October 2006

Only-child Challenges and How Counsellors Can Help. ©

The Journal of Counselling Children and Adolescence: October 2006 by Dr Bernice Sorensen An only-child’s experience of growing up without siblings may mean that they are unprepared for many of the emotional and social demands of formal education. Even as young adults, an only-child can find the tension between their need for separateness and togetherness difficult to negotiate. Counsellors can offer a great deal to these young people when sensitive to some of the challenges they face. A recent article in the TES (1) reported that most teachers did not think only-children had special problems. However, a new project was set up to train ‘listeners’, in the Durham area found that 50% of the first referrals were only-children. My own experience of only-children is three-fold. First as an only-child, I am well aware of the challenges I met interacting with others and negotiating both friendships and intimate relationships as a [...]

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