in the world.  Peer pressure and the desire to fit in is strong and if we experience the loss of a close family member, mental or physical illness or divorce within our family we can find life, academic pressure and relationships particularly challenging, especially if there are no compassionate understanding adults who have time for us.  We might find ourselves struggling with issues connected to our identity and gender; our sexuality or physical appearance.  We may become involved in a gang or become addictive to harmful drugs such as alcohol, cannabis or MDMA.  Physically and psychologically it is a time of great change and  for the first time relationships outside the family become more important.  Our friendships and first sexual relationship can be fraught with insecurities that can leave a lasting imprint.  Exam pressure, peer pressure, university pressure - too many people on our back - it can all feel too much and we long for some respite or freedom from what we see as endless rules and restrictions on our development.

    Adolescent depression, eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia, self-harming or other punitive behaviours or attempts to control the unfair, chaotic world we find ourselves in can make us feel very lonely, ashamed and/or isolated.  Parents might be unavailable or too busy to provide us with the guidance or support that we need.  As a counsellor for young people I see my role as a mentor.  I provide you with compassionate understanding as well as 'a sounding board' for the angst or anger that can build up against parents or step-parents or other authority figures such as teachers.  It might be that you have had to deal with a terrible loss - the death of a parent, sibling or close family member or the introduction of a new family member such as a step parent and their siblings.  Then you are likely to be feeling a mixture of complicated things, not least resentment, anger, grief, sadness or jealousy which I can help you articulate and fully feel. 

    Some of us may come from families where certain feelings are allowed, but not others or where we are expected to just carry on doing, when actually we need time and space to 'be'. Feelings arise in the body and can give rise to mental or physical illness if we don't take the time to sit down and be with them and find out what their messages are.  This is what I encourage young people to do when I counsel them.

    In our 20's we are often starting our first jobs, beginning to live away from our parents and learning to manage our own finances and 'self-care'.  Are we able to prioritise our need for nutritious foods and good quality sleep and not get caught up in endless work or trying to be perfect at all we do.  Can we learn to drink moderately and say no to harmful drugs.  Can we learn to develop good working relationships with our peers and bosses and learn how to be in a healthy, intimate adult relationship?  If you are struggling to cope in any area of your life I can help you gain a new perspective and help reduce any anxiety you might feel.

    I am particularly interested in working with young people.  If you feel you are struggling in life I provide a compassionate space for you to find out more about yourself by helping you to listen to the messages behind what often feel like conflicting thoughts and feelings.  We can work together to help you improve your self-esteem and appreciate your unique gifts and talents.