TALK THROUGH ITSupporting Mental Health for children and teenagers
Newbury and surrounding areas

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Solution-Focused Counselling for Adults, Teenagers and Children

Based in Newbury, West Berkshire but also on Zoom/Skype nationally and internationally

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Talk Through It

Gerry set up Talk Through It in 2016. She is a Newbury-based solution-focused practitioner, with training in Counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. She covers West Berkshire and surrounding areas, including nearby Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. She also uses Skype for those who cannot leave home or who live too far away.

Talk Through It was created with teenagers and children in mind, but as time has moved on, families and adults have also sought help. Gerry favours the solution-focused approach because it looks at changing the thought pattern - what would life be like if the problem was no longer there? Unlike Counselling, it does not dwell on the problem but looks forward, to the future, and focuses on possibility. The problem is still acknowledged and listened to - as in Counselling - but the session is tailored differently in order to move out of a cycle of negativity. A person's history does not need to be taken into account.

The number of sessions required depends on the individual. You may feel that one visit is sufficient, or you may feel you need more. The average is around 8-12.

Children and Teenagers

Gerry has worked in Education for many years, as a teacher, behaviour specialist and latterly, counsellor and solution-focused therapist. Seeing the increase in anxiety and stress in children and adolescents, and the knock-on effect it has on parents/carers and families, Gerry set up a business that focused on tackling these issues. She has a great deal of experience with children and adolescents who have anger or anxiety issues, ASD and/or ADHD, gender issues etc. Gerry occasionally sees families for group therapy, if the family unit feel that this is something they would like to explore.

With younger children Gerry uses a combination of solution-focused therapy and drawing.

Typical issues occurring in children/teenagers:

  • extreme reactions to minor incidents.
  • exhibiting uncontrollable bursts of anger
  • panicking and finding it difficult to cope.
  • finding family-life emotionally charged

  • continually going over the same thoughts or problems
  • becoming insular and inward-thinking
  • feeling low and lacking self-confidence
  • having problems relating to people
  • unable to make friends

  • struggling with school work, expectations or peers
  • being disruptive in lessons
  • inability to focus when in class/at work
  • anxious about school or work
  • worrying about judgement from others
  • struggling to get into school each day
  • concern about gender issues

    Talk Through It is open to all parents or guardians, schools, and other establishments, without the need to go through your GP.

  • What is the Solution Focused Approach?

    The Solution-focused approach allows you to identify your own solutions to situations that occur in your life. We focus on possibilities rather than problems and give you a chance to see an alternative future, based on your best hopes. In doing so, you are able to make small changes that break the cycle you are stuck in. The approach looks for exceptions and talks about what is working rather than what is not and builds on your strengths. There is no need to delve deep into the psyche.

    Basic philosophy & assumptions of Solution Focused practice:

  • Clients are the experts and define their hopes
  • They have resources and strengths to solve their problems
  • The future and possibilities are focused on
  • Emphasis is on what is possible and changeable
  • Therapy is brief , not long-term

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    Gerry Spatharis

    Gerry has trained in Solution-Focused Therapy (through Solution Focused Trainers Ltd and Eileen Murphy Consultants) and is a member of the UKASFP (United Kingdom Association of Solution Focused Practitioners). She also has training in: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Level 2 and is trained to teach Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy and Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction. She has Counselling certificates through the CPCAB. She is a qualified Secondary School teacher and has been working in the Education sector for over 25 years. She has worked in both Secondary schools and Primary - independent and state, day and boarding, and has a wealth of experience. She is ideally suited to help teenagers and children with emotional or behavioural needs; seeing both the school's position and the pupil's difficulties.

    She started out as a Teacher of English and Art in the West Midlands, working in some very tough schools in hard-hit areas. Some of the teenagers in her class wrote about their lives and handed them in as essays, and stay back after school to talk through problems unfolding at home. These problems sometimes became too much for them, and existing in the classroom setting was almost unmanageable. It was this that made her realise that she wanted to help young people through their time at school.

    In 2001, she swapped her teaching career to work specifically with children who were experiencing emotional and behavioural issues. She worked for West Berkshire Council in Children's Services, visiting schools and working on a 1-2-1 with pupils who were on the verge of exclusion. She deputised at a Pupil Referral Unit, and later on, worked in Secondary Behaviour Support, as part of a team alongside Educational Psychologists, Educational Welfare Officers and CAMHS. She specialised in children with Anxiety.

    She first trained in Solution-Focused therapy in 2003 and has extensive experience of working with adolescents and young children, parents and carers, as well as staff in schools.

    Gerry gives talks on Anxiety in Children and Teenagers for school staff and offers support groups for ELSAs, SENCOs, HLTAs and to parents. She also offers behaviour support groups for school staff to discuss pupils who present challenging behaviour in schools. During these group times, staff can discuss strategies and methods they have used to help support children in their care.

    She has written the following reports: 'Year 6 transition from Primary to Secondary School in West Berkshire' and the 'Provision of Vulnerable Pupils in Education; Service use and Emerging Trends'.

    She continues to maintain a passion for teaching and is a life-long learner.

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    Professional Qualifications

    IASTI certification of Solution-Focused Practitioners
    Solution Focused Practice Certificate - Solution Focused Trainers Ltd.
    Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Essentials Level 2
    Foundation Training in teaching Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (Oxford Mindfulness Centre).
    Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. Cert.
    Solution-Focused Brief Therapy - Children, Young People and Families (Eileen Murphy)
    Solution-Focused Brief Therapy - Prevention and Intervention (Eileen Murphy)
    Counselling Certificates (CPCAB)
    P.G.C.E. English
    B.A.(Hons) English and Art

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    Member of UKASFP (UK Association for Solution-Focused Practice)
    I work to the BACP code of practice.
    (See the Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions.)

    The Aim

    Gerry's aim is to support:

    Children, teenagers and young adults where there is a gap, to ease the pressures and stresses of growing up in a technologically, fast-paced world and to give back self-confidence and reassurance to children navigating the, often turbulent waters, of growing up.

    Adults - allowing them to move forward where they may have become entrenched in a downward spiral.

    Not sure? Click on the Testimonials page.

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    'Problem talk creates problems. Solution talk creates solutions.' Steve de Shazer

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