Counselling and Support
The Harefield Academy Counselling Service
Background, Information and Staff:
The counselling service at The Academy provides clear support for the work of the pastoral team where there is a clear recognition that there is a real need for a good balance between good mental health as well as good physical health.
Counselling is a vital provision for every school providing development and education in respect of the need for mental/emotional health services to support students when they are facing challenges that affect their progress and which are often more difficult to cope with during adolescence. Counsellors create a safe environment by working in a non-judgemental way to develop a relationship of trust with students so that they are able to explore issues at a deeper level with the aim of making positive changes or feeling more in control of their lives.
Students attend counselling for a wide variety of reasons from just feeling generally unhappy to having specific issues like anxiety or depression. It is thought at any one time that about 10% of students are suffering emotional distress of one kind or another. It is important to recognise this and to be able to offer support for those who find themselves with feelings they can’t manage alone. Usually students are offered weekly appointments according to their needs and may attend for a couple of sessions or a number of months depending on the issue.
Confidentiality is paramount to counselling and it is important that students understand that what they talk about will not be discussed with others, except in situations where it is felt they are at risk.
The volunteers are carefully selected, have experience of working with the client group and are usually qualified. All of the counsellors working within The Academy abide by the codes and ethics of The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and receive regular clinical supervision.
Helen Newman, Counselling Co-ordinator
Helen has been a qualified counsellor since 2000. She has worked with students at The Academy since it opened continuing the work from John Penrose where she started in 2003.
Helen is on site every Tuesday and co-ordinates the service with the support of the volunteer counsellors.
Helen is also the manager of ‘Link Counselling for Young People’ in Uxbridge for the remainder of the week.
Ellen Bell is a qualified counsellor working voluntarily for THA since April 2010. Ellen has gained a further Diploma in Psychotherapy working with adolescents and attends training and workshops on other issues pertinent to young people.
Ellen also counsels students and staff outside of school hours working in a number of other schools in Hillingdon Borough.
Cat Harrington and Michelle Wilcox, who are joining The Academy in September 2013, are volunteer counsellors with experience of working with young people. Cat and Michelle also work at Link Counselling Agency with young people aged 13-25 years. Both attend regular training and supervision to maintain professional standards and keep up to date with current issues and research.
How to make an appointment
If you are a student at THA and would like to make an appointment with one of the counsellors, please speak with your Student Manager. Staff should speak with Human Resources.
If you would prefer to see a counsellor outside of school contact:
• Link Counselling, High Street, Uxbridge (free counselling for young people aged 13-25) Telephone 01895 277222
• Signpost, High Street, Watford (free counselling for young people aged 11-25) Telephone 01923 239495