Counselling

Who is the Counselling Service for?

The Counselling Service is available for any young person in the school who is significantly troubled or concerned about events in her/his life or is facing particular difficulties. For example, a young person may have concerns about relationships with friends or family, school work, bullying, or may be experiencing loss and bereavement.

What Happens in Counselling?

Counselling will take place in a quiet, private room in the school. The young person will be given the opportunity to explore and discuss his/her thoughts, feelings and behaviour with the Counsellor. The session will usually last for 30-40 minutes. The number of sessions offered will depend on the needs of the young person. Usually, the young person will initially be offered four weekly sessions. After this, the young person and counsellor will decide whether or not to continue.

How Can Counselling Help?

Counselling can benefit young people in a number of ways:

• By helping them to understand themselves and others;
• By supporting them to learn new skills to deal with difficult situations;
• By supporting them in making decisions;
• By helping to increase their self-esteem and confidence;
• Parents may wish to refer their son or daughter if they have:
• Experienced loss through death;
• Parents going through divorce or separation;
• Experienced trauma, e.g. as a witness or victim;
• Marked mood swings or whose behaviour is erratic or out of character;
• Been known to bully or are being bullied;
• Transferred from another school part way through the school year and may be experiencing difficulties settling in;
• Difficulties with relationships, self-esteem;
• Step-family issues

These are by no means the only reasons why a child might be referred to the Student Support Officer.
Parents may refer their son or daughter if they think the Counselling Service will be of benefit to them.

Confidentiality

To help the counsellor build a trusting relationship with the young person it is important that the things they talk about during counselling are kept private. For this reason, the counsellor does not discuss any details of the sessions with school staff, parents or carers, unless exceptional circumstances arise. The counsellor may give feedback to the school and parents/carers on the general nature of the work, with the consent of the young person.

If, however, there is any indication that the young person, or any other person, is at serious risk of significant harm, then action will be taken to protect the young person or others. This will involve sharing information, in accordance with the school’s child protection procedures. Boundaries of confidentiality will be clearly explained when the young person contracts in to see the counsellor.

Record-Keeping

Children have a right to see information recorded about them by the counsellor. They cannot see information which is considered third party, or records concerning another person, unless that person has agreed.

GENERAL INFORMATION

The School Counselling and Support Service is an independent confidential service in partnership with the SELB. Its purpose is to support children and young people in school who may have significant worries or concerns about any aspect of their lives.

A Student Support Officer is available for one full day each week at school and is offering one-to-one counselling. (Wednesday from 9.30am-2.30pm). The service is operating alongside existing welfare and support services and contributes to the overall system of pastoral care in the school.

Parents and carers may refer their son or daughter to the Student Support Officer by contacting Mrs Lennon, Vice Principal, Head of Pastoral Care, who will then arrange the date and time. Pupils can access support directly, if they wish to.

The Student Support Officer will offer counselling which will only take place with the agreement of the young person.

If you wish to refer your son or daughter to the Student Support Officer, or if you require information please contact:

Mrs Lennon
Vice Principal
Head of Pastoral Care

USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS – Calls to these numbers are free.
CHILDLINE – 08001111
NSPCC – 0800800500
YOUTHLINE – 08088088000

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