Personal Counselling


If the matter is an emergency, please contact 000.

If you suspect a person under the age of 18 years is at risk of harming themselves, please present to Lady Cilento Hospital where the Acute Response Team operates 24 hours or phone CYMHS Acute Response Team 3068 2555

If you suspect a young person is at risk of being abused or neglected, please contact the Child Safety After Hours team on 1800 177 135

If you require crisis support please phone Youthbeyondblue 1300 224 636 or Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline 13 11 14 

Contact a St James Counsellor

The Personal Counsellor at St James College is Shannon O'Gorman.

If you would like to make an appointment, find out more information about counselling services or to discuss any particular concerns, please contact:

Shannon O'Gorman

Phone: (07) 3230 8663

Guidance & Counselling

Guidance and counselling staff aim to provide students, families and staff with the guidance and support they need to lead healthy, fulfilling, productive and responsible lives. We strive to meet the educational, emotional, career, social and spiritual needs of our students. We offer an environment of understanding, support, encouragement and challenge as we assist students to achieve their educational, personal and vocational goals. Guidance services are available to all members of the school community, especially at risk students and students with special needs and their families.

What is Counselling?

A way of helping people make decisions, manage problems, change thoughts, feelings and behaviours, set goals, receive support and take responsibility for their own lives. Counselling works best when we can work together so effective counselling is built on a supportive and caring relationship between the counsellor and the person coming to counselling.


We do our best to provide you with the best possible counselling. We promise to keep you fully informed about approaches, methods and strategies used to help you reach your goals. We welcome questions and feedback about any aspect of the counselling process. While we want to help, in some cases a counsellor may not have the expertise you need or be the right counsellor for you. If that is the case, we will assist with a referral to another professional.

Confidentiality and Consent...

Not telling others what you tell a counsellor. However, there are limits. Counsellors cannot keep conversations confidential if a person is a danger to themselves or others. Also, counsellors are professionally and morally obliged to report suspected child abuse or neglect. Finally, the Court may institute proceedings that might result in a sharing of information.  In all instances the Counsellor would seek to inform you of the need to breach your confidentiality if time and safety concerns permit.

The school counsellor will always strive to work closely with parents.  This might include: informing you that a referral has been made or session held, requesting that you provide consent to share information with external mental health providers or family based interviews (see below).  However, in some instances an older adolescent may request that their parent is not informed of the referral/engagement and depending on the factors at play, this request may be respected.

Services offered at St James

  • Individual and group counselling about academic, social, behavioural, family and personal issues
  • Family therapy sessions
  • Anger Management group program
  • Educational, and behavioural assessment
  • Parent and teacher consultation regarding student needs
  • Classroom visits and support
  • Liaison with external providers inclusive of: private practitioners (Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist/Social Worker/Psychologist); Child and Youth Mental Health Service; Headspace; Queensland Survivors of Torture and Trauma
  • Staff child protection training and point of contact
  • Policy consultation
  • Referrals

Appointments & Referrals

Any student, parent, or member of staff may make a referral.  However, we encourage consultation with the student’s Homeroom Teacher or House Dean prior, if you feel comfortable.  A combination of booked appointments and walkins are managed during school hours inclusive of break times.  Common reasons for student referral include: mood concerns impacting upon classroom engagement (e.g. anxiety and depression); challenging behaviours, or a theme of poor behavioural choices; support with repairing peer relationships.  In addition, a family therapy service is offered.  This approach seeks to support parent/carers to address concerns relating (but not limited to) general adolescent defiance in the home environment, oppositionality to attend to homework tasks, school refusal, addictions – including excessive screen usage, parenting skills

Submit a referral online using the Counselling Referral Form  

Information Sheets

For more information, click to download the PDF documents below:

 Publications arising from clinical practice at St James College