Welcome to School Counselling
Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength
What happens in counselling?
Counselling offers you a safe, supportive and non-judgemental space in which to talk. This support focusses on listening but will also help you to clarify your problems or difficulties, learn different coping strategies and support you in making positive changes if you wish. Counsellors do not give advice or tell young people what to do - instead they help young people to discover their choices and make their own decisions. Counselling is completely individual and is at your pace and in your control.
Where will counselling take place?
Counselling will take place at RGS in one of the designated counselling rooms located in the Junior Block. These are safe spaces with blinds on doors and windows so that privacy is respected.
When is counselling available?
There is an appointment system and your sessions will normally take place weekly during the school day and last for 35 - 40 minutes. If you are a Sixth former and you have ‘private study’ periods on your timetable, then we will try to organise a session for you during one of those periods. Otherwise, session times are varied to ensure you do not keep missing the same subject each week.
Is counselling confidential?
What you talk about in counselling stays between you and the counsellor, unless you give permission for information to be disclosed to another person. However, confidentiality will be broken if the counsellor has serious concerns about your safety or another person’s safety, or if there is a safeguarding issue. In this case the counsellor will speak to the Counselling Co-ordinator and/or Designated Safeguarding Lead(s) and agree the next steps, together with the young person (wherever possible). Counsellors do talk with their independent clinical supervisor regularly about their work with young people, no names are used. The school’s Designated Safeguarding Leads will know who is in counselling at all times but will not know what is shared in the sessions. Teachers will not know that you are in counselling and should you need to miss a lesson a code will be entered on sims indicating you have a meeting but no further details.
How will I know if counselling is for me?
We know that some young people feel unsure about being in counselling and counselling is not for everyone. However, sometimes it’s difficult to talk to those close to us about things that are making us anxious or unhappy. Counselling offers you a safe, supportive and non-judgemental space in which to talk. It is always your choice and no one can force you to attend. If you decide that it is not useful to you then your decision will always be respected.
How long will I need to come?
Initially you will be offered up to six sessions but some students feel that a couple of sessions are enough to begin to make some positive changes, others may need more sessions. This is reviewed regularly between the counsellor and the young person. If you want to end counselling at any point then that is your decision. Tell your counsellor how you are feeling and together you can talk it through. If you miss your session with the counsellor they will check in with you and if they do not hear from you and three sessions are missed we will assume you no longer wish to attend counselling.
Do I need my parents’ or guardians’ permission to come?
If you decide to give counselling a go and we feel that this is the right support for you at this time, we will not be contacting your parents/guardian to seek their permission for counselling. However, we would encourage you to talk to your parents if possible about what you are experiencing.
All our counsellors adhere to the Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling & Psychotherapy, published by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). Counsellors have undergone detailed interviews, safeguarding training and checks (e.g. DBS).
Chartered Psychologist with an MSc in Counselling Psychology. Recently completed a Certificate in CBT for children and adolescents which included courses on social anxiety, phobias, depression, separation anxiety, school refusal among others. 15 years experience as a bereavement counsellor for a local charity and currently the representative for children and young people (CYP) and working on developing a separate CYP service for that charity. Jacqui has been a teacher at RGS for the last nine years.
Mr Chris Meddes
I am an Integrative counsellor who places huge value on the therapeutic relationship and creating a safe and accepting environment for clients to talk, while offering insights and coping strategies in support of the client's experience. For the past 3 years I have worked as a counsellor for young people aged 13-25 who have a wide range of mental health issues, and more recently have set up a private practice working with both young people and adults. It is through private practice where I work with sporting chance and offer counselling to current and retired sporting professionals who are experiencing mental and emotional difficulties and aim to bring that same experience to the boys at RGS.
Want to know more? - How to make contact
If you would like to discuss any aspect mentioned in this leaflet or if you would like more information about counselling here at RGS, please contact: Mrs Herath (counselling co-ordinator) via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am,, then I can change.