“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” - Stephen R. Covey

Saying a school counsellor works in schools oversimplifies the different roles school counsellors can do. Of course, they do tend to work in a school, but the type of school they work in can greatly affect what they do.

While their main objective will always be to take care of their students’ mental and emotional wellbeing, there are other tasks their job will include.

With that in mind, let's look at where school counsellors work.

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Primary Schools

There are a lot of different types of school counsellors as well as those whose roles involve a lot of similar tasks to those of a counsellor.

Can you offer counselling in primary schools?
Even very young pupils can need help and guidance. (Source: JillWellington)

In a primary school, school counsellors or child psychologists may be required to help certain students.

Generally, child psychologists and counsellors will deal with pupils whose behaviour, mental health, or special educational needs could hold them back in the future.

Their main goal is to work with very young children to ensure that they can operate well within their classes and get the most out of the teaching they receive from their regular teachers.

Those working in primary schools require keen observation skills to correctly identify:

  • Problems with speech or listening
  • Signs of bullying
  • Indicators of problems at home
  • Underlying psychological issues
  • Development issues

In some cases, this may all fall under the remit of a special educational needs (SEN) teacher or professional.

The lines between counsellor, psychologist, and teacher all start to blur when it comes to SEN teachers as their role often involves elements of all three.

With very young children, especially those who are new to a school, the right approaches must be used.

This is especially true when they’re learning to read, interact with their peers, and also learn about discipline and following the instructions given to them by their teacher.

Depending on demand, certain professionals mightn’t require to work in a particular primary school full-time and may spend their typical working week across several different schools.

Some may act in more of a consultancy role, provide training to teachers, or create plans and approaches that can be used by the school’s permanent teaching staff.

Find out more about becoming a school counsellor

Secondary Schools

Once a student reaches secondary school, their education starts to focus more on learning students can take with them into their careers.

Can counsellors work in secondary schools?
Secondary school pupils can benefit a lot from guidance counselling. (Source: epicantus)

Counsellors in secondary schools are often required to have a better understanding of career paths and prospects and provide students with both career guidance and mental health support.

Adolescence is a tough time for many students and this may be when they need the most support and guidance. These kinds of counsellors will need to be empathetic, have a good ear, and also be observant, as the students mightn’t be willing to open up and talk as much as they really should.

Generally, guidance or academic counsellors will specialise in their specific field.

You should be able to help students with the following:

  • Choosing what to study after GCSE or A Level
  • Choosing an apprenticeship
  • Talking to the parents about the difficulties their child encounters at school
  • Applying to university courses
  • Talking through issues with their teacher or classmates
  • Regular appraisals
  • Adapting lessons or learning approaches for students with special educational needs

Each student will probably require a different approach and solution to their issues.

A school or guidance counsellor needs to be adaptable and able to effectively communicate with both the teaching staff and the students.

A degree in psychology might help you to better understand certain issues, but it mightn’t teach you exactly what you need to know to provide effective counselling to teenagers.

Much like teachers, counsellors will be constantly learning throughout their careers and can always improve.

Learn about the skills and qualifications counsellors need

Counselling Services

There are also counselling services for young people outside of their schooling and those interested in school counselling may also be interested in youth counselling.

Who can offer counselling services?
While teachers can offer guidance, counselling usually requires a specific qualification. (Source: 14995841)

Some may operate outside schools and send professionals into schools or have young people come to them. Youth counselling services tend to deal less with students’ academic performances and more with their lives in the broader sense. Of course, they can still provide counselling and support for those struggling at school.

For many children and young adults, these types of services can also be incredibly useful for those dealing with issues or problems that they don’t want the school to be aware of.

Different services will have different requirements, so it’s probably worthwhile looking at the qualifications they require before starting a course.

Whether you’re looking at doing a degree, changing careers, or retraining, it’s worthwhile checking the various services out there and what they require from their counsellors.

Find out more about what counselling entails

Become a Private Youth Counsellor

Outside of schooling, the NHS, or counselling services, there are also youth counsellors who work privately with young people to offer support and guidance.

Can you offer private guidance counselling?
Private tutors can also offer career advice and guidance. (Source: StockSnap)

Working for yourself also gives you greater control over your timetable as well as the option to focus on other projects, too. Much like with sport or life coaches, academic coaching or counselling has increased in popularity in recent years.

Why would parents look for academic coaching for their child?

Generally, this kind of coaching and support requires a lot of versatility. For example, private youth counselling or academic coaching can help children to:

  • Develop independent study skills
  • Learn effective ways to work
  • Improve their self-confidence
  • Manage stress
  • Prepare for exams
  • Learn to use educational resources effectively
  • Improve their motivation and concentration
  • Improve their relationships with teachers and classmates

An academic coach or private counsellor can help students to develop all of these skills and qualities through regular sessions even if a child is still seeing their school counsellor. The sessions may be challenging, but the results are worth it.

For those interesting in helping young people, there are many options, too. Similarly, for young people who need help, support, or guidance, there are a lot of choices.

For students with academic issues, there are also plenty of private tutors on Superprof who can help. There are tutors for all budgets and a lot of tutors on the platform offer the first lesson for free. This can be an ongoing process or just when a student needs help.

For teachers and counsellors, tutoring is a great way to supplement their income, too. With so many tutors, you’re bound to find someone who can help you or your child. For those looking to start their career in counselling, private tutoring could also be a good option.

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You won’t regret it.

Learn about how much counsellors can earn

If you're interested in learning more about counselling, psychology, or psychiatry, consider getting help from one of the many excellent private tutors on Superprof. There are tutors in a wide variety of subjects and skills offering face-to-face, online, or group tutorials to those looking to learn new things.

Each type of tutoring comes with pros and cons in terms of pedagogy and cost so make sure that you think carefully about which one would be right for you and your budget before you start your lessons.

Face-to-face tutorials are the most common and are probably what you'd imagine private tutorials to be. These are one-on-one sessions with a tutor and a student and can take place anywhere both parties are happy to meet, though they often take place in either the student's or the tutor's home. With every minute of the session dedicated to the student, these are often the most effective type of tutorials, but you can expect to pay a premium for all the extra planning and travelling the tutor will do. However, it still tends to be the most cost-effective type of tutoring available.

Online tutorials are an excellent choice for those unable to find any tutors in their local area as you can enjoy these types of tutorials from tutors all over the world. While online tutoring isn't ideal for certain hands-on subjects and skills, it can be just as effective as face-to-face tutorials with more academic subjects like counselling, psychology, or psychiatry, for example. Furthermore, since the tutor doesn't have to travel to their students, they often charge less than face-to-face tutors.

Group tutorials are great for those on a tighter budget. While you won't get to enjoy one-on-one tuition, you will end up paying less since the cost of the tutor's time and expertise will be shared amongst the students in attendance. This type of tutoring also gives you a great opportunity to learn as part of the group and learn from one another both during and outside of your tutorials.

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Joseph

Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.