Kirsten McLeod – Director / Child Counsellor

B.Soc.Sc (Cum Laude) (UFS) Honors Degree (Psychology) (UCT) Mindfulness Teacher (ChilledoutChild)

Kirsten McLeod

My Background

I completed my Honours Degree in Psychology at The University of Cape Town in 2013. I studied my Undergraduate Degree in Social Sciences at the University of the Free State. I have also completed an advanced certificate in counselling through the South African Colllege of Applied Psychology as well as Advanced Play Therapy Courses through Dr. Hannie Schoemann, who has a Phd in the field.

I see my drive, determination, and keenness to learn as some of my greatest strengths. Children are my passion and these strengths help me to work with and form trusting relationships with them. Children inspire and motivate me on a daily basis. This passion drove me to found Foundations for Life along with my two partners Bettina and Melanie.

My role as a child counsellor, yoga and mindfulness teacher is to help children develop an awareness of themselves and what’s happening around them, through this process children learn to become less reactive and more conscious of whats going on within & around them, allowing for greater understanding. An opportunity then arises to reframe challenging situations and begin to see more clearly as to what a more skilful & compassionate response is for themselves and/or towards others . Children begin to feel empowered & more accepting of themselves, growing into emotionally intelligent individuals. Foundations for Life provides a safe and non-judgemental space, creating an environment where children can bloom.

My Interests

I specialise in play therapy techniques for children and family counselling. Recently, I discovered my love for mindfulness and it has become an integral part of my daily living and counselling process. Mindfulness helps us to slow down, quiet our minds and external noise so that we aren’t pulled away by distractions. We develop the capacity to enjoy the here and now, to be present, to be alive and live authentically.

My Services

I provide services for:

  • Child counselling
  • Group work for anxiety, self esteem & social-emotional development in children
  • Parent-child work
  • Family counselling
  • Mindfulness
  • Yoga

My style of counselling is a combination of Gestalt Therapy and a Person-Centered approach.

-Gestalt focuses attention on our senses, the body and emotions. The approach is very natural with children as it helps them become aware of what they are doing, how they are doing it, how they can change themselves and at the same time to accept and value themselves.

-The Person-Centered approach aims to help the child explore their own “narrative” and experiences in a way that makes sense to them. An adaptable response to each child’s way of exploring is important to me as is gives us a chance to form a real relationship and work through play.

Parents and carers are vital to the process of counselling as it has a positive effect on the outcome but also reinforces family relationships and the role of the parent or carer. I offer support, liaise about the progress/concerns and sometimes include parents in the sessions.

I love working with children in groups with similar experiences. By working in a group setting children develop a sense of belonging and discover they aren’t alone and this can be very empowering. Group counseling enables them to share and learn from each other through social interaction. Thus, group work can serve as a supportive medium for a child.

 

This next chapter with Foundations for Life excites me and I would love for you to share in this journey ❤

You can follow me on my Linkedin profile here