What is counselling?
Sometimes life can be difficult, and people growing up can be under pressure. Having someone you can really talk to may be a help – perhaps a friend, a teacher, your parents, or a relative. At times, everyone feels worried or has problems that may be hard to talk about with the people close to you. You may worry about whether they will understand, whether you can trust them, whether they will blame you, or ignore your feelings. That is when you may think about talking to the school counsellor.
How does counselling help?
Counselling provides a regular time and a safe place for you to talk with a counsellor about the problems you are facing and to explore feelings you may be struggling with. Counselling can help you talk about your thoughts and feelings with someone you can trust. The counsellor will not tell you what to do, or judge you, but will help you work out what is right for you in your situation.
How does counselling work?
Seeing a counsellor might be your idea, your parents or a teacher might suggest it. You don’t have to decide straight away. You can meet the counsellor first, to ask questions and find out more. Counselling is voluntary – it’s your choice, and whatever you decide is OK. You are likely to be offered appointments for regular sessions for several weeks at a room in school where you won’t be disturbed. You can come to counselling without your parents being told, and you can discuss this with the counsellor.
What kind of things can I tell the counsellor about?
Whatever is on your mind, problems, decisions, worries and changes. It could be lots of different things:
- Making friends and relationships
- Parents separating
- Losing your temper
- Getting into trouble at home, at school or with the police
- Teasing and bullying
- Losing someone close to you
- Mixed-up feelings
- Health worries
- Exams and coursework.
All these things can affect how you feel and how you behave. Talking with you about your worries and problems is the start of helping you sort them out.
- We don’t blame or judge you.
- We don’t tell you what to do.
- We are there for you – whatever the problem.
- We are good at listening carefully.
- We can see you in school time.
- We help you sort things out in a way which suits you.
- We understand how your school works and can get you more help and information if you need it.
- We can give you the time and space you need.
- We have had plenty of training and practice to help us do our job well.
Will the Counsellor tell anyone about what I say?
We don’t usually tell other people about what you have talked about in the counselling sessions. But if we think that you or someone else may be at risk or in danger, there may be a need to get help from others to keep you safe. We will talk with you about this and together we will try to find the best thing to do for you.
What have other students said about counselling?
“It was good to talk to someone I didn’t already know.”
“It’s helped a lot…discussing my problems instead of locking them away.”
“I like the person I am now more than the one I used to be.”