There in one Guidance Counsellor in the school, Mr Eoin O Slatarra
What is a guidance counsellor?
A guidance counsellor offers guidance and advice, helps you make important decisions, listens to your worries and concerns, and provides counselling.
What exactly does a Guidance Counsellor do?
Guidance includes the following three areas:
Educational Guidance – helping you with studying, exam worries, deciding what subjects to pick before going into Second year / Fourth year, deciding on whether to do Higher or Ordinary level in Junior Cert. / Leaving Cert., etc..
Career Guidance – helping you decide on a career / a job / a college / a course that will suit you..
Personal Guidance (Counselling)– helping you with bullying, problems with friends, problems settling in to your class, worrying about friends or family members, etc. We will also listen to you if you are feeling down or depressed, or if there is anything you would like to get 'off your chest' or get advice on.
So overall, a Guidance Counsellor might give advice, might give an opinion, will listen to you, and will help you to think about things in a different way. A Guidance Counsellor will not tell you what to do. You make the final decision.
When can you see the school’s Guidance Counsellor?
Just come to my offices anytime and book an appointment.
Where is my office?
My office can be found between the Art room (R19) and R18, a computer room.
Who else could I talk to?
If you wish, you may also talk to anyone else in the school with whom you feel comfortable, for example - a subject teacher, a classroom assistant, a student on the Student Council, your class teacher or your year head, the school principal, the deputy principals, etc.
Help with study and revision for the Junior and Leaving Certificates
As part of the school's SPHE programme, each student will participate in study skills modules EVERY year during SPHE class. These modules cover topics such as goal setting, motivation, time management, prioritizing, study timetable design, mind maps, mnemonics, SQ3R method, note-taking, essay writing, exam preparation, coping with exam stress, exam revision, etc.
If, in addition to the above, any student requires extra support or indeed individual advice they can come to the guidance counsellor for an appointment.
The guidance department has compiled a series of web links in relation to study- see study skils and examination techniques link on this website. The guidance department is not specifically recommending any of the websites on the links page and the links to these sites are being given to you for information purposes only.
If you have eircom Broadband at home, then there is an excellent FREE service available to you. eircom StudyHub offers FREE video lessons for Leaving and Junior Cert levels to eircom Home Plus (3Mb), Home Advanced (7Mb), eircom Next Generation Broadband Regular and eircom Next Generation Broadband Advanced customers. Each video lesson is normally worth €12.95 but you get these lessons completely FREE of charge when you have an eircom broadband package of 3Mb or higher. To access eircom StudyHub you need to get your parents' eircom account number and then login to the site from home. It is not possible to access the material from the computers in the school.
Help with deciding on a future career or course of study
Career guidance is one of the three areas of responsibility of the guidance counsellor. It involves helping students decide on a future career or course of study. These decisions are complex and take a lot of time, energy, research and commitment from the student.
The guidance counsellor's job is to help you decide what you want from the many choices available to you. The guidance counsellor will never make that decision for you. You will always have the final say.
To help you make these decisions, the guidance counsellor may use several online and paper interest tests.
Presentations are given to students and parents on Applying to UCAS, CAO, PLC colleges and Apprenticeships.
To understand better how counselling works, it is useful to think about what counselling isn't. It is not the same as going to a doctor or some other 'expert' to be advised in some way or told what to do. It is not the same as having a chat with a friend, family member or someone you know well, where both of you may well do an equal amount of talking. In contrast, with counselling you will probably do most of the talking and the counsellor will mostly listen. Another difference, sometimes what you tell a friend or family member in confidence may not always be kept confidential, whereas in counselling, confidentiality is guaranteed.
So what can you expect if you come for a counselling appointment?
Counselling aims to help you explore, talk through and examine problems or worries that are bothering you, so that you will have a clearer picture or understanding of the problem. Counselling also aims to help you come up with ways of dealing with any difficulties in your life.
If you come for counselling, your guidance counsellor will encourage you to speak about yourself and your concerns at your own pace. You may have a very clear idea of what you want to talk about or you may be feeling confused and anxious, perhaps not even sure what it is that is troubling you. It will be completely up to you to decide what you will tell or not tell the guidance counsellor. In turn, your guidance counsellor will try to listen attentively to what you are saying. He will try to understand whatever is happening in your life at the moment that is causing you difficulty.
So how does counselling work?
