In difficult times, counselling can help

A parent shares their experience of GREC’s counselling service.

My daughter, who is transgender, was going through a very difficult time after being outed to the senior years of her school. She was experiencing hate daily, which was having a major impact on her mental health. I desperately tried to get support for her, reaching out to every agency I was aware of. Due to living in an area lacking specialist services, especially during Covid, this was near impossible. I had never felt so desperate as a parent.

I looked into private counselling but unfortunately after finding someone who was qualified to work with children, there was a waiting list. By this point our family was in crisis and I did not know where to turn. I know we cannot prevent young people’s negative behaviour towards my daughter (other than reporting all incidents), so I needed her to learn positive coping strategies to help her through the stress and anxiety she was experiencing.

We had an appointment with my daughter’s Psychologist, who agreed to have a look into what services were available in our area. Even though I thought I had exhausted all options, he called back to inform me of GREC, which I had no knowledge of.

I made contact with Molinda from GREC, who immediately put me at ease and reassured me that they could help my daughter. Shortly after Molinda got in touch, she allowed me time to explain my daughter’s situation and showed empathy towards my daughter’s situation and experiences. I was so relieved to hear that a counsellor was available to contact me that week with a view to begin counselling the following week.

I was anxious that my daughter would not feel comfortable opening up to a stranger, as she had only ever really spoken to me. Again, I was put at ease and was able to attend the first session over Microsoft Teams with my daughter. This went really well, the counsellor explained the process clearly to my daughter and gave her the confidence to attend future sessions without me sitting beside her.

My daughter has continued with weekly sessions with her counsellor. It’s so important to her that she has someone she can speak to if and when any issues arise. I have watched her confidence and resilience grow and I cannot thank GREC enough for the amazing service they continue to provide.

You can read more about the service for children and young people on the Me-Time page. We also have a counselling service for adults. Both are free, confidential, and staffed by qualified and registered volunteer counsellors.