I’m a Year 5 pupil at a primary school in Leicester and I’ve been seeing a counsellor for some time now.  

I’ve had about 15 sessions so far, and it took me about two months to get used to it all and trust my counsellor. She’s really nice and kind to me; she’ll let me be and she gives me the choice of activities. If I don’t want a session on a particular day, she’ll reschedule it. I consider myself lucky because teachers don’t have time and it’s very hard to have a safe space in a classroom. I don’t feel comfortable when other children watch or hear me talking about my feelings. When we have a meeting together with my mum and dad, she’ll ask me what pictures and things I’d like to share. I feel I have control over it.  

We set a goal at the beginning of the sessions. Mine was to talk about my feelings and not to take it out on people. It's been a long journey for me. There used to be a time when I wouldn’t know how to express my feelings and take it out on my mum and friends. I moved from two to five on the scale and my mum has noticed a difference she says that I’m not self-centred anymore and I think more about others. My new goal is to have more pride in myself and I’m at three and a half now; I’m taking steps on improving this. 

I used to have many panic attacks in the past, I felt shaky, and used to constantly fidget and sweat. My counsellor has helped me with my anxiety, I can count to 10 to calm myself down. I’ve found it very powerful because I can pass down this knowledge to my children (if I want to have any), my younger cousins and friends. If I didn’t have a counsellor, I would be lost. Now, things are different. My dad took me rock climbing. I was very nervous and scared. But I did it. I conquered my fear, and I’m proud of myself.  

If I meet my counsellor 10 years from now, I’d like to thank her for teaching me these skills and raising my self-esteem. Sometimes, we use a sand tray and mindfulness stuff. If I’m upset at home, I know that I can go and chat with my toy. I think it’s called self-soothing. I feel she’s given me life skills to cope with and calm my anger. 

If the Prime Minister is listening to me, I’d like to say that all children should get the right to express their emotions and feel safe. They have a right to sit down in a safe place with someone who can help them, like a counsellor. Otherwise, they might bottle their emotions up and it will burst one day!