Breathing Space

Unit 2A
Phoenix Park

07729 614826


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Opening Times

*Appointment Only*
Tues: 9am - 8pm
Weds: 9am - 8pm
Thurs: 9am - 8pm

Emotional Support for Young People

Ever wondered what’s racing through your child’s mind?

Are you concerned about them not wanting to go to school? Maybe it’s the unexpected tears at bedtime, becoming withdrawn or sudden anger?

According to child psychologist Caroline Godin, school avoidance, negative thoughts, lack of concentration, low self-esteem, low mood, body image issues and anger are all on the increase.

Having professional support at an early stage can make a huge difference to children and their families.

Caroline spent 15 years working in schools and several years specialising in children’s psychology.

She set up a child and adolescent psychology service – Breathing Space – in Phoenix Park, Honley, to help improve emotional wellbeing in young people.

“As a mother, I witnessed my own children struggling at times, and as a teacher, I could see how other children had their own difficulties.

“I wanted to help them, so I decided to leave teaching and specialise in child psychology,” she said.

Space to Breathe

As her business name suggests, Caroline’s therapy room is a safe haven for children to talk about what is keeping them awake at night or troubling them throughout the day.

Using engaging, playful and interactive resources, Caroline can delve into the minds of little ones and provide the tools needed to cope with the ups and downs in life.

“When you work with children they must be engaged. We often use a practical activity such as drawing so they feel more comfortable talking about what’s going on for them and how they feel.

“For younger children, I may pick up a wand and ask them what their life would be like if they didn’t have this issue, or why they have chosen a particular rock from a selection.

“We may talk about imperfections, how we feel about them, and how important they are to us, before thinking about them in the bigger picture.

“For older children, we may use TikTok or YouTube to illustrate a psychological point or strategy. For some, it’s a case of Instagram versus reality and we talk about how much of what they see is real.

“Some children talk freely, others do not. Part of my work is to establish a connection, trust and understanding and to open communication.”

A Lifeline for Anxious Parents and Carers

Caroline has a master’s degree in psychology and is registered with the British Psychology Society (BPS). Since lockdown, in just one year alone, she helped more than 100 children.

Sessions are either one-to-one or as a family and can be arranged as a one off or in blocks at regular intervals.

Therapies include Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), to identify unhelpful thinking patterns and to explore the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviour.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a more practical, skills-based approach to manage overwhelming emotions by looking at emotional regulation and distress tolerance.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) looks at negative thoughts and feelings without getting hooked on them. It includes mindfulness and asks, “Is this issue or behaviour moving me towards or away from my goals in life?”

The focus is always to catch a negative thought and to explore looking at it in a different way.

Family mediation is used to improve communication and family relationships, and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is used for post-traumatic stress disorder and trauma in young people and adults.

‘Normalising’ Anxiety

“Anxiety is ok if it is managed,” said Caroline. “When you look at evolution, there are reasons for our anxiety. It is inherent in our genetic DNA because as cavemen we needed it to survive.

“To know the pleasure of happiness, we must feel sadness, but we also need to manage those thoughts and feelings so that the negative ones don’t overwhelm us.

“Imagine you are calmly sailing down a river. One side is muddy and you may get stuck, the other has strong rapids and you can feel overwhelmed. You need the skills to stay in the middle.”

To find out about other businesses in Honley and to explore village life click here.

Breathing Space
Unit 2A, Phoenix Park, Eastgate, Honley, HD9 6PA

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