As part of my MSc in Person-centred Counselling and Psychotherapy, I volunteered in a school in Dunbar, Scotland to support parents of children accessing additional support. Some families were looking for parenting coaching, others a place to express anxieties about their children’s behaviour at home or in school. Common features were families considering or awaiting a diagnosis of an Autistic Spectrum diagnosis or ADHD, families coming to terms with a change because of a death or separation and families struggling to support their children’s emotional needs.
Parents often felt a sense of relief when they were able to discuss problems at home in a place of understanding and non-judgement and come to their own realisations about what their relationship with their child needed. I am able to bring my experience of working with children with additional needs and knowledge of special needs and inclusion to help bring a wider understanding of these issues. This placement was helpful for parents going through the legal system after a separation to plan what they hoped for as well as to manage their fears.