Howletch Lane
Primary School

How can school based counselling help children and young people?

Counselling can be beneficial in a number of ways, for example it can help:

  • reduce the psychological distress that children and young people may experience as a result of facing a range of life difficulties, such as being bullied or experiencing bereavement;
  • support young people who are having difficulties within relationships, for example, with family or with friends;
  • young people who are having difficulty managing their emotions, such as anger; and
  • as part of a graduated response to decide whether or not to put SEN support in place where difficulties are caused by events such as bullying or bereavement.

Many pupils report improvements in their capacity to study and learn following counselling and frequently report that counselling helps them to concentrate. Pupils also report an increased motivation for school and schoolwork. Headteachers and pastoral care teachers are also supportive of counselling in helping pupils to study and learn, particularly in facilitating the young person’s ability to concentrate in class, as well as increasing their attendance at school and improving behaviour.

Evidence indicates that in secondary schools the most frequent issue that young people present to school based counselling, as recorded by their counsellor, is family issues. Anger is the second most common presenting issue, and is significantly more common for males, with about one quarter of all males presenting with this difficulty. ‘Behaviour’ is another common presenting issue at school based counselling; as are bereavement, bullying, self-worth and relationships in general. For the young people themselves, the most frequent goal they wish to work on when coming to counselling is increasing their self confidence.

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