Counselling & Play Therapies

Supporting children and their siblings with positive mental health.

Counselling & Play Therapies

Yorkshire Children’s Trust provide counselling and play therapy services from their base in Claremount, just a few minutes from Halifax town centre. Offering support with an NCS registered counsellor who will listen to your child’s needs and offer a person-centred approach over several sessions to help improve the mental health of your child.

The charity is able to offer a free initial assessment which consists of a telephone call, followed by a 20 minute visit to show you our counselling facilities. This will allow you to see if we will be best able to suit the requirements of your child as well as allowing our counsellor to consider which support options may offer the most effective approach to promote a positive outcome.

Following support from local organisations, Yorkshire Children’s Trust are able to provide parents an initial block of up to six sessions for their child in our counselling suite at a reduced cost of £15 per session (when booked as a block of 6). Any further sessions after the initial six that may be required will also be  subsidised to £25 a session (when bought in a block of six).*

Please note for our sessions to be most effective we would not normally offer sessions to children under six years old.

*Schools, colleges and other organisations and agencies will be charged at our standard normal rates of £45 a session including VAT and are excluded from this special offer.

PLEASE NOTE: Our waiting list is currently full and we are not able to add any further clients to the list until June 2023. Apologies for any inconvenience. 

Our Lego inspired room has been created specifically for children aged six to twelve and this is where we offer play therapies including arts and crafts and incorporating our new digital display for interactive timelines.

Our relaxing zone is perfect for older children and teenagers to relax and undetake support such as CBT and talking therapies.

Yorkshire Children’s Trust can offer support on a one to one basis in our counselling suite at our offices in Halifax. We can also adapt and tailor sessions to include Zoom videos, telephone calls and in exceptional cases, support within the school environment. 

We initially suggest a period of up to six sessions that are broken down as follows:

 ​Session 1: Is around 20-30 minutes and allows the child to build up a rapport with their counsellor and will include the child doing a spider diagram called ‘Getting to know me’ and ‘worries’.

Older children will be encouraged to complete a sheet to gain an understanding of their anxiety and depression scores. 

Finally a ‘contract’ will be gone through with the child with both the child’s and counsellors expectations over the sessions, getting to understand confidentiality and risk. This is done in play therapy/art form for younger children.

This first session is an ideal opportunity for the counsellor to assess whether the child is ready for counselling. In some instances after the first session we may recommend holding off further sessions until the child is ready, or we may also recommend other service providers if they would be more suitable. 

Session 2: The counsellor now starts to gain an understanding of thoughts and worries of the child and tailors their approach accordingly using techniques such as CBT, art and play therapies.

The child will complete a timeline in their favourite style (Roblox, Minecraft, and floral designs are popular) using our new digital whiteboard to ascertain their worries, anxieties, health concerns, grief etc. This will allow the counsellor to offer coping mechanisms to deal with their worries and anxieties. The child may be given a journal to help write down their thoughts and worries in-between sessions.

Sessions 3-5: The counsellor will continue to work focussing on the individual child’s needs and requirements, in a  person-centred way and may incorporate CBT, play therapy, solution focussing, journaling, or a mixture best suited to the child.

Session 6: With the child’s agreement, the counsellor will invite the parent into the session to discuss how the sessions have progressed, showing any work completed. If the child wishes to keep things private we can share a report without breaking their confidentiality.

At this stage the counsellor will discuss if the child is recommended to undertake any further sessions, or if a break in sessions may be appropriate. If a child requires no further sessions, we are able to offer free follow up email and video call sessions at no extra charge – we never ignore a child who requests our help.

Once a child has finished all their sessions, they are able to take their work home on a digital memory stick, which allows them to refer back to them at a later time.


