Who am I?
My name is Clemmie Mason and children who work with me refer to me by my first name. I am an integrative child psychotherapist using the arts to engage and work with children
who are suffering with emotional difficulties or going through a hard time. I endeavour to work safely, effectively and ethically with children using my skills to build a relationship that will promote reflection and the coming together of thinking, feeling and imagination. The organisation I work for called ‘Child in time’ supports mental health and emotional wellbeing in schools. I am registered with the UKCP (UK council for psychotherapy) and ensure I adhere to a safe Code of Ethics and Code of Practice. I have over ten years of experience working therapeutically with children and adolescents, both individually and in groups in a range of school settings across London.
Who is a school counsellor? What to say to young children
A school counsellor is like a good companion that helps children to feel understood and supported. A school counsellor is like a big elephant’s ear that listens carefully and attentively. A school counsellor is like a book with many useful ideas and thoughts that can help children when they need them. A school counsellor is like a big, friendly umbrella, making sure that children are protected and respected.
What is counselling about?
We all have problems that need sorting out at different times in our lives. Think of a confusing jig-saw puzzle when all the pieces are difficult to match together. Talking about a problem in counselling is like sorting out all the pieces so the picture of our lives makes more sense. Everyone has feelings whether happy or sad or angry or afraid and when things are difficult these can grow really big. At times they are too much for us to bear on our own. Sometimes it’s difficult to talk to parents, friends of teachers about these big feelings. A counsellor will listen to you very carefully; she will not judge you or tell you what to do. Some days you will play together or use Art to explore what it’s like to be you. It can really help you to feel better about yourself. My problems and worries are private.
Will other people know what I’ve talked about?
No. What you talk about is confidential. This means it’s between you and the counsellor. It’s your time and your space to be with someone who is there for you and nobody else. Of course you can always choose talk to someone else about the things you discuss in counselling; it’s up to you. The counsellor with keep things confidential unless she/he is worried you are at risk of harm. The counsellor might then need to talk to another adult to keep you safe, but will always try to talk to you about this first.
How do I get to see the counsellor?
Talk to a member of staff you trust and tell them you would like to see the counsellor.
What kind of things do people talk about in counselling?
Whatever matters to them. Whatever worries them. It could be lots of different things. Here are some examples from other children who came to counselling:
- Parents Separating ‘Is it my fault? Their breaking up is breaking me up too.’
- Chaos at Home ‘There’s so much shouting at home. My parents never listen to me.’
- Making Friends ‘Everyone else seems to have loads of friends. What’s wrong with me?’
- I’m feeling angry but I don’t know why ‘I can’t control myself. I’m always in trouble at home and school.’
- I have frightening Dreams ‘I am having nightmares and I wake up feeling very scared.’ Death of someone Special ‘I miss them so much.
- Nobody understands how bad I’m feeling. I want the pain to stop.’
- Bullying ‘I don’t want to come to school. Other children are bullying me and it’s getting worse.