Click here to contact Sue Smith   

What is Counselling?

Counselling is talking to a trained person about anything that is on your mind or causing you a problem. It may be easier to speak to an independent person without worrying someone you know well. A counsellor will be able to listen to how your world is for you without judging you. She will work hard to understand you and help you to help yourself.

How can Counselling help me?

You may feel better just to tell someone what's bothering you and know that they've listened and understood you. You might want to change something in your life, sort out a problem or make a decision. A counsellor can help you work through this without telling you what to do. Only you know what is right for you and through counselling you will be able to make decisions for yourself.

What will Counselling feel like?

You may feel a little nervous and find it hard to talk about how you are feeling at first, but the counsellor will understand this and will try to help you feel comfortable.

Will anyone know what I've talked about in counselling?

No, counselling is confidential and at your first meeting the counsellor will explain what confidentiality means within a counselling relationship.

Who is the Counsellor?

The counsellor's name is Sue and she works independently from the rest of school, using a quiet, private room near reception.

What do people talk about?

Lots of things. If something is important to you or making you unhappy then this is a good reason to come to counselling. You might have problems at home, at school or with your friends. You may know what is making you unhappy or you may feel distressed without knowing why. The counsellor will help you work this out.

How long does counselling last?

Some people come for counselling for several weeks and some find that just a couple of sessions is needed to help them.

People say I should see a counsellor, should I?

Sometimes people close to you may suggest you try counselling because they are worried about you. Only you can decide whether counselling is the right thing for you, so you must decide yourself and make the appointment rather than someone else doing this for you.

I can’t talk about how I feel and I’m feeling stressed and anxious, what can I do?

Sue understands that it can be difficult to talk to her so she has trained to help people using alternative therapies. She can help you relax, feel calmer, less anxious and more confident without the need to talk in detail about why you are feeling the way you do.

Relaxation and visualisation

Sue has recorded a relaxation session for you to listen to in your own time to help you feel more calm, relaxed and comfortable. The recording will be useful for anyone who wants to feel more confident, is feeling exam and assessment pressure or just enjoys listening to calming music and relaxing.

The recording must be played when you are somewhere private where you won’t be disturbed and can sit in a comfortable chair where you can rest your head and neck. If you have only your bed, make sure you are sitting in an upright position, supported by pillows/cushions. Use earphones if possible to block out other sounds around you and just enjoy the relaxation.

The recording is only to be used by students of ACSC and must not be played in a moving vehicle.

Click here to play/download the recording

Relaxation Session

How do I get to see Sue?

Students at Ashton can email Sue by clicking on the 'Contact Sue' link at the top of this page. 

You can drop in to see Sue to find out more about counselling and to see if she could help you. Visit her at The Den - situated between reception and the dinner hall - Tuesday break.

Pupil Comments

Year 7 Pupil

I think counselling has helped me a lot because I have got my confidence back & things are now back to normal.

Year 7 Pupil

Counselling has helped me a lot because I have learnt to ignore people who upset me & get on with my life and be happy.

Year 8 Pupil

After counselling I feel less wound up. Now I can listen to others better and I do not get in as many arguments with my parents and friends. Different ideas to keep calm have helped. It is good to be able to say how I feel to someone not in my family or friends. I am able to deal with stress better.

Year 9 Pupil

Before I came for counselling I felt unsafe, upset, easily startled and had no confidence. Counselling built up my confidence, helped me to be myself again, be happy and get out there. My mum & dad are really pleased that I have become a happier & more confident person.

Year 9 Pupil

Counselling has helped me be more open and be able to say how I feel to people. I am not constantly angry & I can control my anger much better. People have noticed that I am different – much better. This has helped my friendships – I know I am not as annoying.

Year 9 Pupil

Counselling has calmed me down. It has helped me find ways of keeping calm. It was good to speak to someone in confidence. Counselling has helped me speak to my mum about how I was feeling. It is good to know I can come back to counselling again if I need it.

Year 10 Pupil

Counselling has really helped me. It’s helped me to walk through different doors. It has helped me at a time when I wanted to hurt myself. I didn't’ want to be here any more. Counselling gave me more confidence and I could see what my life could be like if I carried on. I would really recommend counselling to anyone – it has helped me to be the person I am. I have been able to accept the past, leave it behind and look forward to my future.

Year 10

At first when I started counselling I was really scared about coming. I had no self-confidence at all, but since I began to come regularly I felt it helped a lot, not only did I have someone to talk to but I had someone who could help. Now I feel like everything's better. I've learnt how to deal with what's going on. Counselling really has changed my life for the better and certainly helped me to me ME. Thank you.

Year 11 Pupil

It felt great to get my problems out. It was important to have someone to talk to in confidence. It was important that the counsellor helped me to sort out my problems myself rather than someone telling me what I should do. I know that I can sort out my own problems now.

Year 11 Pupil

Counselling helped me a lot. I don’t think I would’ve been able to cope with year 11 if I hadn't have been able to talk to someone about what happened to me. My dad thinks it’s the best thing that helped me. I learnt that counselling can help anyone – they don’t have to be mad to get help. It’s good to know there are people out there who can work with you confidentially. I would go for counselling in the future because of my good experience and I would recommend it to anyone else.

Year 11 Pupil

I wish I’d known how Sue could help me before now. My problems wouldn’t have got so bad. If you’re not sure about counselling, go to the drop-in or email Sue to find out more.

Year 7 Boy

Counselling helped me find my own strategies to help me cope with what was going on. It was good to get everything off my chest - things I couldn't tell my mum & dad. It has made me emotionally more stable - a stronger person.

Year 9 Girl

Counselling has helped me by showing how I can control myself when I get angry or hurt.

Year 8 Boy

Counselling is ace. You've taught me that I can talk to you about anything. I'm not getting into trouble as much. It's been better at school - I'm thankful. It's easier for my family, my friends and teachers now!

Year 8 Girl

Counselling has helped me open up to what is happening & helped me see that in the end things will get better. I didn't feel ashamed with Sue.

Year 9 Girl 

Counselling has helped me understand things more & shown me how to react in a bad situation.

Year 11 Girl

I had heard that Sue can use hypnotherapy to help students. I felt a bit nevous about it at first but Sue explained carefully about how hypnotherapy would feel and helped me to relax really well. It felt like daydreaming; that cosy, comfortable feeling just before you drop asleep. The relaxation was amazing and I now feel much more confident about everything in my life. My parents can't believe the difference; they are really pleased.

Year 10 Boy

I used to be nervous about speaking out in class. Now it doesn't bother me at all! I would recommend hypnotherapy to anyone.