Transitional Challenges Faced by Children & Young People

Working in schools with an average clientele of 1400 students and their families has afforded me a unique perspective of the complexities and challenges young people and their families are faced with. The daily school, university and working life, ongoing demands of exams, assessments and personal expectation, as well as perceived external expectations, can take its toll on everyone.

 

‘I don’t have the time’, ‘I’m too busy’… are all too common phrases in family households. The ongoing pressure to perform by a due date is impacting not only young people and their families but also many adults in their day to day work lives.

 

What I have seen in young people is acute stress, burnout, complex anxiety and depression, as well as medical diagnosis such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Mental Disorders and other Mood Disorders. These disorders are well documented to impact on learning and behaviour as well as social and emotional development.

 

The preceding factors may also influence a young person’s ability to attend school, family functions and social situations. They may find it difficult to make friends and know how to interact with others. More often they also feel that there is no hope and that suicide, self-injury or self-harm is the only way to escape these pressures. As young people try to understand what is going on for them, their families are struggling to find support or time and the strategies to help them to cope.

 

The underpinning philosophy of my counselling practice is that these challenges are ‘transition related’. Transition means changing from one state to another. Adolescents are faced with the biggest transitional phase of their lives with changes to their bodies, hormones, responsibilities, educational requirements, relationship dynamics and societal expectations all the while adapting to the chemical reactions in their brain.

 

Too often services attempt to diagnose medical disorders or only address the resulting behavioural outcomes thus failing to acknowledge the most obvious contributing factor ‘adolescents are undergoing significant changes’. My counselling practice sets out to assist in understanding phase development and equipping clients with strategies through ‘Transitional Support’.

 

I specialise in Transitional Phase Support Services which focuses on mental health wellbeing including personal counselling, academic career guidance, complex case management involving suicide ideation and at risk behaviours. Integral to holistic support, I aim to work with the whole family as well as with individuals and couples.

 

Sessions are tailored to the individual and together we design and develop personalised coping strategies. Strategies may include liaising with schools and allied health and medical professionals to ensure holistic support. Liaison may involve case meetings, consultation, in-service training and professional development.

 

Specialties

  • Support Strategies during Transitional Challenges
  • Complex Case Management
  • High Risk Behaviours
  • Mental Health Wellbeing – Nutrition Sleep Exercise
  • Fight Flight Freeze – Anger Anxiety Panic – Life Skills
  • LGBTIQA Services
  • ASD Social Skilling & Organisation
  • School Engagement & Attendance
  • Parenting Strategies
  • Grief & Loss
  • Trauma
  • Sand Play Therapy
  • EMDR Therapy

This letter serves as a strong recommendation for Emily Rotta as a professional counsellor. I met Emily in 2012, she was the career and guidance counsellor at my sons’ school. During her time at the college Emily established strong relationships with the students and their parents. Emily was actively involved with all aspects of the school and very popular with the students. She became an asset to the school and its community. Emily’s enthusiasm and psycho-analysis acumen allowed her to successfully counsel the students. Her energetic personality made it easy for the students to open up and talk to her. Emily spent time with the students, getting to know them. This enabled her to determine their individual needs whether it was stress management, depression counselling, conflict management or career advice. Her use of contemporary therapy techniques like sand play were found to be beneficial by the students. Emily was always professional and respectful regardless of the difficulty or sensitivity the issue. She is to be commended for the way she assisted the students through some unique and challenging periods. I found Emily to be supportive and empathetic but firm when necessary. Emily understands that a child/adolescent’s issues may be part of a more complex set of circumstances. Therefore, their parents and family may need to be involved for successful outcomes. I would have no hesitation in recommending Emily as a first class counsellor.

–Sally-Ann

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