Everyone has unhappy feelings when growing up. It might be when something sad has happened like losing a best friend or something very sad like when a granny dies. Having lots of worries often happens at times of big change. The big change could be when leaving an old home that you loved or when starting at a new school.


These unhappy feelings usually start to get better when you share your feelings with your mum and dad. And you can also be helped by talking with other important grown ups and your friends. Things usually get better with sharing and time.

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stuck with unhappy feelings

Sometimes you can feel really stuck with unhappy feelings. Somehow the feelings of sadness, worry or being afraid do not seem to get better. 

Things being stuck might be because something very difficult has happened in your life that is still troubling you. Children can sometimes have very upsetting and confusing things happen in their lives. 

Often you can feel really muddled about feeling unhappy and find that it makes you feel low in confidence. Sometimes feeling stuck with unhappiness can make you:

  • feel bad about yourself and not liked
  • find in it hard to make friends
  • struggle at school
  • worry that you are not good at anything
  • feel frightened about growing up

needing help

When you are stuck with feeling unhappy it is a good idea for mum and dad to get some help. Sometimes other people in the family or friends have good ideas that really help make things better.

Sometimes it is a good idea for mums and dads to talk to someone whose job is to help children with their worries.

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child psychotherapists

Therapists have a special training that helps them understand children's worries. They meet with children and their mums and dads to work out the best way of helping things get better.

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how do child psychotherapists help?

Therapists often meet just with mums and dads for a first meeting. The meeting will help the therapist begin to understand what the worries are. The therapist would think with your mum and dad about whether having some help would be a good idea.

If having help is a good idea the therapist would  then meet you with your mum and dad. Often a child will come just with their mum or just with their dad.

Children sometimes feel nervous when coming for a first meeting. They are not sure what to expect. They can sometimes worry about what the therapist is going to be like. It is important to remember that the therapist will be pleased to meet you and that they there to help.

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The therapist will spend time getting to know you with your mum or dad. You would all begin to think together about some of the worries. If the therapist thought it would be helpful they would also talk about the idea of your having some meetings of your own with the therapist. Having some meetings of your own could really help with understanding the worries better. The meetings would also help you work out if this kind of therapy felt right for you. If it did feel right for you the therapist could think with your parents about your having more meetings over a longer time.


what is psychotherapy like?

Therapy is a special time for you every week with your therapist. The meetings are called sessions. The sessions are at the same time each week and always take place in the same therapy room. The therapy room will have toys in it and pens and paper for drawing for you to use if you want to.


Therapy is about the therapist helping you to understand your worries so that you can feel happier and more confident. Sometimes understanding problems comes through talking together and sometimes through your being able to play. Many thoughts and ideas can come from thinking together                 about your play.

At times psychotherapy can feel upsetting and difficult. Facing worries can be hard work sometimes. Therapy can also be exciting- learning new things about yourself and the world around you. It also feels good when you find yourself starting to feel happier and freer.

Parents usually have their own meetings as well as you having your therapy sessions. The meeting for your parents would be to help them think about how they can help to make things better. As the therapy goes along there will be review meetings for your therapist and parents to think together about how your therapy is going for you.


after psychotherapy

You should feel a lot better after your therapy. Though it can feel sad to say goodbye to your therapist things should go on feeling better after you have stopped. The therapy that you have done together stays inside you and goes on helping.

Some children like to come back after they have stopped therapy to let their therapist know how they are getting along. Or some children choose to send a letter or card to their therapist  to let them know how things are going.

Sometimes children find that they want to come back for more help if they become troubled by their worries again.

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