Supporting Children and Teens
Our children and teens services can help young people to build confidence, resilience and self-esteem.
Bullying: Services for Victims & Bullies
What is bullying?
Bullying can range from name-calling, and hitting or kicking, to cyber bullying – threats or name-calling via
Internet messaging/SMS or social media. Bullies upset their victim by picking on their sensitive points. There is no set age at which bullying starts or stops, everyone can experience bullying at any stage in life.
How does it feel?
The person being bullied can feel a whole range of emotions, from feeling upset or shut out, to feeling suicidal and self harming. Often, the person feels alone, helpless, powerless and afraid that if they tell anyone, the bullying will get worse. This can affect their health, their confidence, their self esteem and their work. Some people even feel ashamed and think they have brought it on themselves.
There is no excuse for bullying – bullying is abuse, whether it is violent or not.
Remember: No one has the right to bully you.
A national helpline exists to help you find out more about available support services.
How we can help too
Do you think you might be being bullied? Talk to one of our counsellors and let us help you. If you think you are the Bully, and you want to change, we can help you too: Behaviour Change.
Teens Relationship Issues
Adults are sometimes dismissive of the relationship problems experienced by younger people.
They say things like,‘Someone else will come along’, or, ‘you’re only young, you’ll meet someone else’.
But young people experience the same range and intensity of difficulties with relationships as older people, including sexting, controlling behaviour, two-timing, or breaking up with someone they love. All these problems and others, are important. How you deal with them can make the difference between feeling worthless and unloved, and feeling confident and self-assured.
Your relationship problems might be with family members or friends – not just a partner – but they can cause just as much stress. The Change Project’s youth counselling service can help. We don’t judge anyone, and what you say is confidential.
Youth Services: Changing Abusive Behaviour
Change offers confidential support for young people ages 11-18 (up to 25 for young people with additional needs) who want to change their behaviour, and develop improved awareness of healthy communication in relationships. We help young people to look at their abusive behaviour and find safe, non-abusive alternatives.
How do you behave with your family, your girlfriend or boyfriend?
- Smashed things up and scared those around you?
- Tried to control your partner’s behaviour with her friends and family?
- Checked your partners phone and text?
- Hit out or hit someone close?
- Screamed and shouted? Punched something or someone?
- Used weapons to hurt people?
It doesn’t have to be like this. If you are worried about hurting someone you care about call us.
Youth Services: Active Listening in Schools
What is it?
We train suitable students to become Active Listeners who can then help to assist victims of bullying and victimisation. They can also help those students with emotional issues that are having an effect on their performance at school.
Who is it for?
We train up to 24 selected students aged 11-18 years to become a listening point for other students who may find it easier to talk to a trained peer than with a member of staff.
How does it work?
We deliver six group sessions, each lasting 1.5 hours, or an equivalent period of time depending on the school calendar. Sessions involve discussion, role play, hand outs and time for questions and evaluation.
The training covers:
- Active Listening techniques
- Basic empathy
- Reflective responding
- Body language
- Using Questions
- Conflict resolution
- Safeguarding children and young people
Students who successfully become Active Listeners gain a certificate and a badge of office on the completion of training.
Healthy Relationships Programme
We have teamed up with arts charity Tender Education & Arts to deliver the Tender Healthy Relationships Programme which has been delivered to schools across London and Essex for the past 13 years.
Who is it for?
Tender Healthy Relationships is a 10 hour project which works with one class of students in either Year 7,8, 9, 10 or 11.At the end of the project the group will share back to their peers, spreading the message across the community as a whole.
How does it work?
Our team of trained facilitators work with a core group of around 25 to 30 year 7-11 students for the whole 10 hours. We can be flexible about how we deliver these 10 hours; 2 full days, 5 x 2 hour sessions etc. Our aim is to help students develop skills for building healthy and respectful relationships. We achieve this through open, creative workshops that explore the healthy and unhealthy aspects of relationships, empowering students to consider their attitudes and behaviour in an age appropriate way.
As part of the project each participating school will receive an hour long CPD accredited INSET training session for a minimum of 20 staff. This short training session aims to develop understanding of the issues that can arise for young people as they begin to engage in intimate relationships.
Young people are the group most at risk from abusive relationships. The session equips school staff with an understanding of these issues, helping them to support their students more effectively. Run in an informal, discussion-based style, participants will cover vital information about risk factors for young people, an exploration of why abuse occurs, and guidance on approaching the issue with young people.
The Aims of the Project
We aim to empower participating young people to:
- Understand the components and characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships.
- Discuss attitudes towards relationships constructively.
- Recognise early warning signs of an unhealthy relationship.
