Support for parents
Hello. We’re Youth Talk.
For over 20 years we have offered local young people a dedicated, confidential safe space to talk. We are a charity and work on a self-referral basis providing free, confidential counselling to 13-25 year olds in and around St Albans.
We help by listening and talking
Counselling is the most common form of talking therapy. A talking therapy is when someone talks to a trained professional about their thoughts, feelings and behaviour. It can help young people deal with issues and events and the effects they are having on their life.
We specialise in psychotherapy. This is a longer term therapy where we discuss past events and how unconscious thoughts might affect the way people feel or act. Psychotherapy can be helpful with a range of problems including depression, anxiety, trauma, relationships, gender identity or eating disorders.
Youth Talk is a professional service with highly trained and experienced expert counsellors. We are trusted by health professionals to provide a vital service across the District and GPs across the area encourage young people to get in touch with us.
All Youth Talk our counsellors are qualified professionals registered and accredited with a nationally recognised body such as the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) or UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). They come from a range of professional backgrounds including education, health, public social services and agencies specialising in the development and needs of young people. Youth Talk works to the Values and Ethical Standards of BACP – The British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (www.bacp.org.uk).
Confidentiality is fundamental to everything we do at Youth Talk. It is vital for young people to be able to trust us, and is key to our success with supporting them. This means that we are unable to talk to anyone other than the young person themself about their counselling.
How can you help?
As a parent, it can be incredibly difficult to watch your child struggle with the pressures of growing up. It can be hard to understand what they may be going through, and what they are thinking or feeling.
It’s easy to feel isolated if they don’t want to talk to you. Some young people may not want their parents to know they’re talking to us.
However, family and friends can be vital sources of support. You can help your child work through stressful situations and difficult times. Your role is incredibly important so here are some ways to help:
- Be positive about counselling as an option and encourage your son/daughter to regularly attend their weekly session.
- Don’t ask what they talked about in their counselling session – unless they actively volunteer and want to talk to you about it.
- Practice active listening – this means paying full and careful attention to what they are saying. Say if you don’t understand, and never be judgemental.
- Please don’t contact us to ask to speak to their counsellor. Remember that our service is strictly confidential between the young person and their counsellor. We know this can be difficult, particularly when you are worried. But for the counselling to work we can’t share any information about what’s being discussed, because it breaks the trust between the counsellor and the young person. Our support team can talk to you about other services that might be able to support you.
- If your son or daughter tells you things that alarm you it can be helpful to talk with a professional – perhaps your GP or a reputable helpline such as Young Minds Parents Helpline (0808 802 5544).
What if a young person is at risk of harm?
Our clinical team is experienced in assessing risk and everyone at Youth Talk is trained in Level 3 safeguarding.
We are a charity
We need donations and support from our local community to keep supporting young people. If you know someone that could support us or fundraise for us, please contact us. And please download a copy of our fundraising pack.
Without Youth Talk… I may have been too anxious to go to University or make any friends or move on with my life.