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Professional and short courses

Introduction to Counselling Children and Young People

Build on your existing counselling skills and gain practical knowledge that will enable you to start working with children and young people.

Several people having a discussion.

On this course you will develop the basic skills needed to start working with children and young people. This course is for qualified counsellors wishing to begin working towards a qualification in counselling children and young people. It is also appropriate for students wishing to undertake some of their placement hours with children or young people.

York campus

  • Course leader – John Bradley
  • Duration – 4 days
  • Dates and times

    2025 dates will be announced later in 2024

Course Fees

£400 per person

Course information

Who is this course for?

  • Counsellors in training, who are enrolled on an adult course (at least Level 4 qualification) and are considering working with children and young people.
  • Counsellors in training, who are enrolled on an adult course (at least Level 4 qualification) and are about to start a counselling placement working with children and young people.
  • Qualified adult counsellors, who are thinking about working with children and young people.

What will I learn?

You will learn the skills needed to communicate with clients of different ages and developmental stages. You will also gain a new self awareness in relation to counselling children and young people.

Some of the additional skills you will gain include the ability to:

  • Identify and assess potential risk, and know how to act if a child or young person is at risk
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how mental health difficulties can emerge and present in children and young people
  • Critically appraise the impact that different organisational contexts can have on children and young people’s counselling services, and know how to manage any ethical tensions
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of working collaboratively with other professionals

How will I learn?

This course will take place across 4 days, with teaching from 9.30am to 4.30pm each day.

The content is based on the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy's (BACP) counselling children and young people (4 to 18 years old) curriculum.

You will learn through a combination of theory work and practical activities, including:

  • Case studies of current or past children and young people that practitioners have worked with
  • Creative exercises using artwork, play and stories
  • Experiential learning that involves reflecting on your work with children and young people
  • Group discussions where you will be able to share your thoughts in a non-judgmental space
  • Skills practice in pairs or small groups
  • Theoretical input

How will I be assessed? 

During the course you will be assessed through a skills practice session where you will receive feedback from the course facilitator. You will also be asked to submit a video discussing the following topics with other course participants. These topics include: 

  • Child Protection and Safeguarding 
  • Ethical and Professional Practice
  • Risk Assessment

Student counsellors 

BACP’s advice for student counsellors working on counselling Children and Young People placements:

  •  Students on adult-focused training courses may undertake placements working with children and young people. The training or placement service provider needs to ensure that the student is assessed as having the basic competences to practice safely and ethically with children and young people, and that the placement hours are conducted in person.
  •  Before a student counsellor works with children and young people, the training or placement service provider must ensure the student has received the essential training and development required to work with children and young people on placement.
  • All students must successfully complete a Stage 1 (such as this Introduction course) before beginning work with children and/or young people in placement.


You can find out more information about student placements with children and young people on the BACP website

Course leader biographies

John Bradley

John Bradley is a person-centred counsellor, supervisor and trainer. He is a BACP Senior Accredited Counsellor / Psychotherapist (Children and Young People) and BACP Senior Accredited Supervisor.

John has been offering counselling to children and young people since 1998, previously working for Youth Counselling Projects for Hull City Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council. He has also been offering supervision since 2008, and counselling children and young people training (courses and workshops) since 2013.

John currently works in private practice as a counsellor, supervisor and trainer in Hull. He also offers counselling in a secondary school.

Course structure

Day 1

  • Child and adolescent development and transitions
  • Communication with young people

Day 2

  • Mental health and young people
  • Risk assessments

Day 3

  • Ethical and professional practice
  • Child protection and safeguarding

Day 4

  • Working within the context of the counselling setting
  • Beginnings and endings with young people

Enquire now

Boost skills, knowledge and confidence with a professional or short course from York St John University. We offer professional learning and development opportunities for teams and individuals, from single sessions to longer courses.

To express an interest in this course, please fill in the form below with your details and we will be in touch soon.