Counselling works because when you put your thoughts and feelings into words, this will actually help make your thinking clearer. You may find that you begin to recognise and make sense of your thoughts and feelings and how they affect your behaviour and choices. Your guidance counsellor will never tell you what to do, but can help you explore some of the options open to you, and as a result, you might decide you want to change something about yourself or your situation. Most importantly, we guarantee you that we will not disclose anything you tell us in confidence to anyone else.
How do I make an appointment?
You may make an appointment with the guidance counsellor yourself or sometimes a teacher or year head may make an appointment for you.
What if it is not for me?
After your first appointment with the guidance counsellor, you may find it easier to tell whether counselling might help you. Sometimes it may take one or two appointments before you can decide this. You may even feel that just one appointment is enough to deal with your concerns, though it is common for students to come for 3 - 4 appointments or more. You can cancel the appointments yourself at any stage.
How long will the appointment be for?
Each appointment will usually last for a class period and will probably be at weekly or fortnightly intervals.
What about getting out of class?
Your guidance counsellor will give you an appointment label which you stick in your diary. (There is a page for guidance appointments) You show this to your class teacher at the start of the class you will then sign it giving you permission to leave the class. This is the exact same slip that is used for career guidance appointments, so no one other than yourself and the guidance counsellor will know that your appointment is for counselling – not even the teacher who signs the permission slip!
What if the guidance counsellor can't help me?
Counselling works for most students. However ,if your guidance counsellor feels that there is someone outside the school who may be better qualified or better able to help you, you may be referred to an outside counsellor or agency with your permission. This could also happen if your problem or worry is very serious or if the school holidays are approaching. Your guidance counsellor will only refer you outside of school if you agree to it. However, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, students are not referred elsewhere. If you have any questions about counselling before coming for counselling, please ask any of the guidance counsellors in complete confidence.
No matter what the question or the problem, there is always someone that can help. Even if it's a problem that you are not sure about, it's better to ask for help or advice than to struggle on alone.
Don't be embarrassed or shy about asking for help. Everybody – yes everybody! – goes through difficult stuff in life. It's good to ask your family and friends for support and understanding but it is important that if you need to, you seek professional advice and help.
If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide or self harm, you should immediately contact your local doctor or go to the A&E department of the nearest hospital. You can contact the emergency services by calling 999 or 112.
Samaritans provide confidential, non-judgemental support, 24 hours a day for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide.
ChildLine FREEPHONE: 1800 66 66 66 Web: www.childline.ie Live Chat on the website, from 6pm - 10pm every evening & 2pm - 10pm Thursday & Saturday.
Childline is a 24-hour a day service for young people up to 18. Childline offers support to young people through their listening service over the phone and through the website. You can call Childline for a chat or to talk about any problems you might have.
www.letsomeoneknow.ie Really good information, advice and help with some of the most common issues and problems facing – appearance, bereavement, bullying, family, loneliness, peer-pressure, relationships, school and self-harm.
Headsup Text Service: 50424 Headsup can be accessed free of charge by all mobile phone users on all networks. Through "Headsup" young people can receive, direct to their mobile, up-to-date and accurate contact numbers for organisations that will provide practical advice to their problems 24-hours a day. By texting 'Headsup' to 50424, the user is sent a list of topics they would like help with. The user chooses the topic and instantly receives a list of appropriate helpline numbers to their mobile phone.
www.reachout.com Among the good information, there is an excellent section on what to do if you are experiencing cyberbullying
www.SpunOut.ie A wide-ranging website for young people covering all areas of interest to teenagers in Ireland. It has many links to other websites. There are also links to it on Bebo and Facebook.
www.al-anon-ireland.org - website of Al-Ateen, a service for young people whose lives have been affected by drinking
www.drugs.ie – help and advice for young people affected by drugs
Counselling Help Sheets
Counselling Help Sheets for Students on all of the following topics (and many more) are available by following the links at the bottom of this page. These help sheets are provided by the counselling services of some of the main universities in Ireland and the UK.
Alcohol - Alcoholism - Anorexia - Anxiety - Assertiveness - Bereavement - Bulimia - Child sexual abuse - Coming Out - Concentration - Coping with mental illness in the home - Crises Management – Depression - Drugs - Eating disorders – Examinations - Family Difficulties - Fears - How to cope with exams - Impact of Bullying - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Panic Attacks - Post Traumatic Stress – Pregnancy - Putting Things Off – Sexual assault - Relaxation techniques - Self Esteem - Self Injury - Stress Management - Suicide - Time management - Violence
The links to these sites are given for information purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation of any site or service by the Guidance Department, the School Management or the Board of Management.