01506 239290

Parent Testimonials

Generic placeholder image

Parent of 'James - 13'

Thought I would drop an email to you because I think you perhaps don’t get too many notes of appreciation and you deserve them big time. It is important for parents of children or adolescents, to understand that this is a vital service and one that nourishes and benefits their children.

After many years of trauma, my son is thriving and making positive steps in all parts of his life since his time with you at SMILE. I would like to thank you for the part you have played in that.

It was a delight on the drive home today. The passenger seat was occupied by a happy, bright, laughing and fun teenager. I was informed that you were cool 

I guess your job may have lots of upset and bits that could perhaps make you feel a bit down. Well here is to the parts that make you feel good and realise it is all worth it.

You are giving my son what looks like hope. Dreams. And possibly the ability to believe in himself. He has been making headway for a while now, but he is positively changing for the good in front of me. With huge nods at being a ‘normal’ teenager and typical boy, but without so much gloom and despair as there was. Your approach is light years away from whatever else he has experienced. I am excited for his future now…

Basically, keep doing what you do. Thanks so much for helping my boy. Thanks so much for assisting me in what was a very dark unsupportive world.

All the children / adolescents / teens (and the extended families that it helps) that may have dealings with you are so fortunate. Thank goodness for SMILE!
I salute you!

A Very Happy Parent

Generic placeholder image

Parent of 'Michael -14'

I just want to say huge thanks for everything you have done for Michael. He is a totally different person now. Before Christmas when I started to bring him to see you, his confidence was so low and he was so anxious about most things. He worried all the time about everything, his sleeping was terrible and was up most nights crying.

Now he still has wee blips but most of the time he is happy and confident. His sleeping has improved loads and everything is going good at school. He now feels confident to cope when he feels a bit low or anxious.

I feel like he has grown up over the last few months to. When we were coming home yesterday he said he feels like it’s an achievement.

Thanks very much again

Generic placeholder image

Parent of 'Sarah -17'

I found Declan and Smile Counselling at 4am one Saturday morning after returning from the hospital. Sarah had taken an overdose and was sent home after being informed that CAMHS would send out a letter.

Watching the after effects of Sarah taking an overdose, her regressing back to her childlike self and being offered no help was one of the scariest moments I’ve ever had to deal with as a mother. I had nowhere to turn and no idea what to do. | spent the next hour looking on google to find services near me. I came across Smile Counselling by accident and having read the information on their website and the testimonials from other parents and patients, felt this service would maybe be able to help Sarah.

I literally wrote every detail about the previous 4 months of Sarah life there and then. How she was found in the art classroom in the foetal position crying her eyes out and effectively not functioning. How I had to take her to A&E to seek help from the on call psychiatrist and was told I would receive a letter. How I spent the next 4 months trying to get her to go outside, spend time with her family and talk, let alone go to school.

I received an email from Declan at 8.30 am, asking me to fill in a self-referral form for Sarah. I completed it and by 9.30 I had an email with an appointment for the same week.

When we met Declan he instantly put us both at ease. He took both of us into his room and explained exactly what was going to happen, what we could expect from him and his services, and what he would expect from us. Sarah and I were both happy and Sarah signed the contract. The contract was nothing to worry about. It basically said that everything would be confidential.

I was then asked to leave. For me this was a good thing. Sarah hadn’t left my side for 4 months. Being able to have someone there just for her, who she could talk to and cry with was a blessing for her. She was able to tell Declan anything she wanted without judgement or fear of upsetting anyone.

Initially our appointments were weekly. Sarah would look forward to going to see Declan as she felt that having Declan there for her and talking to him was helping her see the bigger picture. She was able to talk through things and Declan always helped her see things clearer.

During our time with Declan and Smile, Declan has helped Sarah by pointing us in the right direction of any benefits she may be entitled to. He has also helped her by contacting Shona at Skills development Scotland to see if Shona could help Sarah by offering her some courses specifically for children with issues at school.
Over the last 18 months Declan has been there for Sarah through good times and bad. He helped her come to terms with her Autism Diagnosis and deal with the death of her Great Grandad. He also helped her by gently encouraging her to try and find a hobby of sorts which she has done with Ice Skating. Declan would also work Sarah’s appointments with her needs at the time. He would increase her appointments when she felt she needed him and decrease them when she was feeling better.

