My name is Kerry Ryan and I am your School Counsellor. I am a fully qualified Counsellor and registered with the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy).I am now based in the school Monday to Friday from 8.15am to 4.15pm. My role here is to offer counselling and therapeutic support to all students. Students can be referred to me for help with various issues including anxiety, low mood, grief, trauma, family issues, bullying, anger issues and much much more. If there is an area of your life that is causing you distress, inhibiting your ability to engage at school, or you feel you would benefit from exploring, then counselling can offer you a safe place in which to do so.

What is counselling? 

As a counsellor, my role is to be there as someone you can talk to and share your issues with. I will offer you a safe non-judgmental place where your concerns can be explored. Rather than tell you what to do, I will work with you to help you find solutions that work best for you.  

It is a place where you can share your feelings, thoughts and behaviours, safe in the knowledge that you will not be judged. I will encourage you to open up and explore whatever it is that is causing you distress or concern, with the view to helping you move forward and make positive improvements in your life.  

Depending on the issues you’re facing, I will tailor the therapy to suit your needs. For some it may be having that space to process difficult emotions or experiences, perhaps you would benefit from challenging some negative thoughts or behaviours, or maybe learning some techniques to help you better manage your emotions would be beneficial. Whatever the need, we will work together to help you improve your quality of life.  

What can you expect from me? 

  • to be met with warmth and made to feel welcome
  • care and support 
  • to be treated with respect and dignity 
  • a professional and ethical service 
  • trust, honesty and genuineness  
  • empathy and unconditional positive regard  

 Who will know about what we talk about in counselling? 

Counselling is a confidential service. As a member of BACP I am bound by their obligations regarding confidentiality. Anything you share in our sessions remains between you and I (with a number of exceptions outlined below). This confidentiality should help you to open up and explore, with the safety of knowing your privacy will be respected.   

What are the exceptions to confidentiality? 

There are a few occasions when I would be unable to maintain confidentiality, this would be in regards to risk.  

Should you disclose to me any of the following situations, then I have a legal and ethical duty to escalate this to the relevant persons e.g., designated safeguarding lead, parent / carer, or the relevant authorities:

  • if you are at risk of causing serious harm to yourself or someone else. 
  • if you are at risk of being seriously hurt by someone else. 
  • if you are committing a serious crime. This would include anything relating to The Terrorism Act 2020, Drug Trafficking Act 1994, Money Laundering Regulations 2007, The Protection of Children Act 1999 and other violations of The Serious Crime Act 2015. 

What happens during counselling? 

  • You will be offered 45 minutes for each session. You will be given a session day and time. The severity of the issue will determine the number of sessions offered. 
  • During the first session we will complete some assessment forms. I will talk through what counselling is to ensure your understanding. We will then make a decision as to whether counselling is appropriate and if so, plan what work we will do together. If counselling is not appropriate, I will work with you to find a suitable alternative. 
  • You can use your sessions to discuss whatever issues are troubling you. I will utilise a variety of counselling skills and techniques to help you process whatever issues you are facing. 
  • At your last session, you will be asked to complete another assessment. This is to help us see how you are feeling and if there has been any change.

I hope this helps explain a little of what counselling is and what my role here entails. If you have any questions or there is anything you would like to know, then please drop in to see me. I am based in Conversation Corner which is just off the main hall. Alternatively, you may email me on [email protected] 

Many thanks, Kerry.