Leamington youth counsellor launching workshops to help young girls

Youth counsellor Nicola Locke is about to launch a series of workshops in Leamington aimed at providing support for girls aged from 12 to 13. We find out more about how they can help young women in and around the area.

Girls just coming into their teens who are in need of self-empowerment and motivation could find support at a series of workshops being held in Leamington from tomorrow (Saturday April 27).

Nicola Locke. Photo submitted.

Nicola Locke. Photo submitted.

Youth counsellor Nicola Locke is running the nine-week course for girls aged 12 and 13 at the Old Library Nursery in Cubbington Road and a few places are still available.

Nicola, who has decades of experience of working with children and is a mother herself, has most recently trained in cognitive behavioural therapy to do more one-to-one work with young girls.

She said: “I have seen that in today’s society, girls are increasingly cynical about themselves and their friends.

“On a day-to-day basis, they are feeling hopeless and disconnected.

The flyer for Nicola Locke's workshops. Photo submitted.

The flyer for Nicola Locke's workshops. Photo submitted.

“They are feeling lonely and insecure, afraid to speak out in case of being ridiculed or judged.

“They are trying so hard to ‘fit in’ that they are going against their values.

“It is leaving them depressed and unhappy when it should be a time to flourish and grow in confidence.

“With the rise in mental health problems over the last few years I felt I wanted to do something that would unite girls.

“I have always felt that ‘together’ they can support each other and in doing that create courage and self-confidence.

“I also believe that when girls recognise that they are not alone with their problems and negative self-talk they will understand that things are not as bad as they seem.

“Reaching out to girls in a group means reaching more girls.”

The workshops will cover a range of topics and issues including: ‘taking care of me’; empathy and kindness; better connections at home; gratitude and why it matters; healthy relationships; navigating social media and keeping safe online; ‘what are the consequences of my actions?’; ‘what makes a good friend?’; the power of thoughts; understanding and coping with stress and anxiety; ‘do I have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset?’; the power of positive affirmations; ‘you can do anything’; ‘what are my intentions?’; ‘what are my goals and dreams?’.

Nicola said: “I believe that the topic of emotional intelligence is a massive gap in the curriculum and that not enough is being done to help the young people of today understand strong emotions and how to cope with the overload of anxiousness, fear, panic and worry, leaving so many trapped in a vicious cycle of endless misery and unnecessary depression.

“If negative self-talk and negative self-belief is not addressed it can spiral out of control.”

Nicola wants this to be the first of many series of workshops she will run in and around the Leamington area.

She said: “The idea was born originally from a book I was writing.

“I realised very quickly that I would have to run workshops. I had to make it something hands-on and authentic.

“I have had the honour of working with children for more than three decades now.

“I have always felt completely inspired when I am doing my work.”

The workshops cost £35 for all sessions and will run from 10am to noon on every Saturday for the next nine weeks.

Call 07886 404098 or email nicola@nicolalocke.com

According to the NHS, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way people think and behave.

It is most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems.

CBT is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap people in a vicious cycle.

CBT aims to help you deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts.

You are shown how to change these negative patterns to improve the way you feel.
Unlike some other talking treatments, CBT deals with people’s current problems, rather than focusing on issues from their past.

It looks for practical ways to improve someone’s state of mind on a daily basis.

For more information visit the NHS website.

For more on Nicola’s work visit www.nicolalocke.com