We all know how difficult it is to concentrate on anything, especially intellectual tasks when our minds are full of other concerns. Hopefully we have also experienced the relief of being able to share these feelings with someone who listens and understands.
Children and young people can be preoccupied with feelings and thoughts that may make it difficult for them to learn. Some find it easy to talk and find support, but for others their feelings of sadness, fear, helplessness and anger can spill over into the classroom. They may become disruptive, self-harm or bury their distress and become withdrawn, depressed and anxious.
Counselling provides a safe place where children can begin to express and explore their difficult thoughts, feelings and behaviours through talking, creative work and play. Counselling provides the child with a warm, consistent, boundaried, non-judgemental, confidential relationship which helps them to learn to trust and accept themselves and others.
How does it work in school?
If you give consent for your child to receive counselling, an appointment will be made for you to meet the counsellor to assess their needs and discuss your concerns. The counsellor will then contract with the child to attend a number of sessions. The sessions last 50 minutes and will usually take place once a week.
During the sessions the child/young person can use the time in any way they wish. The only rules are that they are not allowed to hurt themselves, the counsellor or damage things in the room. Older children tend to talk and draw mainly. Younger children may use puppets and toys to act out thoughts and feelings.
Counselling can also bring to the surface buried feelings which may impact their behaviour at school and at home. Please be patient with the process and feel free to discuss any concerns with the counsellor.
The sessions are confidential which means that the content will not be shared with anyone. However, if the counsellor has concerns for the child’s safety or the safety of those around them these will be shared according to the school’s Safeguarding procedures.
My name is Sally Bowcock and am a fully qualified, registered and accredited Counsellor with eighteen years experience of counselling children, adults, couples and families. I have worked as a School Counsellor for over six years.
PgDip (Couns), MBACP Accred, B.Ed (Hons)