CHILDREN + YOUNG PEOPLE
Dee Barker-Creggan is a Children and Young People Counsellor with The Spark. As part of our Children and Young People Team (CYP), Dee is based in Scottish schools providing counselling and support to pupils, their families and their teachers.
Learn more about Dee, her role as a CYP Counsellor and how The Spark’s School Services positively impact the lives of children and young people.
Q. Tell us a bit about your role with The Spark Children and Young People Team?
As a counsellor, I provide children and young people with a safe and supportive environment to talk about difficult issues, in confidence. In a counselling session, they will have their experiences listened to without judgement, in an atmosphere of respect and empathy.
This is based upon a secure and trusting therapeutic relationship, which is the foundation of the counselling process. Clients know that when they speak to me, they are safe and can trust me with anything that is troubling them.
Q. The Spark’s Children and Young Counsellors are based in Primary and Secondary Schools across Scotland. Are all schools the same?
Every school has different needs, as do the young people within that school. The Spark provides counselling services that work within the realms of GIRFEC (Getting It Right for Every Child) which ensures we are meeting the specific needs of the individual. Whether a child or young person needs support in relation to their mental health, emotional wellbeing or social circumstances, we can provide therapeutic help.
Q. How do pupils benefit from the counselling services offered by The Spark?
Children and young people benefit from these services in so many ways. Each child or young person can benefit differently and respond differently to counselling. In practical terms, counselling can help children and young people make positive changes in their lives.
This could be in terms of helping them understand and cope with difficult emotions, trauma, transitions or conflict amongst others. Counselling can also help the child or young person to set personal goals and be supported in achieving them.
Q. Do the services offered by The Spark purely focus on supporting pupils?
I truly believe that The Spark CYP Services not only support children and young people but also support their teachers, families and local community. We adopt a whole school approach and focus on the importance of working together to support every child or young person.
Q. What kind of feedback do you get from pupils, their families and teachers?
The best kind of feedback for me is when you see a young person returning for every therapy session. It demonstrates the value of counselling to them and their desire to get something positive from it. Counselling is not just talking, there is often difficult work to be done to make progress and when pupils come back, it shows they are feeling the benefits.
I am also often told by teachers that our service is invaluable, and they couldn’t be without it. Collectively, I think this highlights the importance of the work The Spark does in Scotland’s schools.
Q. What encouraged you to pursue a career in counselling for children and young people?
I worked within education for 12 years before I joined The Spark. I spend a lot of time working with young people who had experienced adversity early in their lives and it was now manifesting through their behaviour. I got to a point where I felt I needed more in-depth skills to be able to best support them.
Q. What do you think makes The Spark’s school counselling and mental health support services so effective?
The team and the training you receive. The counsellors and all of the teamwork from the same purpose: getting it right for every child and providing an effective service to support them.
Children and Young People Counselling and Mental Health Services
The Spark provides a wide range of counselling and support interventions in Scottish schools for Primary and Secondary children and young people. We also provide individual counselling and support for children and young people who are not supported through their school.