Engaging specialist support to help your child get through a difficult time is one of the most valuable investments you’ll ever make

Their future happiness and success is priceless

Engaging specialist support to help your child get through a difficult time is one of the most valuable investments you’ll ever make

Counselling and Coaching for children and teens

What’s happening in your child’s life at the moment?

Has your child experienced a heartbreaking bereavement, the breakup of their parents’ relationship, distressing abuse, or some other kind of trauma?

Or perhaps they are struggling with anxiety that is interfering with their life, or they are being bullied, or they are having angry outbursts that they can’t seem to control?

Or are you worried that your child has low self-esteem or seems to be sad and depressed?

Perhaps they are having difficulty sleeping, their appetite is concerning you, or they can’t seem to make or keep friends.

Maybe their school work is suffering, or they are refusing to go to school at all.

The latest UK government figures show that 1 in 8 children and young people have a diagnosable mental health condition (that’s 3 in an average sized classroom!) and an even higher number are experiencing emotional difficulties which are going undiagnosed.

The fact that services that can help are underfunded and oversubscribed, adds to the problem and means you as a parent are often left to cope with these very worrying issues affecting your children on your own.

How I can help

If you live within an hour or so of Ashbourne in Derbyshire I can work with your child face to face at Sunshine Barn.

I work with children and young people from the age of 5-18 who are struggling with any issue that is causing them to feel stressed, unhappy or anxious. After completing a course of therapy with me, they will typically experience improvements in their:

You may also see improvements in the following areas, if these had been problematic at the start of their therapy:

If you are not able to bring your child to see me in person, you may be interested in one of the online courses we have available over on Brighter Futures for Kids 

"When we can talk about our feelings they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary."

~ Fred Rogers

Low Stress Environment in the Countryside

Children and young people are always seen in the non-clinical, cosy and safe surroundings of Sunshine Barn which has been designed to be welcoming and homely, making it easier for them to relax and engage with therapy.

Located on a farm in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside, Sunshine Barn is a single storey, wheelchair friendly suite of converted farm buildings offering a cosy therapy room for assessments and teenagers’ sessions; a dedicated play room for childrens’ sessions; a treatment room for complementary therapies; a comfortable waiting room so parents/carers can stay while their child is being seen; a large group space; a sunroom, a fully equipped kitchen; and toilets (one fully accessible).

Several of the rooms open on to a private garden and adjoining paddock offering children and young people easy access to nature and our family of friendly farm animals (ducks, hens, sheep and our cat, Steve).

The non-clinical environment appeals greatly to children and young people and helps them to engage with their therapy. Its comfortable furnishings help them feel relaxed and valued. The environment also enables me to incorporate Ecotherapy into my approach (see below), which is known to improve emotional wellbeing.

Welcome to Sunshine Barn
Animal therapy for children

Evidence-Based and Innovative Solutions

I have been working with children and young people for over 25 years, both in the NHS and private practice. In addition to offering counselling and coaching, I also incorporate play therapy for younger children, and innovative new approaches such as animal assisted therapy, EFT, and Ecotherapy into the tailor made packages of support I offer.

The value of counselling and play therapy for children and young people is more widely appreciated now as we understand more fully how difficulties which are not addressed during childhood/adolescence can not only mar a child’s experience of life at the time, but can also lead to serious difficulties in adulthood (research shows that 50% of mental health problems in adults started at the age of 14).

Coaching can also be a wonderful aid to children and young people as they negotiate their way through life, and can offer support and guidance to reinforce that offered by parents. It is not therapy; it tends to be a more dynamic, fun and activity-based process. It encourages and motivates children and young people, as well as helping to build confidence, resilience and emotional intelligence.

In my individual work with children and young people,  I use an approach that combines play therapy and child-centred, creative counselling and coaching. My younger clients are encouraged to express themselves through gentle, non-threatening activity such as painting, drama and imaginative play.

I use a wide range of ‘props’ to assist exploration and expression of feelings through creative, sensory activities – clay, playdough, buttons, dolls, puppets, games, books, musical instruments and so on. I also use music, relaxation techniques and creative visualisation to help children and young people express themselves.

Sessions can take place inside or outside, and with or without my therapy dog present, depending upon my young clients’ wishes.

Counselling for a sad child

Tailor Made Programmes of Support

My work with children and young people integrates child-centred counselling and coaching into bespoke programmes of support ensuring that, no matter what issues they may be struggling with, I can tailor the content of their programme to provide exactly what they need.

The programmes – which are usually either 3 months or 6 months long – also incorporate play therapy, along with innovative approaches including animal assisted therapy, ecotherapy and EFT as appropriate, so children and young people who work with me can access traditional and cutting edge therapies to ensure the most transformative results.

The benefits of working with me for a minimum of 3 months are:

All children and young people have an assessment – The Clarity Consultation – at the beginning of their programme and then either work through a bespoke Seedlings or Saplings programme, according to their age.
Working with Frances Weston

“Around a third of parents still worry that they will look like a bad mother or father if their child has a mental health problem. Parenting is hard enough without letting prejudices stop us from asking for the help we need for ourselves and our children."

~ Kate, Duchess of Cambridge

Find out more about the Clarity Consultation and my specialist programmes for children and young people below:

Success Stories

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Names and identifying details have been withheld to protect my client’s confidentiality.​


Are you ready to find out more? Then let's have a chat...

Potential clients are always offered a free 30 minute telephone consultation with me, which can be booked by clicking the button below. It’s called a Clarity Call, and it is a chance for you to tell me more about yourself – or your child – and your situation, and it enables me to get a sense of you, or your child, what your needs are and how I can serve you best. If we feel like a good fit, I can explain more about the programmes I offer and you can ask me any questions you may have.