CYP counselling

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You are here: HomeCYP counselling
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   CYP Counselling    

Avenue provides counselling for children and young people from the age of 10 to 17 years, who are struggling with their emotions or wellbeing.

Counselling can support children and young people to work through their challenges and find positive ways to move forward. Our Counsellors work with the child or young person to tackle whatever is important to them. This might typically include anger, feelings of loneliness, bullying, problems at home or school, or low self-esteem.

Children and young people often find it really helpful to talk to somebody who is outside their family. Avenue’s Counsellors will not discuss with the child’s parents or carers what is talked about in the sessions. However, they might support the child or young person to have those conversations themselves, if that’s what they would like.

Please note that, except where we have safety concerns, the child/ young person’s session is confidential for them.  The content of sessions is not shared, and can form no part of any legal or mediation proceedings.    

Avenue’s Counsellors work within the BACP and COSCA ethical frameworks. This means that our Young Person’s Counsellors have a recognised qualification in Counselling at Diploma level or higher and also have specialised training to work with children and young people. All of our Young Person’s Counsellors have enhanced disclosure/PVG checks, adhere to Avenue’s safeguarding and child protection policy, and participate in regular clinical supervision.



Sessions are 50 minutes long and can be delivered by zoom or face-to-face. This may depend on where you live.

How many sessions you will need will depend on your particular circumstances, but we typically start with the expectation that you will have 6 sessions. We can review this as the therapy progresses. We work with the child or young person for as long as this is helpful.



Children and Young Person’s Counselling is free if you live in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire or Moray.

We ask that you consider making a donation to our work. Avenue is a charity and we work hard to make sure that anyone who needs our support can access our services. Any donation you can make will help us to ensure that we can get help to the people who need it most.

Please be aware that we can only offer Children and Young Person’s Counselling to children who live in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire or Moray.

We are able to offer free Children and Young Person’s Counselling thanks to the support of a range of funders, including: Aberdeen City Common Good Fund, Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership, Aberdeenshire Council, BBC Children in Need, John Gordon’s Charitable Fund and the Scottish Government.

If you would like more information, or would like to refer yourself or someone you know to Children and Young Person’s Counselling, please call our Service Administration team on 01224 587571, or email them at .

Our online referral forms can be completed here.    Self Referral        Professional Referral  



Susan and Bob’s Story

When our daughter turned fifteen, she became argumentative, moody and withdrawn.  It just seemed to happen overnight.  We hadn’t a clue what was going.  She went from being this beautiful, happy child who was doing really well at school, to someone we didn’t recognise.  We kept telling each other it would pass but one day I walked into her room while she was getting dressed and, to my horror, saw a number of cuts on the top of her legs.  Some looked as if they had just happened, others were healed or healing.  I felt the blood drain from my body and thought I was going to collapse.  Her yelling at me to get out, brought me back to consciousness. 

I called Bob to come home immediately which he did and we both stood, almost paralysed not knowing what to do before going online.  Reading as much as we could, we took a little comfort in finding out that self-harm is a coping mechanism and not usually a suicide attempt.  However, we knew we had to get help as soon as possible.

Sarah was still in her room so we agreed that I would go up and talk to her, in case she might feel overwhelmed by seeing us both.  I knocked and waited and luckily she asked me in.  She was dressed and sitting on her bed.  She looked like a little girl.  I sat beside her and put my arms arounds her and she sobbed into my shoulder.  She couldn’t talk to me about it which was very painful, but she agreed to talk to my sister. They were always close and, in the days that followed, Sarah’s aunt was there to listen.  After about a couple of weeks and to my relief, Sarah said she would see a professional. 

We watched her improve over the following months as she began to get involved in things again.  It was probably the most terrifying period in our lives and, at times, the feeling of powerlessness seemed unbearable.  Sarah’s Counsellor taught us how to work together as a family, support Sarah and each other.  Something like this is every parent’s nightmare, but we learned to be patient and not to push her.  She is so much happier now and is getting better every day.  We’ve got our daughter back and there just aren’t the words to describe the relief and gratitude we feel.