............is the unique private space where.....

  • You will be respected at all times for who-you-are-right-now
  • You will not be judged or criticised for what you do or say
  • You will be listened to respectfully and carefully
  • You can expect to be believed and trusted
  • What's important to you is important to us
  • You can expect time, privacy and a space to help you feel safe, valued and cared about
  • You and what is happening in your life are important - this is your space
  • You choose what you want to talk about (or just say nothing)
  • You can expect to feel supported to make decisions about your life and your future, whatever you want your future to be
  • Your confidentiality will be respected and protected.

AND

  • We will always put your safety and wellbeing first

Currently the-exchange is providing a counselling service for over 25 schools throughout the UK and in the last school year, the-exchange received worked with over 1,300 referrals for face-to-face counselling for children and young people. We have worked with these referrals largely in one-to-one counselling but also using group-work

The one-to-one counselling provided is informed by the person-centred principle of non-judgemental empathic support which is respectful and honest. Considerable research over many years has proved that these conditions engender self-respect, self-confidence and self-belief. These principles are core to this service provision. The service will also draw on a broad range of other techniques and interventions which have been established as being effective and of value. In order to support people to derive value from counselling it can be important for the counsellor to work with the young person in developing their self-awareness and a language to describe their experiences and feelings. This facilitation is a delicate process of supporting the person to find their own emotional language and deciding which techniques to introduce. Relevant factors may be age, gender, level of intellectual, emotional and interpersonal development.

The use of art materials, figures, emotional cue-cards, theme cards, music, games etc are all promoted as mediums through which young people may choose to express themselves and engage in counselling. For some young people it is easier to engage in dialogue in parallel to “doing something” as this can make the discussion less intense. We are a learning organisation and our commitment to improving services means that we pay attention to contemporary research and when new evidence-based therapeutic interventions emerge which are effective with young people we ensure that staff are made aware of these new perspectives and the appropriateness of introducing them into their work

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Group Work

We provide School workshops and presentations designed around themes which have emerged from our work in the schools or from requests from the schools.. Themes which we have visited recently with different programmes include:

  • bereavement/transitions and change
  • managing stress
  • managing anger
  • self-worth and positive self-image
  • body image
  • relationships & friendships

These programmes can be made available within schools to address issues which may be affecting the lives of young people or to promote a positive health policy.

Relaxation techniques

The-exchange provides training in Mindfulness Relaxation programmes in schools.

The Mindfulness Group sessions provide a setting where participants learn and practise techniques which will help them manage their thoughts and feelings and by linking this to physical relaxation and controlled breathing they can discover how to respond effectively to potentially stressful situations.

In one-to-one counselling sessions we use this frame of reference to help young people who are looking to learn techniques which help them become less stressed and anxious. The work of the therapist on linking physical relaxation and psychological “de-stressing” is aimed at helping each young person to create their own strategies for self-management. Within the one-to-one counselling sessions this approach first focuses on encouraging the person to express their inner world to allow the counsellor to validate the experience of each young person and emphasises that each person has a unique way to see and understand their world and their experiences. Within this confidential setting the young person is able to engage in a bespoke exchange focussed on their own needs.

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Bereavement, Trauma

Developing the personal resilience to cope with change, loss, bereavement and trauma is a core focus of the-exchange and represents an area of therapeutic work in which the research of this organisation has led to significant ground-breaking strategies for helping young people and children.

Helping young people articulate their psychological struggles and emotional turmoil within a context of empathic, non-judgemental support creates a reliable and trustworthy context in which the young person and begin to strengthen their own resilience. The work of the-exchange on building resilience is designed to help young people not just manage the present crisis but to develop the skills to manage the inevitable future challenges and crises they will face. Where local authorities monitor the work we do and our results The-exchange has consistently been one of the most effective and efficient services.

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Exploitation, peer dynamics and complex relationships

In recent years as we have worked with young people we have become increasing aware of the pressures and impact which young people experience from the media and social media in particular.

From our work in schools we recognise the importance of the counsellor who appreciates the significance of this dimension in the lives of young people as well as the benefits and problems it can bring. The counsellor works with the young person, modelling safe and appropriate boundaries, encouraging and exploring the extension of appropriate boundaries in the young persons’ relationships. The counsellor also will work with the young person to identify risk and the protective factors in their lives and how to manage these. The work of the-exchange on building self-esteem and self-worth has proven very valuable in increasing the young person’s desire and ability to engage in healthy and safe relationships.

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Confidence building

In our development work over recent years, the-exchange has identified that an essential element of building resilience is supporting the development of self-confidence and self-belief.

From our extensive work with young people we are aware that low self-confidence and a low sense of personal empowerment are often linked with social isolation and sometimes self-harming behaviours. In our counselling work this is a frequent theme for the young people as they transition between childhood and adulthood and deal with different systems, structures and relationships which they need to redefine for themselves. This is particularly sensitive and delicate work which requires careful building of trust and is an area in which counselling is particularly effective.

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Anger management

As with relaxation techniques, the-exchange can offer support in the areas of anger management in the form of group-work or within one-to-one counselling support.

The core of our learning in this area developed from research-work we carried out (in conjunction with NHS referrals) with young men who had either been in prison for violence or who were on “last warnings” from families or courts. This work took place over a 12-month period and involved 8 groups of men who struggled to contain their anger and manage their feelings when they “didn’t get their own way”. From this work and our research, we were able to highlight the physical, emotional and cognitive elements of anger and the social, behavioural and interpersonal deficits that existed in the group participants. This has allowed us to work more effectively with adolescents who recognise that the way they express anger is destructive and unhelpful to them

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TRAINING IN RESILIENCE

EMOTIONAL LITERACY

RESTORATIVE PRACTICE

The-exchange offers the following programmes that can be run in schools, the community, or at our offices;

Resilience Program for Young People (12-25)

8 weeks

Resilience Program for children (aged 7-11)

8 weeks

Resilience Program for Parents

8 weeks

Emotional Wellbeing programme

4 weeks

Confidence Building programme

4 weeks

Self-esteem Building programme

4 weeks

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