At Rutherford College we have three counsellors serving our school community. Our counsellors are; Michelle Parkinson – Head of Counselling (works Monday-Friday), Nat Phillips (works Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday), and Amy Reis Williams(works Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday).
Most of the students we see self refer when they identify they want support, and others are referred by parents, teachers or peers who are concerned about the student’s wellbeing. Students or parents can message the counsellors on Instagram @rutherfordcounselling. This instagram account is monitored during school hours only and is not an emergency service. We also receive referrals through the email address [email protected]
We abide by the Code of Ethics of New Zealand Association of Counsellors, which means that confidentiality is maintained unless there is an imminent risk to safety. All counsellors in New Zealand are required to have regular external supervision and to commit to ongoing professional development.
Meet the Counselling Team
Kia ora. My name is Michelle. I have 14 years experience counselling rangatahi in high schools in Aotearoa. I love my work. It feels so good to be a part of the growth and healing of young people as they identify issues in their lives and begin to work through them. I draw from a range of modalities to support students in a way that suits them. This might be using symbols and a sand tray, client centred talking therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, or mindfulness. I create a warm and accepting environment so that students can talk openly about what is going on in their lives.
Michelle Parkinson BA, BEd, Dip Tchg, MA Couns, MNZAC
Kia ora my name is Amy, my approach is child centered, I have experience in working with children and adolescents of many areas in mental health. I deliver mindfulness-based programmes and counselling sessions working with children and youth working towards self-awareness for well-being and overall mental health. I have a passion for working with youth and can support them in many areas including anxiety, family relationships, depression, grief, sexual identity and more. I strive to be an advocate for youth to help empower them through self-awareness and understanding by building resilience.
Amy Williams BHSc (psych), Accredited mindfulness practitioner, CME (childhood mental health, trauma, eating disorders). ANZACBT IHAANZ
Kia ora. My name is Nat. I take a child-centred and pluralistic approach when providing counselling and guidance to our rangatahi at Rutherford College. I have experience in providing mental health support, pastoral care, and counselling to young people in a variety of contexts – including mental health and education. I am immensely passionate about supporting young people in navigating their unique and complex personal journeys, and my aim is always to empower clients so that they may realise their vast strengths and capabilities. Some of the counselling modalities I draw from when working with clients are cognitive behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, solution-focussed therapy, and mindfulness. My counselling space is a safe place for students to bring their whole selves without fear of judgement. Examples of matters that students bring to me for counselling are: Stress/anxiety, depression, loss/ grief, conflict with friends or whānau, loneliness/isolation, sexuality and gender identity.
Nat Phillips BA (Psych), GDip Psychotherapy Studies, PGDip Counselling & Guidance
Student Health Services
The Student Health Clinic is situated at the back entrance of Rutherford College (Toru St), and is the first prefab building on the right. Our Registered Nurse is based in the clinic from 8.00 to 3.30pm Monday to Friday, and is qualified to tend to all injured or ill students. If necessary, she will refer them onto other medical establishments, or send them home.
Procedures for the Health Clinic
Unless a student is bleeding, has difficulty breathing, has a pre-existing medical condition or has had an accident, all students going to the SHS during class time MUST have their diaries signed by the teacher of the class they are currently in.
If the Nurse determines that the student needs to go home or requires further medical assistance, she will call their parents/caregivers. Students should not be using their mobile phones to do this.
Parents/caregivers need to physically come to school to pick up the student and will be issued with a Police Truancy Form from either our Attendance Officer or Front office before they leave.
If a student needing to go home has driven a car/motor bike or taken a taxi to school, the College requires written permission in the form of an email from their parent/guardian before being permitted to go home.
Re-dressings of wounds must be in the student’s own time; before school, or during interval or lunch time.