'If you don't want to tell anyone else you can tell her': young people's views on school counselling

Claire Fox, Ian Butler

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41 Citations (SciVal)


The aim of the research was to assess the views of young people about school counselling. In total, 415 pupils from five secondary schools took part in the survey. A smaller number of these pupils took part in focus groups (n=9) to explore their views in more depth. In general, the young people seemed to value having a school counsellor. Most were aware of the school counselling service, although a substantial number (21%) indicated a lack of awareness. For many who were aware, their knowledge of the service was limited. Just over one third of the pupils stated that they would go to see the school counsellor, and girls were more likely to state this than boys. The confidentiality of the service was perceived to be one of the benefits. However, this was also reported to be a hindering factor—the concern that it may not, in fact, be confidential. Two other main reasons for not accessing the service were the counsellor being a stranger and (for boys in particular) a concern about other people finding out (associated with the social stigma of going for counselling). Suggestions to improve the school counselling service included a room in a discrete location, better promotion of the service, more counsellors or a full-time counsellor, and ways to get to know the counsellor better. Those responsible for developing and managing school counselling services should consider these suggestions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-114
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Guidance and Counselling
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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