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QE Counselling Service

Counselling is an intervention that children or young people can voluntarily enter into if they want to explore, understand and overcome issues in their lives which may be causing them difficulty, distress and/or confusion. A counselling relationship has identified boundaries and an explicit contract agreed between the young person, counsellor and, where appropriate, parent or carer. The aims of counselling are to assist the child or young person to achieve a greater understanding of themselves and their relationship to their world, to create a greater awareness and utilisation of their personal resources, to build their resilience, and to support their ability to address problems and pursue meaningful goals.

 

QE Counselling Service

School Counsellor – Anna Powney Adv Dip Integrative Counselling

Counselling Contract 

  • Counselling provides a safe and confidential space for you to talk about your life, relationships, thoughts, actions and feelings with someone who is interested and skilled in understanding and helping you. 
  • Counselling is not compulsory and it is your choice whether or not you wish to engage with it. 

  • The counsellor won’t act as the ‘expert’ giving you ‘the answer’ or direct advice, but will support and enable you to find your own way through your present difficulties, helping you find the solutions that are best for you.  

  • It’s important that you are allowed to keep your counselling relationship private if you wish.
    It is your decision on whether and how much you wish to talk with others about your sessions. You are never obliged to share anything, even if asked directly. 

  • Session content will remain confidential unless something is disclosed which the counsellor believes indicates risk of harm to yourself or others. If this is the case, the counsellor will talk it through with you and raise it as a safeguarding concern, following the school’s safeguarding policy and procedures. 

  • It is the counsellor’s duty of care to work in a multidisciplinary way and communicate when appropriate with school staff, other agencies and specialised services. All sharing of personal information will be compliant with current GDPR principles and confidentiality will not be breached unless agreed with you, or deemed absolutely necessary for safeguarding purposes.

  • You can book counselling on a session by session basis yourself, through your parents or through a member of staff via the SchoolCloud Booking system available on the QE website - https://www.queenelizabeths.com/
    Face to face counselling takes place in a room off the Head of House office in Block D.

  • Online sessions (only available if face to face is not possible) take place through Google Meet, you will be sent a link to access your session.
    Counselling appointments follow the same timetable as your school periods. If in years 9-11 we request that you avoid missing your core subjects of Maths, English and Science.

  • The counsellor will contact you via your school email so please do ensure you have access to your account.
    It may be that one session is all you want, or you may want ongoing sessions. Sessions can be delivered weekly, fortnightly or monthly, or a mix - there are no hard and fast rules!

  • The counsellor will adapt their way of working to suit your needs. As well as talking therapy this may include creative interventions (such as drawing, making), outdoor walk and talk sessions and mindfulness/relaxation strategies.
    If you have any concerns or complaints please do not hesitate to raise these with the counsellor or any member of staff on the pastoral team. 

Cancellations 

  •  If you are cancelling a session, please let the counsellor know as far in advance as possible (preferably at least the day before) so they can offer the time to someone else.  
     

  • On rare occasions the counsellor may need to cancel a session at short notice, in which case you will be notified by email and your tutor/member of staff.

Confidentiality 

A counsellor's first responsibility is to you, the client.  What is said during sessions remains confidential.  However, there are some limits to confidentiality: 

  • As part of the counsellor’s commitment to working ethically they take their work to supervision where they will talk through certain issues with their supervisor. Supervision is subject to the same confidentiality agreement as counselling.

  • If there appears to be risk of serious harm to yourself or others, sharing of information may be judged necessary.  This would usually occur after prior consultation with you, so that you know what is happening and what to expect.

  • There are legal limits to confidentiality e.g. Prevention of Terrorism and Drug Trafficking Acts.

  • Written case notes are kept confidential but may be requested by various people:

  • The client may ask to see their own notes, and has the right to view them under the GDPR.

  • A judge may request client notes with a court order (sub poena). In these circumstances, the counsellor must release the notes.

  • The police may request notes but a court order would be required before release, or the client gives their written permission for them to be released.

  • A coroner may request notes if the client has died.

  • Session notes belong to QE school and are stored securely on the QE school computer system.

Other Terms of Counselling 

  • In line with school policy, please abstain from using any non-prescribed drugs and alcohol on the day of your session. 

  • Please have all mobile devices turned off and out of sight during sessions unless they form part of the session. 

  • Both client and counsellor have the right to work in an environment free from violent, threatening or abusive behaviour. 

  • Please be aware that if we cross paths outside of our sessions I will not initiate contact unless you request otherwise. This is purely to respect your right to keep your counselling relationship with me private. 

  • Please be on time for your session 

 Privacy Statement 

In undertaking counselling you will be providing me with certain personal data. In so doing it is important that you are aware of and agree to the following: 

  • Notes are anonymous and free of identifying information. Information is stored digitally and confidentially on the school system. 

Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions about how your personal data is processed. 

Code of Ethics 

The counsellor abides by the BACP Ethical Framework, links can be found at https://www.bacp.co.uk/events-and-resources/ethics-and-standards/ethical-framework-for-the-counselling-professions/.