- Identify where and how to seek support.
- Advocate respect and equality in their peer groups and communities.
- Develop communication skills.
What topics does this project cover?
Each project is responsive and aims to focus on the issues which are of most importance to young people.
- Different types of abuse – physical, sexual, emotional/psychological, financial.
- The scale of the problem – In the UK 1 in 3 women experience abuse in a life time (NICE guidance 2014)
- The relevance of the issue to the group – Younger women (aged 16 – 24) is the age group most at risk of an unhealthy relationship (Office for National Statistics)
- Early warning signs of an abusive, controlling partner.
- Excuses used by perpetrators to control their partners
- Challenges of leaving an unhealthy relationship.
Young People’s Counselling
Our young people’s counselling service can help young people to build confidence, resilience and self-esteem. Young people benefit from an improved awareness of their own resources and it supports them to address problems and pursue meaningful goals.
Counsellors offer confidential support for young people aged 11-18 (up to 25 for young people with additional needs) who want to develop improved awareness of healthy communication and relationships.
Young people access counselling for many reasons, they may want to deal with relationship issues in their lives, difficulties at home and/or at school, or change their own abusive behaviour and find safe, non-abusive alternatives.
Our counselling service in schools is valued by young people as it offers them a safe, confidential, accessible and free counselling service during their school day.
What is The Change Project counselling for Young People?
If is for young people aged between 11 – 25 and provides a confidential opportunity to talk things through. If you are:
- concerned that the adults at home argue all the time
- unhappy about your parents break up and all the changes this will bring
- unhappy with the idea of a step family, or fitting into a new family
- suffering from the loss of someone close to you
- suffering from friendship problems, maybe at school, that worry you
- identity issues
- teen relationship issues
…or anything that is on your mind, then counselling may help you deal with these problems. You can spend time with a counsellor on a one to one basis to help you express and understand your own feelings better.
Counselling is available in many schools across Essex for free, and at our venues where we have to make a charge of £40 per session.
Child Focussed Counselling
Change Child Focused Counselling aims to help children between the ages of 4-11 years make sense of their feelings, thoughts and behaviours. Sessions may be up to an hour with ten sessions being the average. The vast majority of children are signposted into counselling through schools.
Children often present with a change of behaviour which causes concern to parents and/or teaching staff. This may often include one or more of the following:
- appearing sad or distressed
- being described as being disruptive or rebellious
- being withdrawn
- having difficulties in expressing and managing anger
- having difficulties with eating or sleeping
The children may present with difficulties relating to:
- relationships with friends
- social development, including settling into school
- low self-worth / self-esteem
- changes in the family including new siblings, separation and divorce, stepfamily issues.
The service aims to support children to be better equipped to deal with any difficulties or disruptions they are experiencing in their home and/or school environment. They will feel supported in managing any difficulties and develop a greater sense of self-esteem and self-worth.
You can access Child Focussed Counselling at any of our locations above at a cost of £40 per session. Our Child Focussed Counselling is available in schools across Essex which children can access free of charge through their school. To check if your child’s school benefits from this service please contact us or ask the school.
Play is now widely recognised as being beneficial in the emotional development of children. It has a therapeutic value. With the growth of play therapy, play work and the use of therapeutic play skills there is widespread confusion about the roles of each.
Here at the Change Project, we deliver Play Therapy in schools which uses a variety of play and creative arts techniques to alleviate chronic, mild and moderate psychological and emotional conditions in children that are causing behavioural problems and/or are preventing children from realising their potential.
1 in 5 children in the UK have an emotional, behavioural or mental health problem and they could benefit from Play Therapy.
Who is Play Therapy for?
It can help to support children who:
- are not realising their full potential – academically, or socially
- Having nightmares or disturbed sleep
- Is at risk of being/is excluded from school
- Has suffered trauma
- Has suffered emotional, physical or sexual abuse
- Is adopted or fostered or in the process of being
- Suffers because of separated/divorced parents
- Suffers from anxiety, stress or phobias
- Has suffered a loss or bereavement
- Is withdrawn or continually unhappy
- Is ill, disabled, or autistic
- Finds it difficult to make friends
- Quarrels frequently with peers or siblings
- Bullies others or is bullied themselves
- Displays inappropriate behaviour
- Doesn’t play
Our Play Therapists are PTUK Certified Play Therapists who undergo a minimum of 200 hours of supervised clinical work whilst in training. A total of 450 hours are required to become a PTUK Accredited Play Therapist.
You can access Play Therapy at any of our locations above at a cost of £40 per session. Our Play Therapy service is available in schools across Essex which children can access free of charge through their school. To check if your child’s school benefits from this service please contact us or ask the school.