CHILDREN + YOUNG PEOPLE
Counselling in Primary schools
In Scotland half of all diagnosable mental health problems start before a child reaches the age of 141.
Early diagnosis and intervention work are therefore vital in reducing the levels of poor mental health amongst adults2. Without early intervention and support, mental health problems amongst teens and adults result in significant personal, relational, societal and economic costs.
Use the links below to find out more about the effectiveness of school-based counselling by The Spark:
- Counselling in schools
- Why counselling in schools works
- The right support for every child
- Get in touch with The Spark
Counselling in schools
The Spark’s Children and Young People Team (CYP) delivers a range of therapeutic counselling in Primary schools. Aimed at helping the high number of children struggling with emotional and well-being difficulties, we aim to:
- provide a supportive relationship to children
- provide a safe environment where a child can improve social skills, self-awareness and learning capacity
- enhance the overall emotional health and mental wellbeing of the child.
This school-based approach is in line with the Scottish Government’s strategy ‘Getting it Right for Every Child’ recognising that each child is individual and that some require alternative support to access education fully and realise their potential3.
Children can be referred for a variety of reasons including:
- Depression / low self-esteem
- Relationship issues
- Family breakdown
- Emotional issues
- Anger / physical violence
- Diagnosed conditions
Why counselling in schools?
School-based counselling offers a safe, confidential place for children to talk about experiences that may be confusing, painful or uncomfortable.
These experiences may exist within their own home, community or at school. Typically they will be impacting upon the child, their relationships and their readiness to learn.
The Spark’s youth counsellors utilise a combination of therapeutic play, art therapy and talking therapy. School-based counsellors establish a therapeutic relationship with the child through acceptance, trust and empathy. Thus providing children with an opportunity to express and process feelings at their own level and pace.
This positive relationship can then be internalised by the child and help instil:
- a sense of competence
- improved ability to form healthy relationships and
- re-align negative patterns of behaviour or thinking.
All our counsellors are members of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP), Counselling and Psychotherapy Scotland (COSCA) or The British Association for Art Therapists (BAAT).
The right support for each child
Many children do not need counselling and are able to resolve emotional difficulties with the help of their family and friends. In these situations, children often benefit from psycho-educational support which is provided by The Spark as part of our group work intervention. Each group is designed to support children in specific areas including building healthy relationships, resolving conflict and managing transitions.
1. Scottish Children’s Services Coalition (2016). ‘Vulnerable children and young people with mental health problems need care and support.’ (visited 30/10/2016).
2. Scottish Government (2008). ‘Early Years and Early Intervention: A joint Scottish Government and COSLA policy statement’ (visited 30/10/16).
3. Scottish Government (2012). ‘Supporting Children’s and Young People’s Learning: A report on programme of implementation’ (visited 30/10/2016).
Talk to The Spark about school-based counselling
For more information about our education programmes and youth counselling or to discuss the specific needs of your children and young people, please complete the enquiry form below.