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Posted by Harriet Muir, Aug 5 2013 5:31PM

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Age 16 - adult or minor?

I have been approached to counsel a 16 year old. I do not work with children, but am unsure as to whether a 16 year old is an adult or child when it comes to providing counselling. Would appreciate CThA response and other advice, as to how this will affect appproach, confidentiality (do I need adult there also) and insurance.
Nicki Lee
Aug 5 2013 5:36PM
Best bet to check with BACP, for definitive answers, to make sure there haven't been changes since your training.
Sue Hannaford
Aug 5 2013 5:38PM
Hi Nicki - could check with insurance company as well?

Nicki Lee
Aug 5 2013 5:40PM
Worth a try, but I wouldn't be surprised if they refer back to the training and legalities. I don't do counselling myself, so don't know for certain.
Nicki Lee
Aug 5 2013 5:42PM
Also, Harriet, as a counsellor don't you receive supervision? That person should be able to help.
Sue Hannaford
Aug 5 2013 6:01PM
Actually from my knowledge of counsellors - there are those who specialise in young person counselling, and even that is divided into young children and adolescent - think supervisor would therefore also advise, as Nikki says.

(Sorry wasn't reading properly initially and thought it was you enquiring Nikki - should have known better!!!). Sue
Chhaya Shah
Aug 5 2013 6:24PM
Hi Harriet

Working with adolescents and children is very different from working with adults ie they may not talk much so you may need to use other materials to enable them to express themselves. If this was not part of your training and your supervisor does not work with adolescents then it is better to refer them on. I am a counsellor based in Feltham so if you are interested in referring this client, please kindly contact me on 07979 854450 or

Kind regards

Harriet Muir
Aug 5 2013 8:14PM
Thank you all for your replies. It is a good point about adolescents being very different from adults, and I would be working beyond the remit of my training. I will get back to the referring organisation about this and let them know of your availability in Feltham.

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