At Fahan, we believe in nurturing the whole person. The Counselling Program at Fahan School seeks to meet the needs of girls both when they are feeling mentally well and when they need support through counselling, psychoeducation and support for their families.
School Counsellor - Maria Conway
All girls at Fahan School have access to counselling services. which are run by our School Counsellor, Maria Conway.
Maria is originally from New York where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and has a Masters of Counselling. She has worked in schools all around Australia and is now happily settled in Tasmania with her husband and three children.
Maria uses an evidenced-based, integrative approach when working with the girls at Fahan. Girls are invited to take an active part in the therapeutic process through collaborative goal setting, choice in how skills are learned within a therapeutic framework and agency in creating networks of support and communication.
We offer individual, group and even family counselling sessions if the best support includes family members. Maria also collaborates with teachers to provide psychoeducation and social emotional learning to students in classrooms.
Individual counselling gives the girls the opportunity to work one on one with Maria in a safe, caring and confidential environment. Individual counselling is helpful for a variety of reasons, such as increasing an individual's self-awareness, encouraging self-exploration, identifying boundaries, enhancing communication skills and improving the use of healthy coping skills.
Sometimes when a group is struggling, meeting together in a space where everyone is heard and healthy communication is facilitated can generate a new dynamic and better opportunity for each member to meet others needs and have their own needs met. Other times, a group will form to support one another through a shared experience. Maria meets with groups to help facilitate a sense of community and equip girls with skills to navigate challenges.
Maria often meets with parents to assist them in supporting their daughters and girls often request that a family member attend a session as their support person.
Maria also works with teachers in classrooms to integrate a relevant mental health topic into a lesson or unit. Maria met with a group of senior girls who had read a book that incorporated trauma into the storyline. It became more contextually relevant when the group understood the implications of trauma in the person’s life. She is facilitating a series of group sessions about friendship, identity and using social media responsibly in the middle school. She regularly visits primary classes to lead the girls in fun activities that teach emotional regulation and mindfulness.
What are the objectives of counselling?
Our comprehensive school counselling program focuses on the needs of students to ensure that they can make the most of their educational experience. Maria Conway provides support for social and emotional challenges and provides psychoeducation to students, staff and parents in the areas of mental health and wellness. The counselling program at Fahan strives to equip each girl with the tools she needs for good mental health through psychoeducation for all girls and their families and therapeutic support and/or referral to outside services and resources when needed.
For some students, the school counsellor may be the first point of contact for therapeutic intervention. Providing access to mental health services creates a continuum of integrative care that can promote health, mental health, and educational attainment that has lasting effects long after a girl leaves Fahan.