School Counselling Service

Who is our School Counsellor?

“Hi my name is Elaine Thompson. I am a qualified and accredited counsellor and a mental health practitioner. I have worked with children, young people and adults for over 30 years across education, health and social care settings. I am committed to delivering the best possible care and support to the students and families of St. Wilfrid’s. 

Counselling is a talking therapy that allows a person to talk about their problems and feelings in a safe confidential environment without judgement. I truly believe that counselling can help students overcome problems, bring about effective change and enhance well-being.

I am a Humanist counsellor and my approached is aimed at helping to develop a greater sense of self-belief and self-worth.  I do this by offering an opportunity to explore creativity, personal growth and self-development, as well as acknowledging a variety of choices. This encourages increased self-awareness and self-realisation, empowering students to go on and reach their full potential.”

Please see below details of the school counselling service.


Parent/carer responsibility

All parents/carers have the responsibility of helping their child/children to grow and develop.  Young people may need help with their problems and worries.  Sometimes, no matter how well they get on with their parents, they may find it hard to talk to them.

Young people often get help and support by talking to someone they trust, such as friends, teachers, a relative or neighbour.  Sometimes having a problem or a worry can affect behaviour and progress/achievement in school.  A School Counsellor can help.

What does counselling mean?

Counselling is a chance for you to talk about something that is affecting the way you feel. Some of the issues that you may see a counsellor for include: worries at home, in school or with friends; stress; bullying; family problems; relationship difficulties; low self-esteem/ confidence; bereavement; self-harm; sexuality; anger / aggression; self-harm, eating difficulties, substance abuse; alcohol/drugs, anger etc.

Counselling can give you a regular and confidential space to talk about the worries or problems you are experiencing.

How can counselling help?

Sometimes talking to our friends or family is not enough. Talking to a counsellor who is trained to listen and who is outside your situation can give you support in a safe place as well as the time and space for you to talk about difficult things. Working with a trained counsellor can help you make sense of what is happening in your life, sort out what you feel or work out what’s important. Counselling can also help you find your strengths and build on them so that you can make better choices for yourself.

Exploring problems and difficulties in a confidential setting, with regular appointments over a period of time can often help to gain new and different viewpoints. This can lead to changes in how you feel about yourself, your relationships with others, how you think and how you behave.

Why counselling at school?

At St Wilfrid’s RC College, we understand some of the pressures that young people have. Counselling can help students to build resilience which they can then use both in the school (in and out of lessons) and in their personal lives.

We offer counselling in school to our students so that this service is more accessible.  We can therefore be more proactive in helping students to look after their health and wellbeing.

What will happen when I see a counsellor?

If you are studying in years 7-11 and referred to counselling, your HOH will have spoken to your parent or carer to ask their permission. You may first wish to meet the counsellor with an adult to make sure you feel comfortable talking to them. If you decide to continue, the number of sessions depends on the issues being discussed, sometimes 2-4 sessions are enough, however you would be offered up to 10 sessions of one-to-one counselling. Each one would normally last approx 50 mins.

You can expect to be helped by a supportive and non-judgmental counsellor in school. What you talk to the counsellor about is private; however, there may be times when we may need to share serious worries or concerns with others who need to know. Your counsellor will always tell you if they need to break confidentiality in order to keep you safe. The counsellor is part of the school staff and understands the school, working with teachers and pastoral staff to help you.

How the counselling actually happens depends on your age and needs. Younger students may like to use some of the therapeutic toys and materials to help express their feelings; older students may find that artwork is helpful, and some people simply prefer to talk. In this way, we try to help you to explore difficult feelings, to understand them and to find a way towards feeling better.

How can a parent/Carer support the counselling?

It will help your child if you accept counselling as a normal and useful activity and show an interest if they want to talk to you about it.  If your child would prefer not to talk about it, that is their choice and they shouldn’t be pushed too much to talk.

Is counselling voluntary?

Counselling is completely voluntary.  No counselling is ever compulsory.

How do I find out more about Counselling?

Speak to your Head of House for additional information regarding the School Counselling Service.