Introducing College Counsellor Tania Rugiero

Balance. Making the most of your downtime as well as your study time. Taking a break from social media. Remembering and returning to what keeps you happy when you’re not stressed – these are the most important takeaways Ms Tania Rugiero gives our girls when they are stressed or anxious.

Coming from private practice in the Inner West where she worked with adults and adolescents, Ms Rugiero is working in a school for the first time and loving it. Providing support, guidance and counselling to the fortunate students of Santa Sabina is now her main occupation. And she was encouraged to come here by her sister, our Gifted Education Coordinator Ms Rachele Rugiero.

“Rachele thought I’d be good at it and encouraged me for years to make the move into a school”, she says.

Although the sisters barely see each other during the school day, Ms Rugiero junior says it’s nice knowing there is family close by.

Her years of private practice taught Tania Rugiero that many of the problems faced by young adults could have been avoided if there had been proper support in the formative years.

“Early intervention and establishing healthy habits are so beneficial to Gen Z. Finding the right programs and strategies drives much of what I do. Adolescents of the new millennium have so many stressors. Anxiety is huge issue for this generation.”

Ms Rugiero is looking at running more resilience programs to help in the transition from Primary Years to the senior campus. Other trigger points she has identified in her new clientele include the lead up to exams and the anticipation of camp – often the first time away from home and a step outside the comfort zone.

“The joy in working with younger clients is helping them to understand that even when they think there are no options, actually there are aspects of their lives which they can control and change. Working with whole cohorts, or working with students one on one, it’s important to help them understand the strategies that will make them feel better when faced with difficult times”.

As the mother of a young son and daughter Ms Rugiero’s time away from work is largely spent running them around in “mum’s taxi” but she also makes time for self-care through accessing her creative side. The daughter of a tailor and dressmaker, it’s in her blood to sew but she only recently took it up, buying a sewing machine for craft projects.

Best of all for own self-care though, is spending time with friends who make her laugh.

“I seek out the friends who laugh at life. It’s so important to keep it all in check.”