What’s the importance of counselling to youth work today?

Youth counselling is a specialist service that expert practitioners like Gehad Mursi, our Counselling Lead know makes a huge difference to a young person’s life. For some young people it can literally be a lifesaver. 

The personal stories behind those they counsel are always kept confidential, but one client wanted to share his positive experience to encourage others to access and understand the importance of the service. We shall call him James, to protect his identity. 

James is in his late teens, the youngest of three children. He was struggling with feeling totally overwhelmed by his emotions, drowning in uncertainty and despair. He had never engaged with counselling before, but found Action4Youth’s service available, accessible and free. 

Being able to talk about how he feels in a safe, confidential and professional environment has, he says, made a huge difference to him. 

“I find counselling helpful as it helps me work through and understand how I am truly feeling. It calms my mind and allows myself to not become overwhelmed with my feelings. Sometimes I find it hard in my own head to figure out why I am feeling the way I am and counselling allows me to work through each thought one by one which is comforting.”

So far James has had 14 sessions and chooses to have bi-weekly meetings with his counsellor These allow him to work gradually through areas he discusses. 

Whilst mentoring and counselling strands run through many of our educational programmes, we are seeing and supporting a significant demand for counselling at our multi-service drop-in youth centre, The Junction in High Wycombe. Gehad explains what we currently provide there: “We offer between six and 18 sessions of 50 minutes each to young people aged 12 to 18 or up to the age of 25 for young people with special needs. Our service is free of charge to the young person, and the number of sessions depends on their needs. We also offer drop-ins for those who prefer this approach to have a one-off informal session or chat.”

Gehad Mursi, Counselling Lead

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