Counsellor CornerFebruary 16, 2023
As part of the pastoral care program at SFX, students have access to Student and Family Counselling services on-site provided by Catholiccare, Canberra & Goulburn. The two counsellors based in the school in 2023 are Olivia Bowring-Greer and Natalie Dickson. Olivia and Natalie are both social workers with experience working with students and families. There is no fee to access this service and there is generally only a two week wait for a first appointment. Typically, referrals to counselling come through the Year Coordinator, but parents are welcome to reach out to discuss their concerns directly. Students at SFX are also very proactive in seeking support for themselves. If your child is under fourteen, we will reach out to parents to obtain your consent before speaking with them.
Sometimes parents have concerns about their child seeking counselling. Here are some answers to common reservations that parents may have.
Why won’t my child talk just to me about the problem?
Talking to a parent/carer is very different to talking to a counsellor. Sometimes young people first want to discuss an issue with a counsellor as they don’t have to worry about our reaction—young people care much more about what their parents think!
What if my child complains about me or doesn’t tell you the full story?
We understand that in counselling we are talking to a person about their perception of a problem or situation. Parents might be surprised to learn that generally young people will speak much more positively about their parents than what they might say to you. Also, while young people may talk about concerns about home, they are coming to counselling because they want the situation to improve and not to complain to us.
Will I know what my child talks to you about?
Counselling sessions are confidential and we need the young person’s permission to contact you and to talk to the school. The exception is if we are worried about their safety or serious risk taking behaviour and then we must contact you. Many young people do eventually want us to also speak to their parents but want to first build trust with us.