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Hertfordshire County Council

Counselling in schools, brief therapy, and mentoring

There are various counselling, therapy and mentoring services available in schools.

Safe Space offers children and young people across Hertfordshire a creative, confidential and safe space to explore any issues affecting their everyday lives. We also offer group work, supervision and training.

Counselling in Schools service

The Counselling in Schools service provides counselling and arts therapy to primary and secondary schools across Hertfordshire.

The service works with children and young people aged 5 -19 years (up to 21 years for care leavers). If the young person is not at school or college, we can make arrangements to see them at another appropriate space.

Therapies available:

  • Counselling (including use of play therapy skills)
  • Art(s) therapy
  • Drama therapy

Who we can work with

We are a traded service meaning funding is needed in order for the work to go ahead.

The majority of work is funded by schools direct, however, depending on the circumstances of the child or young person, alternative funding may be available to support the work.

A professional must make the referral to Counselling in Schools

Counselling in Schools – information for professionals

The child or young person:

  • should be experiencing emotional distress which has persisted over time
  • has experienced a traumatic event or crisis with recognised traumatic consequences
  • is willing to engage in counselling / art therapy on a voluntary basis
  • is not engaged in counselling or therapy elsewhere at the time.


Counsellor qualifications

We offer a quality assured service:

  • All our counsellors are qualified to at least Diploma level.
  • Our arts therapists are qualified to Masters level.
  • All our therapists have a valid Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check.
  • All counsellors are accredited or working towards accreditation with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).
  • All counsellors and arts therapists access regular clinical supervision.


Professionals can complete a single service request form to refer a young person to the Counselling in Schools service.

You can email the form to the Counselling in Schools team or post to:

Counselling in Schools
Postal Point: CH0132
County Hall
SG13 8DF

Brief therapy

Brief therapy is a free to access service for young people in Hertfordshire aged 11-19 years (up to 25 years for those with learning difficulties or disabilities). Young people can self-refer.

Brief Therapy is short term, solution focused approach, concentrating on the future, rather than the past and problems.

It aims to empower young people to deal with difficulties and to think through the positive changes they wish to make in their life and how they could achieve these.

How it works

The young person would meet with a brief therapist for 6 to 10 sessions in a confidential place they feel comfortable with, such as school, college or a Youth Connexions One Stop Shop.

Some of the issues young people discuss in their brief therapy sessions include anxiety, depression, relationships and confidence.

Read more about brief therapy


Professionals can complete a single service request form to refer a young person to brief therapy.

You can email the brief therapy team or post to:

Brief therapy service
Postal Point: CH0132
County Hall
SG13 8DF


The Safe Space mentoring programme is available to 11-19 year olds (up to 25 years for young people with learning difficulties / disabilities) across Hertfordshire.

It involves the young person meeting with a volunteer mentor for an hour or so a week, in a public place such as café or library (or engaging in a social activity). It gives the young person a chance to talk about anything they wish to discuss or want advice on.

Typically, mentoring lasts for 3 to 6 months, however, this can be longer or shorter depending on the young person’s needs.

Some young people decide to set goals at the beginning of the mentoring, whilst others simply value the one to one time, just to talk with someone outside of their family / school.

All our mentors go through a recruitment process, 2 day training and have a valid Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

More about mentoring:

A professional must make a referral to the Mentoring programme.

Complete the Mentoring referral form and send it to:


Mentoring service
Postal Point: CH0132
County Hall
SG13 8DF