What is Counselling?

The opportunity to talk about things that are of concern, to a child or young person, in confidence, with a qualified counsellor. What is spoken about will depend on the individual, but common themes are stress, relationships, change, loss and distressing, traumatic events.

What does a Counsellor do?

Counsellors are trained to listen without judging and to help people sort out their thoughts and feelings about whatever is concerning them.

Who are the Counsellors?

Abi is a professionally qualified and experienced counsellors who has experience working with children and young people. Please read more about Abi here.

Why have a Counsellor in school?

A school-based service brings counselling to children and young people in a place that is familiar, safe and secure. If children and young people are able to receive emotional support from a qualified professional, they will have greater opportunity to fulfil their potential.

How long will counselling last?

Counselling may be for a few sessions, or longer term. It is reviewed regularly between counsellor and child or young person.

Where and when does it take place?

The Counselling room is downstairs opposite the ARC, it is in a quiet, confidential space where students can be free to express themselves.  Sessions last up to fifty minutes (depending on the circumstances), and appointment times can be varied so that time is not lost from any one subject.

Is it confidential?

A key feature of our service is that information discussed in the counselling session is treated confidentially. Counselling is a time when it’s O.K. to talk about concerns without fear of them being discussed elsewhere. This includes not discussing the work with parents, unless the child or young person requests or gives consent for this. This can be hard for parents to accept at times but ensuring the confidentiality of the work is crucial for establishing trust so that the children and young people feel confident to speak openly and freely about what is concerning them.

However, if a pupil appears to be at risk of significant harm it may be appropriate to seek help from other agencies to keep them safe. Abi would aim to discuss this first with the pupil concerned. Abi receives supervision of the work she does with young people, to ensure the quality of her practice and this is confidential.

What if I don’t want my child to receive counselling?

If a child or young person requests counselling and is able to understand what is involved in the process, then they have the right to access counselling. Parents and carers may not deny them this right. We would, however, prefer that we have your support for the work, and we are always happy to talk with you about any concerns that you may have about the idea of counselling.

What if s/he refuses to have Counselling?

The decision about whether or not to take up the offer of counselling is entirely voluntary for children and young people just as it would be for an adult.

Can I support the Counselling work?

Yes, and we welcome this. Our experience shows that the most helpful thing a parent can do is to show an acceptance of counselling as a normal and useful activity, and to show an interest if their son/daughter wishes to talk about it, but not to press them if they don’t. We acknowledge that this isn’t an easy task, and it is quite natural for parents to feel anxious about what may be being said in the sessions. It is always our hope that talking with a counsellor will lead to greater openness with parents and families, you will need to allow a little time for this to happen.

If my child wants to see a Counsellor does that mean I am failing as a parent?

Absolutely not! We all experience occasions when it feels hard to speak to those closest to us about things which are bothering us. Often this can be because we don’t want to worry those we love best, or because we want help thinking things through with someone else outside of the family. The Counsellor will not be judging you or your child but looking to help them find their way through whatever is troubling them.

How are referrals made to the Counselling Service?

Referrals may be made through the school’s pastoral system, or your child’s head of year, the request may come from an outside agency,  you, or your child who can self-refer.

Data Protection Procedures and Evaluation

All information about counselling work undertaken by our staff is kept securely by the Counselling Service in line with current data protection regulations. After the counselling has finished your child will be given an evaluation form that they can complete anonymously and return. This lets us know how well we are helping the children and young people that we see. If there is any cause for complaint, you or your child is welcome to contact the Counsellor or the school who will aim to resolve any issues of concern. As Abi is a member of the BACP (British association of counsellors and psychotherapists she adheres to their code of ethics, a copy of which can be read here.

If after reading this information, you have any more questions please contact us. If you want any further information you can ask to speak with Abi, our school counsellor on 01726 822485 or via email; [email protected]