COUNSELLING

Our friendly and professional counselling service supports children and young people who are suffering from emotional difficulties at our school. These may be caused by many things, adapting to changes, events in the family such as divorce or bereavement, problems in relationships with relatives or friends, and academic pressure such as exam stress, to name but a few.

We offer a range of services, including:

  • One-to-one emergency appointments
  • Weekly one-to-one sessions – short or long term
  • Drop-in and emergency walk in sessions
  • Consultation for parents, guardians and school staff
  • Internal training on mental health issues
  • Inter-agency liaison as required

What is counselling?
Counselling is having someone to talk to and feeling safe to speak your mind, knowing that you will be listened to without being judged, even if the feelings are difficult ones such as anger or hate. It is about having the time to find solutions to your own problems and explore your own feelings so that you can learn efficiently and live happily.

What happens at a one-to-one session?
One-to-one sessions usually last about 50 minutes. The point is to talk about how you feel but we often do other things as well, such as drawing, writing, making models, playing games or doing jigsaws.

What happens at a drop-in session?
Drop-in sessions take place in the counselling room during Monday and Thursday lunchtimes. They are a great way to get quick support. You don’t need an appointment - you can just turn up and take a seat. When a member of the team is free they will invite you in for a chat. You may like to do this from time to time or we may add you to our waiting list for longer term counselling if that is what you need.

How many sessions will I have?
Everyone is different. You may only need to come once or twice, or you may benefit from a longer term plan. When you are referred to the service you will have a chat with the counsellor and they will make
a recommendation.

Where does it happen?
The counselling service is situated within the school Health Centre but is also accessible via a dedicated entrance behind the school gym. The counselling rooms are private and comfortable.

How are parents/guardians involved?
We like to inform parents or guardians and, depending on a pupil's age, we may need a parent's written permission to see a pupil. If pupils are in the sixth form it is not necessary to inform parents, if a pupil would prefer us not to. In any case we do not discuss the content of the sessions with parents as it is confidential.

Is counselling confidential?
What you discuss within the sessions is confidential, and any notes are kept in a secure online system only accessible to the counsellor. However, if the counsellor believes that there is any danger to you, or anyone else, they must pass it on to the school’s Safeguarding Lead. On occasion the counsellor will also discuss you with their supervisor to make sure they are offering you the best possible service but the supervisor will also keep this confidential.

What can we help with?
Counselling can be useful for many problems.
Some of the things we can particularly help with are:

  • Homesickness
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Low mood and depression
  • Self harming
  • Eating disorders
  • Panic attacks
  • Worry about relationships
  • Sexuality and gender
  • Anger issues
  • Grief
  • Loneliness

And many more…
In some of these cases Counselling may not be the only intervention. The team here will help you to find resources and support from other sources if necessary.

Mental health is equally important as physical health and we work closely with the health care team and pastoral staff within the school to ensure the right kind of support is put in place.

Whatever your concern, it may help you to talk about it in a private setting.