Declan has helped Sarah massively by allowing her to express her feelings and helping her learn to manage her Autism, meltdowns, inability to manage her emotions and the feelings of being overwhelmed. This has helped her massively with her reduction in suicidal thoughts and Sarah managing to cope with the outside world. Sarah knows that we can contact Declan should we need him again and that gives her peace of mind, knowing he’s here if she needs him.

Sarah still has a long way to go. She is still unable to go out on her own but by finding Declan and Smile Counselling that Saturday morning; Sarah got the help she so badly needed.

From a mother’s point of view, I genuinely believe we would not have Sarah with us if we hadn’t found Declan. Declan has changed both our lives. He has helped us both cope with daily life and he has helped us both learn how to deal with Sarah’s meltdowns and that life can be difficult but manageable.

Declan, I want to thank you from the bottom of both our hearts. You’ve made such a difference to both our lives. Sarah is a totally different person from when you first met her. Although she does still need a lot of help, she is able to cope with life now and that’s because of you and your wonderful service. The highest praise I can give you is that I’ve recommended your service to other people who may desperately need your help.

From me personally, you’ve found me my daughter and for that I can never thank you enough.

Forever in your debt,

Anna and Sarah

Generic placeholder image

Parent of – son (11) and daughter (16)

I can’t thank S.M.I.L.E enough for the progress my child has made since attending counselling there. He has been anxious and suicidal after bullying at school. S.M.I.L.E has allowed him to explore these feelings in a place which will not judge him. He can be completely honest because no-one there is linked to his situation so there is no pressure to hide things to save other people’s feelings. He has come on massively and has opened up at home because he now has the words which he didn’t have before. The S.M.I.L.E team are so lovely and put you and your child at ease. Thanks from both of us.

Generic placeholder image

Parent of - son (16) Andrew

A note of appreciation from Ann, mother of Andrew…..

Andrew was unfortunate to experience verbal bullying at school which manifested itself into social anxiety. This made him withdraw from mainstream school, all activities and spending time with friends. He wasn’t functioning and thriving the way he should have been. As a parent I was at a loss and at my wits end with worry.

Our GP had suggested that in time he would grow out of it. This did not resonate with me and I knew there must be more help and support out there. I came across S.M.I.L.E counselling and knew from the first conversation I had with Declan that he could help. This gave me hope in my heart that Andrew was going to get the help that he needed and deserved.

It’s been a slow journey but there has been progress every step of the way. Andrew was able to discuss with Declan, on a two-weekly basis, confidentially, about how he was feeling and explore different ways of dealing with his feelings in a non-judgemental way. Declan also signposted me to Skills Development Scotland which then lead onto a referral being forwarded to a West Lothian Council group called More Choices More Chances (MCMC). Andrew got assigned a key worker and things have continued to progress over this past year.

He has just completed his level three stage of his activity agreement with Street League which has helped him gain confidence through group work while participating in sport. Andrew has completed a two-week work placement in GAP which has enabled him to gain confidence in dealing with the public. He has applied for college and looking at part time work in the meantime.

I can see the gradual positive change in my son and will be forever grateful to Declan for picking up my call. I’d just like to give a huge pat on the back to all the guys at S.M.I.L.E counselling. Declan and his team became part of my 16-year-old sons anxiety journey when there was no other help, direction or support from any other services that I was aware of. Without your help and guidance, I don’t know what Andrew’ future would’ve held. The service you provide is vital for young people who are still trying to understand themselves and find their way in the world with acceptance. I believe if more youths of today were able to reach out to the services you offer there would be less drug and alcohol related issues.

I have recommended S.M.I.L.E counselling to friends who have also experienced family members with similar circumstances to Andrew.

I’m doing the Edinburgh Kilt Walk in aid of S.M.I.L.E counselling to give a little back to your charity funded organisation and look forward to wearing my t shirt with pride.

You guys are worth your weight in gold.

Thankyou from the bottom of my heart. xx