Consultation within Schools

Information, training and support for staff and pupils

Personal experience of working and managing counselling services within independent and state sector primary/secondary schools has been key to the development of my underlying philosophy when working within educational settings. I am of the belief that every school has its own unique requirements which are in part determined by the pupil/staff population, impact of life events and the underlying ethos of the school. With this in mind, I aim to provide a flexible range of services which can be integrated into educational settings or called upon when the need arises.

Why is it useful for a school to have access to an independent psychologist?

In line with the early recommendations of 'Every Child Matters: Change for Children in Schools' (2004, DFES), the importance of early intervention and access to additional extended services has become increasingly recognised by staff working in educational settings. A strong pastoral support program is crucial to enable pupils and the school as a whole to fulfil its potential. The input of an independent psychologist can enhance pastoral support systems which are already in place or provide additional support at times of need, for example, following critical incidents or bereavements.

What services can I deliver within schools?

-Consultation and assessment of pupils with specific emotional or behavioural needs. This involves a class observation or meeting with the young person, consultation with relevant staff and a meeting with parents/carers. Following assessment, a collaborative action plan is constructed in order to support the young person both in school and at home. Consultation and assessment is always subject to parental consent.

-The provision of brief or long-term therapy to pupils in order to explore and address emotional/ behavioural difficulties. Typical presenting issues include school phobia, the emotional impact of parental separation, bereavement, psychological trauma, abuse, eating disorders, bullying, the emotional impact of living with a family member impacted by addiction and supporting young people in foster care or post adoption. Therapy usually takes place at my private practice in Chelsea but can on occasion be offered within the school setting.

-Bespoke training for staff and teaching assistants addressing specific issues relevant to the needs of a school. Topics addressed could include supporting young people following bereavement, identifing signs of childhood trauma, the interplay between attachment difficulties and learning, planning for critical incidents within an educational setting, tackling bullying, detecting signs of eating disorders and techniques for building self-esteem/resilience in schools.

-The provision of short-term groupwork within school in order to address issues which are specific to certain members of the school population, for example, improving social skills, enhancing self-esteem, the impact of bereavement, preparing for transition to secondary school or supporting young people following transfer to secondary school.

Further information relating to these services is available upon request.