counselling

What to expect

When you arrive at the unit you will be asked to wait in the reception area with your parents or carers. If you haven't had one of our welcome packs sent to you, we will give you this in reception to start looking at. We usually expect young people to come with at least one parent or carer. Sometimes you will come straight on to the ward for the first meeting, this is more likely to happen if we are very worried about your health or safety. Sometimes you will be seen in one of the outpatient rooms. 

The first part of the assessment will usually be with your parents and you together. You will normally see two members of the team, one of the doctors and one of the nurses. You will be offered an opportunity to meet with us on your own to discuss any issues that you do not feel comfortable talking about with your parents or carers present. They will also be offered a chance to talk to us without you present. If you are seen on your own we will agree what to tell your parents about our discussion.

What will we talk about?

We will try to get an idea of how you are feeling at the moment, what you and your parents/carers think may have led to you feeling like this and how we might be able to help. We will need to ask a lot of questions about your family and your past experiences, including your schooling and family life. If difficult things have happened, these experiences can be hard to talk about, but it helps us to help you better if you can talk a bit about what has happened to you in the past. If this is too hard, please let us know.

Sometimes young people and families have some problems, experiences or worries that they have never spoken about. We have seen a lot of young people with troubles and can assure you that we will  listen carefully and respectfully to anything you want to talk about. As far as possible we will respect your confidentiality, but sometimes, if we are very worried about your health or safety, we may have to share information that you tell us with your parents, carers or other professionals, even if you would rather we didn't. If we are going to do this we will let you know.

What happens next?

After the first appointment we are likely to have a break to discuss between ourselves what we think is happening. We will then talk again with you and your parents or carers to tell you our understanding of your troubles and how we think it may be possible to help. If you disagree with anything, please let us know. One of the things we will talk about with you and your parent/carer is whether you need to be admitted to hospital.

Will I always have to stay in the Darwin Young People's Centre after a first appointment?

Sometimes we agree not to admit you just yet but to offer advice and extra support to you and your family to help you to stay at home. Sometimes we all agree it would be better if you came into hospital. We will then take you to look around the ward and meet some of the other staff.

The page was last updated on 10 September 2018 by andrea.bateman.

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Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 726789 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501