FAQs - Schools
- What will school counselling offer?
A regular, safe and confidential space for pupils to talk about concerns and difficulties they may be experiencing.
This can help them gain a new and different perspective which can lead to changes in their feelings, relationships and behaviours.
All pupil clients will be referred by Guidance/SLT. Families, staff and pupils themselves may also refer, however such referrals will be fed back to Guidance staff and/or SLT.
A therapeutic relationship enables greater exploration leading to clarity, confidence and personal growth. A key feature of therapeutic work is to give the client a safe space to share feelings and experiences. It is vital that they have a trusting relationship with the counsellor who does not have an existing connection with them
In some cases this may lead to an agreement for a referral to another service.
- What happens if a Child Protection issue arises?
A contract is always set up between the counsellor and the pupil (client) which fully explains the boundaries of confidentiality and the exceptional circumstances where it will be broken.
If a disclosure is made the counsellor will follow your school’s Child Protection Policy and will share information with the designated Child Protection lead in the school as quickly as possible.
- What information will the service share with your school?
Within the boundaries of confidentiality, the counsellor will share strategies and information that does not compromise the integrity of the work or the therapeutic relationship.
Where the counsellor believes it will be beneficial, the counsellor may work with the client to empower them to share information with their school or family themselves.
Confidentiality can be frustrating to work with, however, whilst the counsellor will be working confidentially they will not be working in isolation. The counsellor will be working alongside school staff , integrating with the pastoral work already in place.
End of work reports, pre and post evaluations and mid term reviews where appropriate will be produced and share with your school and parents/carers.
- What if a parent/Carer doesn’t want their child to attend counselling sessions?
If a child requests or agrees to therapy and they understand what it is, then they have the right to access it – if they are considered to be ‘Gillick Competent’. The Fraser guidelines set out the criteria to be met.
During the counselling process, pupils will be referred to as clients and their autonomy will be protected therefore it will always be their choice to attend counselling or not.
- How much is this going to cost?
Costs will be dependent on the specific service your school requires.
LKH Counselling Services understands and appreciates the constraints put on public service budgets, and is eager to support equity with the private sector in the provision of mental health services by ensuring this service is accessible and achievable within your budget.
An example of a full day model with one counsellor in attendance throughout the day could comprise of 3 x 1 to 1 sessions with clients, I x self referral service at lunchtime and 1 session to be used for SLT/staff/families ( or another pupil client). Records and evaluations will be completed alongside liaison with staff , between sessions, where appropriate.
LKH Counselling Services will cover all registration, insurance and supervision costs.
The cost to the school will correlate with the average salary of teaching staff. The daily rate can be discussed and agreed once the service requirements have been finalised.
Rates for individual sessions are £40 per session with each session lasting for 50 minutes.
Training sessions will be charged according to duration and audience.
- How quickly can you respond to enquiries?
The initial response will be within 24 hours of your enquiry. The time after that will depend on your availability to outline your school’s needs, agree the model best suited and the capacity within LKH Counselling Services.
Provision of a therapy room and secure document storage may also impact on delivery of the service.
- Why do you have starfish as a theme? ( I confess this is not an FAQ, however, I wanted to share this with you!)
The Starfish Parable ( Loren Eiseley 1907 – 1977)
There was an old man taking his morning walk on the beach. As he neared the shore line he noticed the beach was covered in starfish from the previous night’s storm.
In the distance he saw a young boy frequently bending down and the running towards the shoreline.
He approached him and saw he was bending down to pick up a starfish, running to the water’s edge and throwing the starfish in as far as he could.
The old man asked him what he was doing.
“I’m throwing the starfish into the sea, the tide has washed them up and they can’t get back by themselves. When the sun comes up they will die,” he replied.
The old man said “There’s thousands of them, the few you can save won’t make much of a difference. You are wasting your time.”
The boy picked up another starfish, threw it into the sea and said “It’s made a difference to that one.”
I take this parable into my way of living and my practice.
We often avoid, or put things off, because the challenge seems too big, too messy or too painful - and that can feel overwhelming.
Taking one tiny step at a time can break that challenge down, enabling us to explore what changes we may want to make.
The smallest action can make a difference. You may take one or many small steps , with gaps in between, to change or re-shape your life. One small step towards making a change.
And that’s okay.