If you have a question about school based counselling please use ATCST FAQ’s to ask a question.Question
Counselling is a type of talking therapy that allows a person to talk about their problems and feelings, in a confidential and safe environment with a qualified counsellor. A counsellor is trained to listen with empathy (by putting themselves in your shoes). They can help a person deal with, any negative thoughts and feelings that a person have, or what is bothering them at the time, but common themes are relationships, loss, distressing events etc.. What is counselling?
NO. Counselling is confidential. Information that is discussed in the counselling session is treated confidentiality. Counselling is a time when it is ok 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. The counsellor would aim to discuss this first with the pupil concerned. All counsellors receive supervision of their work with children and young people, to ensure the quality of their practice and this is confidential.
How long will counselling take? There is no time limit on counselling, it may be for a few sessions, or for a longer term. Our school counselling is set out as one session per week for ten weeks. It is reviewed regularly between the counsellor and the child or young person and the school and extended if they feel it will be beneficial.
Who are the Counsellors? They are professionally qualified and experienced counsellors who have experience working with children and young people. Counsellors are also encourage to work towards their accreditation. Find out more about the BACP
Counsellors are trained to listen without judging the child or young person, and to help them sort out their thoughts and feelings about whatever it is they are worried about. What does a Counsellor do?
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.
Where and when does it take place? Usually, a small private room is made available in your child?s school during the day. Sessions lasts up to 40 minutes and appointment times can be varied so that time is not lost from any one subject.
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.
Can I support the Counselling work? Yes, and we welcome this. Our experience shows 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 or 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.
Am I failing as a parent, if my child wants to see a Counsellor? 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.
Data Protection Procedures and Evaluation All information about counselling work undertaken by our staff is kept by the counselling service in line with current data protection regulations. After the counselling is finished your child will be given an evaluation form that they can complete. 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 manager who will aim to resolve any issues of concern.
Here are some comments made by pupils who have been to counselling, which helps us understand how young people benefit: