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Young people find hope through counselling

8 November 2016

Some young people say counselling gives them hope to carry on. Pictured: Master of Counselling graduate Damian Pullen (right). He counsels young people in Whangarei.

Some young people say counselling gives them hope to carry on. Pictured: Master of Counselling graduate Damian Pullen (right). He counsels young people in Whangarei.

Young people face a spectrum of challenges growing up. Some hurdles are harmless while others have the potential for serious consequences.

University of Waikato Associate Professor Kathie Crocket and Dr Elmarie Kotzé are researching the benefits of school guidance counselling.

Their recent study explored young people’s views on school guidance counsellors and what role the counsellors played in supporting them to overcome difficult times.

The results were overwhelmingly positive.

“Young people appreciated being understood and supported,” says Dr Kotzé. “Some students said counselling gave them hope to carry on.”

In another study, Associate Professor Crocket and Dr Kotzé and three school guidance counsellors investigated what young people discussed in counselling.

Again, the results highlighted the important role of school guidance counsellors in identifying youth issues and helping young people get through.

Below is an excerpt from one of the interviews (note all names and details have been changed).

Two young women (Joann and Zarah) requested an appointment with the school guidance counsellor. One student came in support of her friend:

  • Joann: I told her she should go talk to you, but she doesn’t want to come. 
  • [Zarah is looking down and chewing the ends of her hair] 
  • Joann: Her boyfriend is aggro and when he gets aggro she gets it, miss. 
  • [Zarah looks down further, her foot kicking the chair leg] 
  • Beth: Joann, somehow you got Zarah to come even though she doesn’t want to come. Are you worried about your friend? 
  • Joann: Yes, miss, she’s gonna get really hurt. 
  • Zarah: Nah. 
  • Joann: Show her your arm then. 
  • [Zarah crosses her arms, still looking down]

Be a part of creating positive change for New Zealand’s youth. Equip yourself with a Master of Counselling at the University of Waikato.