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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.

counselling for 10year old?

(11 Posts)
BerylThePeril44 Fri 14-Mar-14 19:44:13

Anybody got any experience? School have suggested it and will pay for it. I'm worried its too young and may open up a whole can of worms. Ac been with us six years. In mainstream school, average intelligence, some social and emotional issues affecting relationships with others...cheeky attitude to adults! Want to do best for her but some anxieties about fallout. Any advice/thoughts welcome x

sooperdooper Fri 14-Mar-14 19:46:35

Why have school suggested it? Has she suggested she has issues with having been adopted?

BerylThePeril44 Fri 14-Mar-14 19:51:52

As a way of helping her with her behavioural issues which are a result of her early life experiences.

curiouselle Fri 14-Mar-14 19:58:02

I'm a counsellor and worked with children from the age of 3, a good counsellor will use different tools like play therapy to make it accessible. They won't push an issue and just be open to what the child brings and wants to change. Make sure she knows it is her choice and if she doesn't like it after a few sessions she can stop attending!

Bananaketchup Fri 14-Mar-14 20:05:41

That might be a tricky one, as the law was changed to require that counselling for 'adoption issues' must only be provided by an agency registered with Ofsted as a provider of adoption support. So the school's counsellor might actually be unable to work with your DC, depending on the issues the counselling is meant to be working on. An awful lot of counsellors are unaware of this requirement though, it has not been at all well publicised - I've tried to find the info I had on it from when the law changed (well before I even though of adopting!) and I can't find it, all I found was this not very helpful line from the BACP website: 'Counselling clients who have been adopted is regulated by Ofsted. For further clarification on the law please call Ofsted on: 0300 123 1231.' So the school most likely wouldn't be aware of this.

As far as experience, my DD (aged 5, been home 6 months) is having lifestory work with a psychotherapist. I was very worried about what fallout we'd have, and although she starts nearly every session saying 'tell x to go home, I want her to go home' we haven't had fall out after or between sessions up til now. Don't know if that's useful though, sorry.

tethersend Fri 14-Mar-14 20:08:31

I think it could be very useful- it sounds as is the can of worms may be opening already and she is unable to process her emotions, so they are coming out in her behaviour.

Counselling could help her to order and manage her feelings.

I would make absolutely sure that she has a 'debrief' after a counselling session before going back into lessons or out to play though. This could be as simple as a ten minute chat with a TA or sitting drawing for a short while. It is alarming how many schools arrange counselling and forget to do this, often resulting in a behavioural incident straight after a counselling session.

What are your concerns about her having counselling?

Hayleyh34 Fri 14-Mar-14 20:11:08

My adopted DD has school counselling and she is 6. I would say proceed with caution. Her behaviour on counselling days is always awful and we have to keep explaining to her that the sessions are not about getting a new family. School says that her behaviour has got better which is the only reason that we're persevering.

BerylThePeril44 Fri 14-Mar-14 20:17:56

Thank you everybody...very supportive comments. Everything is always such a balancing act. Didn't know about ofsted requirements for counselling adoption issues banana ketchup but makes sense. Was part of my worry that counsellor would have no insight into adoption .

tethersend Fri 14-Mar-14 20:43:40

Bananaketchup, is this useful?

As I understand it, the legislation requires private practice counsellors to register with Ofsted as an adoption support agency, but if the counsellor is employed by the LA, then the LA is the adoption support agency... Is that how you understand it? It seems quite confusing.

Bananaketchup Fri 14-Mar-14 21:52:44

It is very confusing - it confuses me and I'm both a counsellor and an adopter!! I remember the back and forth in the professional journals about what this law meant for counsellors - what would happen if you started working with a client without knowing they were adopted and learnt this during the work? Or if you were working say for an eating disorders charity, and a client wanted counselling for an eating disorder and also was an adoptee, would you have to refuse to see them and send them to an adoption service? I don't remember any satisfactory answers, and I strongly believe many counsellors are completely unaware a) of this requirement and b) of why it matters.

Beryl as far as school's suggestion goes, if you want to go ahead with counselling for your DC you might find it is you educating both the school and the suggested counsellor about the necessity to have a counsellor who is registered as an adoption support agency - the school isn't Ofsteded as an adoption support agency, so having a contract with them won't do the trick. Sorry, all this doesn't help much in deciding whether counselling will be right for your DC, and maybe you can't know. I dithered about when would be the right time for DD to have the lifestory therapy and was very worried about how bad her behaviour might get as her past was raised, and how I'd cope with that, as at the time it was suggested we were having a bad patch. In the end I couldn't see how I'd know what the fallout would be, other than to try it and see. I suppose what I might be thinking about from what you've said, is are school suggesting it because they think it'll help your DC in themselves as a human, or is it more that they think it'll improve behaviour, which while it might make your DCs life at school easier and more pleasant, is also of course about the school's needs/wishes. If you see what I mean. Because in the second circumstance, what would happen if you DC got into counselling and their behaviour in school took a massive nosedive, would the school be wanting to pull the counselling, or even cut the funding for it, if it didn't have the result they expect/hope for?

tethersend Fri 14-Mar-14 22:08:46

Thanks Banana, that's really interesting.

I second talking to school about what they hope the counselling will achieve. It's important that the school recognise their role and are able to 'hold' a child whilst they work through issues raised through counselling.

It is important that the school don't view counselling as the way to deal with the child's issues, thus relieving them of any responsibility to support them emotionally. Ideally, counselling would be part of a package of support put in place by the school, rather than a standalone intervention.

Are the school proposing to use the Pupil Premium Plus to pay for the counselling sessions? I wonder if they perhaps are unsure of how else to spend it?

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