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 Understanding Strategies  

 for the Emotional Wellbeing of Children, Adolescents, Adults & Families  

Rayna Shock MA,
UKCP reg Child & Adult Counsellor / Psychotherapist,
Clinical Supervisor,
Trainer & Consultant

Counselling  & Psychotherapy

Counselling / Psychotherapy for Children, Adolescents, Adults & Families

At 'Understanding Strategies', we specialise in counselling / psychotherapy and coaching for children and adults across the life span.

What are Counselling & Psychotherapy?

There is little difference between counselling and psychotherapy, except that training for psychotherapy is usually longer and deals more with the deeper aspects of the inner self. In both counselling and psychotherapy, the relationship between therapist and client is paramount and, as recent research has shown, is more important than the orientation of the therapist or what method of therapy is used in the sessions.


It is the trust, built up within the containment of a safe and confidential space, which enables the client to speak openly and honestly about his/her issues, essential if healing is to occur. Non judgmental, the therapist listens attentively to the client and helps him/her make links, between childhood and other past experiences and his/her present difficulties. These may range from a vague dissatisfaction with life and loss of purpose, direction and meaning to more acute mental health problems.


No problem is too small to bring to therapy as what at first appears insignificant often opens the door to deeper issues lying dormant in the psyche out of the client's conscious awareness, but which are the source of his/her current symptoms. 

Therapy can be short-term, goal oriented and solution focused  and use methods such as e.g. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT); or it can be long-term. The number of sessions depends on the needs of the client and what they want to achieve. 

What is Coaching?

Coaching is goal oriented. It helps people feel empowered by gaining the tools needed to fulfil their potential in all aspects of their ives. The coach helps clients to recognise their barriers to success and provides them with strategies to overcome these.  Coaching can be the sole focus of the work; but is often incorporated in to counselling/psychotherapy sessions.

Who is Counselling, Psychotherapy and Coaching for?

Counselling, psychotherapy and coaching are suitable for children, adolescents and adults alike. We work with children and adults of all ages and backgrounds using methods, which suit their particular issues.

Adult Counselling, Psychotherapy & Coaching

IAt 'Understanding Strategies'we see adults of all ages and backgrounds. People seek therapy for all sorts of reaso ns. You may have a particular issue to discuss. Or, you may simply feel unhappy and don't know why.

You may feel anxious, sad, depressed or lonely. You may be going through a career change, a life transition or an existential crisis in which you feel lost and want to regain a sense of direction. There may be family and relationship issues, such as family conflict, separation/divorce, illness or death, which you are finding hard to manage.


You may even seek therapy just for personal development. You may be a trainee or qualified therapist yourself or you may just wish to discover more about yourself - why you are as you are and what barriers have prevented you from fulfilling your true potential. 

No problem is too small to come for therapy to coaching; and you can come short or long term depending on your individual requirements. In our sessions, we shall explore any issues you may have, see how your past may be impacting your current situation and discuss possible solutions.

Our work together will be completely non judgmental and confidential, (with the exception, of course, of any safeguarding or criminal issues). I do have my own supervision, which is  mandatory but your identity will remain anonymous.

Please contact me, using the contact form below, for more details of what we can offer, to ask any questions you may have and  to discuss your needs further.

Child & Adolescent  Counselling & Psychotherapy
Couples Therapy

At 'Understanding Strategies' , we specialise in children and adolescents.  With over 40 years working with young people, a Masters with distinction in Child, Adolescent and Family Psychotherapy and UKCP registration as both a child and adult psychotherapist, Rayna has a wealth experience to offer children and families who are experiencing challenges in their lives.

Child counselling/psychotherapy helps children and adolescents makes sense of whammy be angry, confusing or painful thoughts and feelings. 

With children under 10 years, play therapy is the most useful medium to help verbalise their emotions, especially those children who find it hard to articulate their feelings or who do not know what they are feeling. 


 We use the symbolic communication offered by the medium of sand, drawing, painting, clay, craft, lego and other creative media to understand the child's unconscious world, according to the interests of each particular child.

More articulate children under 10 years and those over 10 years often prefer to articulate their feelings to the therapist verbally. The therapist helps facilitate a clearer understanding of the source of the client's issues, helps the client make sense of them and explores strategies s/he can use to resolve them. 

Creative media and dreams are also used with older children/adolescents to access their unconscious world, when they are unable to identify and articulate their emotions. 

Examples of issues we can help with:

Below are just a few of the many issues we at  'Understanding Strategies'  can help with:

  • ​Anxiety and Depression

  • Relationship issues (family, peer, romantic) 

  • General unhappiness

  • Academic pressures and other school related issues 

  • Friendship problems

  • Low self-esteem / self-confidence

  • Lack of motivation or direction, purpose

  • Transitions ( education, career, marriage/partnership, midlife, older age etc))

  • Eating issues

  • Self-harm

  • Sexuality

  • Existential & spiritual issues

Dream Work 

If you are interested in understanding your inner, unconscious world more deeply through your dreams, you may like to book a session of dream interpretation. You can book a single hour of dream interpretation, you may wish to join a 10 week dream group or you may wish to book a number of sessions to be able to track your dreams as a powerful alternative to traditional counselling/psychotherapy. You can also request a dream reading online.


By by-passing the mind, the images and symbols present in dreams reveal what is going on in the deepest layers of your psyche and can guide you in the future more quickly than talking therapy of any modality.

Please contact Rayna for further details.

Sand Play Therapy

Sandplay, which can be used with children and adults of all ages, is a powerful,  non verbal route to the unconscious. The client makes a story or picture in the sand with miniatures to which s/he is drawn unconsciously. The therapist acts as witness to what is a silent process and tracks the changes in the use of miniatures and their position in the sand as therapy progresses. S/he will enquire what the symbols mean to the client before offering any interpretation.

Sandplay is usually combined with talking therapy and in combination with other creative therapies; but it can be used as a stand alone therapy if preferred.

Play Therapy & Other Creative Therapies

Art, music, clay, play therapy, guided visualisation, Mindfulness and other crreative therapies are also used where appropriate according to the needs and interests of the client.

Therapy Sessions

Individual therapy sessions are held in Chalfont St. Peter, Bucks or online and last for 50 mins. Sessions are held weekly.

It is important to note that the content of the therapy sessions are confidential between the child and the therapist with the exception of any safeguarding concerns.  This is because the safe and confidential space offered by the therapist is fundamental to building trust between client and therapist; and it is trust, which is the most important ingredient of the treatment process.. 

For fees, please contact me directly using the contact details below.

Fees are paid by cash or by BACS either in advance of the session or immediately afterwards.


Please note that here is a 48 hour full fee cancellation fee for all cancellations made with less than 48 hours notice. This applies whatever the reason for the cancellation and includes those made because of an emergency

Adolescent Therapy
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