Therapies and Specialisms

The Young People’s Counselling Service team have a range of therapeutic approaches we are able to use when working with young people. We are dedicated to continually expanding and updating our knowledge and skills to provide services that are beneficial and relevant to the issues young people and their families face. You can also find the areas of counselling we work with on the Counselling Directory.

Therapeutic Approaches

Hover over the cards to learn more about each of the approaches and how they can help young people.

Integrative Counselling

Integrative Counselling brings lots of ideas together rather than use one specific approach. This means elements of different therapies are used to meet the needs of each individual person.

This approach thinks about the whole person; their mental, emotional, physical, social and spiritual health. It aims to help someone reach their full potential. An Integrative Therapist works with a young person to be supportive, open-minded and non-judgmental.

It can help young people:

  • Understand what can make them feel challenged
  • Identify the triggers that can make them behave in certain ways
  • Discover and practice more helpful behaviours
  • Set goals
  • Have more awareness of the connection between mind and body

Psychodynamic Counselling

Psychodynamic Counselling aims to bring the unconscious mind and processes into conscious awareness. It explores feelings and experiences that may be too difficult or painful for the conscious mind to process, and the defences people use to keep these feelings and experiences from the conscious mind.

This approach thinks about the feelings and experiences that are 'below the surface' and how these can affect how we behave. A Psychodynamic Therapist works with a young person to be supportive, non-judgmental and encourages them to speak freely about what comes into their mind.

It can help young people:

  • Understand how past feelings and experiences can affect present behaviour
  • See patterns in feelings, thoughts and beliefs so they can better understand themselves
  • Discover and practice more helpful behaviours and ways of thinking
  • Be able to self-reflect

Humanistic Counselling

Humanistic Counselling explores how someone feels in the 'here and now'. It aims to help people recognise their positive traits, their strengths and creativity to reach their full potential. 

This approach thinks about the whole person and the person as an individual rather than grouping people with similar traits as having the same problems. A Humanistic Therapist works with a young person to be supportive, empathetic and facilitate self-exploration. 

It can help young people:

  • Recognise and develop their personal strengths, values and creativity
  • Develop positive problem solving skills
  • Accomplish their own goals
  • Discover their inner resources, wisdom and capacity for healing

Play and Creative Arts Therapy

Play and Creative Arts Therapy helps children learn how to help themselves. It creates a safe space for self-expression without having to use words by providing an opportunity to play out feelings and problems. 

This approach thinks about using children's natural language of play, and the feelings and experiences that can have an impact upon behaviour. A Play and Creative Arts Therapist works with the child to be non-judgmental, warm, curious and responsive to their wishes regarding the session's activities.

It can help young people:

  • Explore, express and understand feelings, thoughts and behaviour
  • Develop empathy, decision-making and positive problem solving and
    communication skills
  • Manage relationships and conflicts
  • Explore and make sense of challenging life events

Dance Movement Psychotherapy

Dance Movement Psychotherapy uses the body to facilitate communication and expression. It helps children and young people to express what may be difficult to put into words.

This approach uses the movement, props, storytelling and relationship to identify and support development patterns. A Dance Movement Psychotherapist works with a young person where they are at, ensuring that they feel comfortable and supported to explore difficult feelings and experiences.

It can help young people:

  • Process traumatic experiences
  • Develop self esteem and confidence
  • Become empowered and comfortable within their own bodies
  • Express what might be difficult to put into words
  • Build and sustain healthy, supportive relationships


Dramatherapy draws on theatre as a medium for psychological therapy. It may include the use of drama, story-making, music, movement, and art.

This approach uses a wide range of dramatic techniques in verbal and non-verbal ways. While talking and storymaking are important parts of dramatherapy, it does not necessarily rely on spoken language alone to resolve what a young person wishes to address, explore or  seek support with. 

It can help young people:

  • Help young people re-imagine, work through and make changes in their lives
  • Develop self esteem and confidence
  • Go deeper into their emotional world
  • Express what might be difficult to put into words


Trauma Informed Schools

This specialist training focuses on developing whole school cultures to be mentally healthy for all. It addresses responding effectively to vulnerable and challenging children and those who have suffered a trauma or have a mental health issue. It also addresses interventions for teacher stress, teacher absence and poor staff retention.

This specialism includes:

  • An in-depth understanding of the long-term impact of specific adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)
  • Enabling school staff to think psychologically about pupils in terms of what has happened to them rather than simply addressing behaviour
  • Increasing the protective factors and ‘safety cues’ in the school culture as a whole, to benefit all, adults as well as children
  • Supporting staff in ways that prevent them suffering from high levels of stress, developing secondary trauma and leaving the profession as a result

Parent-Child Attachment Play

A 10 step early help attachment programme for parents with children aged 3-15+. Parents and carers are often concerned about their children’s behaviour and that by adopting a playful attachment approach they will lose control over their family life. When the parent-child relationship is working, helpful child behaviour generally follows and family life becomes more manageable. 

This specialism thinks about the relationship between the parent and child. Parents and carers are empowered to feel confident in their skills and to begin short weekly 'You and Me' play or activity times at home with their child. Parents or carers are helped to transfer their skills to problematic areas of home life.

It can help:

  • Enhance the parent/child relationship
  • Support parents in learning new skills to increase confidence and cooperation
  • Support parents in finding new ways to enjoy being with their child

Young People’s Counselling Service
Annabelle Davis Centre
School Bungalow
Peterborough PE7 3JD

Phone: 01733 903288

Registered Charity No. 1190555