Our qualified counsellors and therapists are BACP Accredited Members or are working towards BACP Accreditation. We provide counselling to teenagers and young children using a range of techniques and integrative models. With younger primary aged children who are in need of emotional support we use therapeutic play and child –friendly techniques such as art, play, drama, story and games. These techniques are used to enable children and young people to explore their feelings and experiences and tell their stories.
By providing a safe and confidential space for children to express their emotions and talk about their problems, our counsellors and therapists can help children to understand themselves, feel valued, develop self-esteem, and explore and manage their difficulties.
What We do
School counsellors are qualified and trained and know how to listen and help. They'll take your problem seriously and work with you to find a good solution. School counsellors are trained to help with everything — and it doesn't have to be just school stuff. A counsellor can help you deal with the sadness when someone has died as well as help you work through your decision about getting into your dream college.
It takes a lot of training to be a school counsellor. The entry level for our qualified counsellors is Foundation Degree in Counselling or related qualification, but many have Honours Degrees and post graduate qualifications such as Master's Degrees as well as special training and certification in counselling. Our school counsellors keep up-to-date with all the top issues and concerns that affect students, including any trends that might affect your school.
School counsellors can give you all sorts of tips and support on solving problems and making good decisions. Chances are that whatever problem you have, your counsellor has seen it before — and has lots of good advice on how to help you work through it. Counsellors can give you tips on standing up for yourself if you're being bullied, managing stress, talking to your parents, and dealing with anger and other difficult moods. Counsellors can also mediate with any problems you may have with a teacher, such as communication difficulties or getting them to understand you are going through a difficult time.
School counsellors work alongside the rest of the school community and, in many cases, the outside community as well. So they can refer students to outside resources like substance abuse treatment centers, Tier 3 services, Social Workers and targeted Youth Support Outreach services.
How We Work in Schools
We deliver services to individual schools under Service Level Agreements, as well as services to schools in partnership with local authorities. All our counsellors and therapists are based in school and see children and young people on a regular basis for individual and/or group counselling. The counsellors and therapists also work with parents and staff either in school or by agreement outside of school hours. They receive line management supervision from the Time 4 You and external Clinical Supervision from experienced supervisors, as well as continuous on-going professional development training.
We work closely with the school and other partner agencies to provide a service that meets the specific circumstances of each child or young person. Many of the teenage students self refer to our service, whilst others are referred by a concerned pastoral leaders /teachers and/or head teacher. Our service include individual therapy sessions, or group work for Anger Management, Self Esteem and those which focus on Social Skills or bereavement. We also have close links with the SENCO lead professionals.
We use a number of recognised measurement tools to identify the particular needs and strengths of our clients. This provides an objective measurement of progress and changes before, during and after counselling.
Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ)
The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is used to measure emotions and behaviours in children and young people. We use this tool with parents/carers and teachers to gain insight into the young person's particular issues. The scales measure:
- Emotional symptoms subscale
- Conduct problems subscale
- Hyperactivity/inattention subscale
- Peer relationships problem subscale
- Prosocial behaviour subscale
We use these scores to assess at the start of therapy and also to measure how effective cousnellign has been in addressing issues. The SDQ can also be completed by children and young people aged 11-17 years old.
Child Outcome Rating Scale (CORS)
Child Outcome Rating Scale (CORS) are measures that can be used to monitor children’s, young people and their families or carers feedback on progress. The CORS was developed for children aged 6 - 12. The outcome scale uses smiley and frowning faces aroudn key dimensions making it more accessible for young children to use:
For YPs aged 9 and above the YP Core self-assessment tool is used. The Clinical Outcomes Routine Evaluation for Young People (Core YP) assists us in understanding the young person’s problems and ultimately, the degree to which we can help with those problems. Scores of 5 and below is considered a ‘healthy level, scores between 10 and 5 indicate low levels of psychological distress, 15 to 10 mild levels, 20 to 15 moderate, 25 to 20 moderate severe and severe levels of psychological distress are indicated for scores between 40 and 25. The YP core is continually monitored so that we can assess the young person's ongoing levels of psychological distress and subsequently the progress that they are making.
In primary schools parental permission for counselling is ALWAYS required and we always encourage parents and guardians to come and meet with us before and after the counselling has finished. Though in secondary schools this can be very different as whilst we would try to encourage young people to involve parents or carers, we acknowledge that for some this is not always possible. In reality, there are some young people who would never wish to access counselling should they believe parents and/or carers would be informed. Consequently, young people who are deemed to be Fraser or Gillick competent (i.e understand what counselling is about and how this may help them change) can access counselling without parental involvement. Indeed this is their entitlement in law.
Confidentiality and Safety
Confidentiality and the safety of all young people is of paramount importance to our work. We will keep confidential everything a young person requests us too, except if there are concerns that a young person is at risk of serious harm. We will always inform a young person and involve them in the decisions we have to make to keep them safe. This will always be explained clearly to a young person each step of the way.