Adolescent Counselling Service

At Wexford Rape Crisis we offer a counselling service to adolescents of all sexual and gender identities.  Any young person, from the age of 12 upwards, who has been affected in any way by domestic, sexual or gender-based violence can be referred to our counselling service.  We also offer therapeutic support to the young person’s family/carers.


Adolescent Counselling FAQs


What is adolescent counselling?


Adolescent counselling is similar to adult counselling however the biggest difference is that your counsellor will have special training and experience of working with young people.  Also, before your first counselling session, your counsellor will meet with your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) to obtain their written consent for you to have counselling with our service.


The counselling relationship provides a confidential space for adolescents to speak about difficulties they are experiencing because of things that have happened in their life (either recently or when they were younger).  It can be a great relief to share your worries, fears and problems with a person who acknowledges your feelings.  By talking to a counsellor, it can help you gain a better understanding of your emotions and help you discover new ways of coping.  Your counsellor may suggest creative ways of working together such as using art materials or sand, some people like this and others just prefer to talk during counselling sessions – you and your therapist will figure out which way of working suits you best.


Counselling normally happens weekly, some young people come to counselling for just a few weeks and for others it might be months or even longer.  Counselling works best when you get on with and trust your counsellor.  It may take a while to feel comfortable talking to your counsellor, but this is perfectly normal.


How much does it cost?


We offer a free counselling service however we do accept donations from those that can afford to contribute towards the running costs of our counselling service.


Do I have to get a GP to refer me for counselling?


We receive referrals from a wide range of sources including doctors, social workers, teachers, parents, SATU and outside therapists however it is not necessary to get your doctor or another person to refer you to our counselling service, you can refer yourself simply by contacting us on our freephone telephone number 1800 33 00 33.


What happens after I have been referred for counselling?


Once we receive a call from you or your parent(s)/legal guardian(s), we will send you a referral form. Once these forms have been completed and received back by the Centre Manager, your name will be placed on the waiting list.  Once there is an available counselling space, the Manager and the Adolescent Psychotherapist will first arrange to meet with your parent(s)/legal guardian(s)to give them some information about the counselling service and also get their written consent for you to have counselling.  We will then invite you and your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) to meet the counsellor, usually one or two weeks later.  From here weekly sessions with the young person will continue with the counsellor.


Do my parents have to know?


It is usual for us to involve parent(s)/legal guardian(s) and seek their consent prior to a young person under 18 engaging in counselling at our centre.  However, a young person may seek to make a decision on their own without parental involvement or consent.  In such circumstances, wherever possible, we would encourage and advise you to communicate with and involve your parent(s) or legal guardian(s).   If you felt this was not possible, we would listen to your wishes and concerns before making a decision if it is possible for you to attend counselling without your parent(s)’/legal guardian(s)’ permission.  In exceptional circumstances, counselling can be provided to people under 18 without the knowledge or consent of parent(s) or legal guardian(s).


What happens in the first session?


You will usually be accompanied by a parent(s)/legal guardian(s) for the beginning part of your first counselling session.  During the first session, your counsellor will tell you all about counselling and give you information about how our counselling service works.  The first few sessions are a chance for you to get to know your counsellor and check out if you feel that counselling would be a helpful support to you at this point in your life.


What if I don’t like it?


Counselling will only work if the client themselves feel ready and willing to be part of the counselling process.  It is a young person’s right to decide to not engage in counselling and it is their right to decide to stop counselling at any point.


Will my counsellor tell my parents everything that I tell him/her?


No, the therapist works with you in a professional and confidential way just as they would with an adult client. The only exception to this confidentiality agreement is if you were to tell your counsellor that:


  • you are at risk of harming yourself or another person
  • you are at risk / experiencing physical, emotional or sexual abuse
  • another young person under the age of 18 is at risk / experiencing physical, emotional or sexual abuse


If this was to happen then your counsellor would discuss this with you and then report the information to your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) and/or relevant authority.  The reason for this is to ensure that all young people are protected and safe.


What if someone else in my family also needs support?


We also offer counselling support to any parent(s)/legal guardian(s), brothers, sisters and extended family of any young person who has been affected in any way by domestic, gender or sexual-based violence.