WHAT EXACTLY DOES AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL COUNSELOR DO?
My services are available to ALL students, not just those with in an emotional crisis. A school counselor supports students and teaches coping strategies to help them do their best in and outside of school. This is a tall order since so many factors go into kids doing well--their ability to focus and pay attention, their relationships with peers and teachers, how well they can manage their feelings and impulses, and their lives outside of school. I address these issues using individual and small group counseling, as well as class counseling lessons, and even school-wide programs. I am also an adult in the building with whom they are never "in trouble."
HOW IS A SCHOOL COUNSELOR DIFFERENT FROM A THERAPIST?
I frequently see children just once or twice, or in the class setting, rather than my office. Although I do often help children with family problems and behavior at home, my primary role is to deal with school-related problems. Sometimes an issue is better addressed more intensively in a therapeutic setting, and with greater direct parental involvement. Contact me if you would like me to provide a list of outside therapy resources.
HOW DO CHILDREN VISIT THE SCHOOL COUNSELING OFFICE?
Students come to visit the school counseling office through a variety of ways. Usually, it's by recommendation of the classroom teacher and/or the parent/guardian. Sometimes, they are referred by the office. Often, children approach me themselves and ask if they can visit with me. They may also ask their teacher or someone in the office to give me a message.
ARE PARENTS/GUARDIANS CONTACTED IF A CHILD VISITS THE COUNSELING OFFICE?
Children frequently pop in to tell me about relatively minor or time-related issues like an argument with a peer or the death of a pet. If that happens, I may not notify you unless: a) there is a safety concern, b) your child has asked to see me repeatedly, or c) if the worry or problem is significant (by adult standards). I will always ask for your written permission if I think your child would benefit from regular meetings with me, or if I would like to invite them to be part of a small group for counseling.