Psychotherapy in schools
Should Schools employ a full time Psychotherapist?
I read an article today about a head teacher who has employed a full time psychotherapist in his school. It is an idea to not only improve learning, but to also improve mental health. And I found this to be a really interesting idea. I know there are many schools that employ psychologists and counsellors, but introducing a full time therapist may well be the way forward.
The school is based in the west Midlands where approximately 20 students a week take advantage of this new service. It is a safe place where they can talk through all of their problems and includes their parents and friends. I believe the head teacher has asked to remain anonymous, and this may be due to the fact that he is using a lot of the schools funding to employ the therapist and that it is a fledgling project, so the outcome of such a service is still yet unknown. Although, the Head teacher has reported significant improvement so far for pupils suffering from a range of problems that interferes with their learning, ranging from anxiety through to problems with sexual identity.
With cuts to education and also to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service on going, it is hard for me to believe (although I am fully on board with the idea) that this could be a tangible part of a school’s structure, unless the findings from the School in the West Midlands, proves to be extremely positive.
It is an unusual move but I really like the idea and there has been an increase of 60% of schools using some form of counselling service, which indicates that the results of such a service, are proving to be very rewarding. The department of education have taken notice but still allow the schools to make up their own minds on the subject, and it is estimated that there has been approximately 90,000 episodes of school counselling in the past year.
The key is providing support to the children to help them offload and to work through their problems so that they don’t take frustrations out on the school or any of its pupils, and teachers for that matter. Removing any crisis or anxieties from the pupil will help them concentrate more easily on their coursework at school, improving results and helping the child or young adult achieve a better start when they leave their school.
If you want to read the full story, which is really interesting reading, then you can find it HERE.