More threads by HA



From the Professional Portal:

Youth tell Pros what works for them in Counselling and what doesn’t. has been canvassing youth to find out what they think of the counselling process. Here a sampling of the comments made by youth in focus groups.

Waiting Room
“I hated all the signs that said “mental” everywhere. Should say Health Centre and have radio music that is not depressing instrumental music. Waiting room is important, helps you enter with a clear mind.”

“Should look homey, not formal.“

“Should be funky, not fancy.”

“I see this picture on the desk with a guy in shorts and a tee shirt with his family. The guy in the room in a suit doesn’t look or act like the guy in the picture. I’d rather work with the guy in the picture.”

“Should have something on the walls to look at besides degrees and diplomas.”

“I want to be treated like a person, not a diagnosis.”
“Best when there is interaction between staff and other people in the unit…play checkers, spend time, not just give meds. Some socializing, not just getting treatment.”

“I am more than my diagnosis. Don’t just learn about what I have and what has negatively happened in my life but what I like to do. Don’t always overanalyze me. Just listen. Have fun things to do in the session. Don’t make it all sitting and interviewing. Have games, art and visualization. Anything different.”

“They ask such personal questions (right away) and you feel like you have to bare your soul and to a complete stranger. You might not trust your parents or anyone at all. Depending on the illness or as a result of it, you can isolate yourself. Paranoia and depression is a lack of trust. You can’t trust your own perceptions. If you can’t trust yourself, how can you trust anyone else? You feel as if you can’t trust the world.”

“You just don’t know what they will tell your parents and what they won’t.”

What Helps

“Maybe just give them a call the day before (the first session) just let them know you care or to introduce self.”

“Talk to them over the phone…perhaps to talk about what therapy is and to get a comfort level.”

“Get to know them before therapy.”

“Icebreakers would help break down walls and make the process more comfortable.”
“Food in session.”

“Anything that keeps your hands busy.”

“Use my music.”

“Animals in therapy, but make sure not allergic.”

“Stop saying, ‘Ahaa’.”

“Don’t write things down or if you do, offer to show us the notes.”

“Explain things like a change in diagnosis.”

“Don’t assume anything. Ask, “Do you know about this? Give pamphlet or website address to help find out more.”

“Knowing that your parents and friends won’t find out.”

“Youth are complex and have complex emotions. Just because they block you out doesn’t mean they don’t want to talk to you. You need to find a different method and not all methods work with different youth. If they push you, push back. They are probably testing you to see how willing you are to help them.”
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