Midlothian Young People's Advice Service | Hide this site

East Lothian Schools Counselling

Our free, confidential and non-judgemental Schools Counselling service is for children and young people (aged 10 to 18) in East Lothian.

It is available to any young person (aged 10 to 18) living in East Lothian, regardless of where you attend school or whether you attend school, further education or training.

To get School Counselling you can speak to your Guidance Teacher about it and ask them to put you forward. Sometimes a teacher or other supportive adult may suggest it to you too. If you are over 12 and don’t want to go through your school, or you have left school, you can contact us directly.

What is Counselling?

Counselling is the chance to talk in confidence about anything that’s worrying you, with a person outside of your daily life who’s trained in listening and putting themselves in other people’s shoes.

You might talk to them about things from the past or the present, or worries you have about your future.

Counsellors can help you deal with a range of issues including:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • bereavement
  • loneliness
  • relationship problems
  • self-esteem problems
  • self-harm
  • eating problems

Counselling can help you understand the way you feel, think and act. It can also help you feel more in charge of your life and able to make positive decisions for yourself.

Your counsellor’s job is to listen to you and support you without judging you.

Number of sessions and being seen

You can have up to 10 one hour, weekly sessions, usually held at your school or training centre, although we can offer appointments outside school time. We can also offer sessions over the phone or using a digital platform such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

Your school Guidance Teacher (Secondary School) or your Head teacher (Primary School) can help you access School Counselling.

If you’ve been waiting longer than you expected, speak to your Guidance Teacher first. If you don’t attend school please contact us directly.


We won’t give information about you to others without your permission unless we think that you, or someone else, is at risk of harm.

Your counsellor will always do their best to let you know you if we have to share information about you.

You’ll talk about confidentiality with your counsellor at your first meeting.

Your counsellor won’t judge you

All counsellors work in a non-judgemental way.

How much you tell yours is completely up to you. They won’t analyse you or try to read your mind, and you won’t have to lie on a couch!

Once you feel relaxed and safe with your counsellor, you may find yourself opening up more.

How you’ll know if counselling is helping

You may find that you notice changes in your thoughts and feelings when you’re having counselling.

Young people who have had counselling often say that they:

  • understand themselves better, and that they realise that their feelings were normal
  • can feel less anxious and sad and can deal with their problems better
  • notice changes to their physical health like sleeping and eating better
  • are calmer and less likely to get into arguments

Young people have also told us that counselling helps them make sense of difficult relationships with their family and friends.

What to do if you’re not coping between appointments

If you’re finding it hard in between sessions, it’s important that you tell your counsellor. They can then help you work out what you are experiencing and explore things you can do to look after yourself and/or get more support.

If you get upset and cry, it won’t matter

You won’t be forced to talk about anything that you don’t want to, but getting upset and crying is normal and could happen at your sessions.

Your counsellor is there to support you, and may suggest taking a break if things get too upsetting for you.

What to do if you don’t get on with your counsellor

If this is how you feel, we hope that you are able to tell the counsellor so you can try and resolve things.

What if there isn’t space or you don’t want to go through school?

You may be offered other types of support that could help too.

We offer lots of different kinds of support for young people. You can read more about each service by clicking on different options in the Services tab, or give us a call on 0131 454 0757.

You can even live-chat to a member of our staff through this website on Monday to Friday, 3.30pm – 5.30pm.

You don’t need to go through your school if you don’t want to and you can get in touch with us directly at enquiries@mypas.co.uk 

Other places you can get information and support

Phone lines like ChildLine – 0800 1111 and the Samaritans – 116 123, offer free and confidential support.

The Young Minds website provides information on a range of mental health issues. If you are a parent needing help, you can call the Young Minds Parents hotline on 0808 802 5544.