Who is the counsellor?
The counsellor is Didge Gray, and you call her by her first name. This is to underline that she is not a teacher and the relationship you will have with her is a different one. She is a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, and follows their code of ethics. For more information view www.bacp.co.uk.
Where and when can I find her?
She is in school every Monday and Thursday. She can be found in the Counselling Room, O43, which is at the far end of the second floor corridor in the Old Building.
You can access the service in the following ways:
Self-referral or referral by the school for a series of appointments
Talk to your tutor or head of school about this.
On two lunch-times a week from 11.55am to 12.55pm the counsellor will be available to speak to students without appointments. You can use this time to find out more about counselling or to meet the counsellor, if you wish.
The Drop-In will operate on a first-come, first-seen basis.
Some facts about counselling
Counselling is a 'talking therapy'. It can help you deal with problems and difficult times by providing the space for you to reflect, talk, and reach a better understanding of what is happening. Counselling focuses on your feelings and beliefs about yourself and others. It can look at those thoughts and feelings which are causing problems, preventing you from making the most of your life and your relationships, or causing you to behave in ways which are upsetting to you or to others. It can help you to understand your actions and reactions in relation to events, both big and small, in your life. Counselling can also help you to recognise and draw on your own inner resources so that you can feel more in control, move forward, make decisions or changes. The aim of counselling is for you to feel confident and able to manage what life brings.
Counselling and you
Counselling is a voluntary activity. It is your choice to have counselling, or not. It won't work if you are there against your will.
Counselling depends on a high level of trust and openness between the student and the counsellor. Counselling is confidential. What you say in counselling will not be passed on, unless you agree that it can be. The exception to this is if the counsellor believes that you, or another young person, are at risk of harm. In this case other people will need to be informed.
There may be advantages to your parents knowing that you are having counselling and supporting the work. This will not affect your right to confidentiality. They will not know what you say. However, if you wish, the whole process will be confidential, including the fact that you are seeing the counsellor. The exception regarding your safety still applies.