We have a proven track record of supporting children and families from a range of backgrounds and can offer support with:

  • Physical or Mental Abuse
  • Addiction
  • Dealing with Covid & Lockdown Anxieties
  • Anger Management
  • Eating Disorders
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder
  • Dealing with Mental Health
  • Behaviour Problems
  • Bereavement
  • Bullying
  • Dealing with an illness or disability
  • Child Relationship Issues
  • Learning Difficulties
  • Depression and Anxiety and Panic Attacks
  • General Stress at School or Home
  • Post Traumatic Stress
  • Domestic Violence
  • Drug Use or Dependence
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Family Issues including Parent Loss
  • Understanding Sexuality and Gender
  • Loneliness / Relationship and Friendship
  • Low self confidence / Self Esteem
  • Obsessive or Compulsive Behaviour
  • Self Harming
  • Separation and Divorce
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Trauma
  • Being a Young Carer 

This is by no means an exhaustive list and we are happy to discuss if our counselling or play therapy sessions would be suitable for your family. 

Unless we feel there is an urgent need for more sessions, we would normally see your child once a week at our base in Halifax.

Parents are not usually in sessions and are welcome to wait in our kitchen area with a free tea/coffee and a biscuit and avail themselves of our complimentary WiFi while waiting for the session to complete.

Our counsellor is NCS registered and is fully DBS checked, we are happy to share details with you on arrival if you need further reassurance.

If you would like to discuss if counselling and play therapy would be suitable for your child, you can call Sarah Thompson on 01422 728086, her normal working days are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. If the call goes to voicemail, please leave her a message as she will be in a counselling session with another child. Please do be aware that our counselling/play therapy sessions may not be suitable for every child, but if for any reason a child is not ready for therapy, we can offer supportive worksheets, whatsapp chats and video calls as well as possible referrals to other organisations that may be able to offer a more tailored support. We will offer a refund of unused sessions if your child is not ready or suitable for counselling.

If you are ready to start your child’s counselling journey, you will need to complete the online Initial Assessment form which is linked to on this page. Just hit the pink Initial Assessment button below.​

  Frequently Asked Questions


So what is person-centred counselling?

Basically it means that the counsellor will listen and be sympathetic to your problems and will help lead you to understand how to find your own strengths and personal identity and lead you to making your way successfully through your journey. There are no right or wrong answers and you will be asked to complete an anonymous form in each session to monitor your depression and anxiety levels.

Is it confidential?

Confidential is key, we would like you to feel relaxed and safe during your sessions. We understand how difficult it can be to decide to undertake personal counselling sessions and the need to build a trustworthy relationship with your counsellor. The sessions are completely confidential. We will not share any information you have divulged unless we feel there is a risk of personal harm or risk to a third party or details are provided of a crime or an act of terrorism. We completely follow the guidelines set by the BACP and NCS.

I cannot make a session.

We recommend that you follow the advice of your counsellor on the number and regularity of the sessions. However, we understand that there are times when you will not be able to make a session, or cases where the counsellor may not be available. In these cases we ask that sessions are rearranged promptly to make sure you do not lose your entitlement. We cannot refund prepaid sessions, but can rearrange them.

Is there a waiting list? 

Our waiting list is currently full and we are not able to accept any further clients until June 2023. Apologies for any inconvenience. Please keep an eye on this page for the latest updates.

What are the costs involved?

The initial telephone based assessment is provided free of charge, and we are able to offer an initial block of six sessions for £15 a session if paid for as a block, with further sessions costing from just £25 (the normal full price of a session is £45). Sessions that are not held at our counselling suite, or paid for by schools and outside agencies will be charged at our standard non-discounted charge rate.

Can I get sessions at a weekend or after school time?

We have limited sessions available after school hours, Monday to Friday and these sessions book up very quickly.
We do liaise with your child’s school and in most cases your child will be allowed out of class to attend counselling sessions.

My child has issues within school, can you do your visits withing the school environment?

Our sessions usually work best in our counselling suite, be we are able to reflect our approach to suit the needs of the child and in some cases we find that sessions in school can work effectively. We are happy to discuss this with you. School sessions are charged at an additional premium.

If you would like to discuss the counselling in more detail, please call Sarah on 01422 728086, or if you are ready to book your initial assessment, please click the book button below and complete the initial assessment form.