ISN Nice's 'spotlight series' highlights the work of our teachers and staff.
This week, read our interview with Feli Drughieri-Lamm, the School counsellor, to find out how important supporting student's wellbeing is to our community.
Please could you introduce yourself?
I am Feli, the School Counsellor. I receive students in L’écouterie (our counselling space) that want to talk about something they are going through that is directly affecting their academic life. When a conflict is identified, it is in this space that we go through planning possible strategies and solutions to their problem. The ultimate goal of l'écouterie is for every student to feel that ISN is an environment where they can learn not only the academic content they need, but also social and intrapersonal life skills, whilst enjoying school life.
I observe different settings where the students are involved (formal and informal) in order to get a clear picture of their engagement in terms of academic content, social interaction and their own sense of self. If I detect anything that can be improved or prevented, I will plan an intervention.
Furthermore, through the Essentials classes, I, alongside the pastoral care team, provide different learning concepts that will serve as reflections or triggers for enriching debates.
Tell us more about your background?
I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I attended one of the most prestigious schools, St. Catherine's Moorlands School, and later Salvador's University, earning a Psychologist degree. I discovered my passion working with kids at Gymboree where I held a coordinator role and a workshop teacher.
Devoted to this, I then gained a Masters in Learning Teaching and Counselling in an Intercultural Context granted by the University of Eastern Finland.
Prior to joining ISN as a School Counsellor, I was a psychologist in schools for over four years (Northville College and The Global School, both set in Buenos Aires). I also manage my own clinic, where I receive both children and adults for individual therapy sessions. Finally, I am currently working on (another) Master's degree in Sports Psychology and Sports Coaching.
What areas do students need support and advice in?
When they come to me, they usually come for guidance in terms of their mental health. Some of them are grieving, others are trying to find a healthy balance between school and their anxiety. Some have negative thoughts that get in the way of allowing them to make healthy choices. Many have doubts when it comes to understanding a particular mental health issue and want to get some clarity. Most of them struggle with building positive self-image. They also come to talk about conflicts within their peer group and we try to find a way to solve it.
How does the work you do have an impact on the student community?
I believe the work the pastoral care team does has a hugely positive impact on the student community. They are more and more able to identify issues they might be going through, and they can also spot difficulties in others. By providing clear guidance and strategies, they feel empowered and in control of situations they may have otherwise felt overwhelmed by. I think the L’écouterie helps them feel safe and supported so they are free to express their true feelings.
What has surprised you about joining ISN?
What has happily surprised me is the immediate welcome I have received. Students were eager from the very first day to come to l'écouterie. I believe that our students have very quickly naturalised the possibility of stopping by, or suggesting the space for other students who might benefit from it.