What is a middle school and high school counselor?
School counselors work with all students, school staff, families, and members of the community as an integral part of the education program. School counseling programs promote school success through a focus on academic achievement, prevention and intervention activities, advocacy and social/emotional and career development (American School Counselor Association, 1997). School Counselors work with school related issues. A school counselor is not a therapist. When issues go beyond the training of a school counselor, parents are encouraged to seek therapy within the community.
What do counselors do?
Provide direct counseling services to students individually and in support groups
Provide educational support services to parents
Provide consultation services to teachers
Facilitate referrals to community support services
Advise students on academic planning
Provide career guidance to students
Maintain resources on careers and post-secondary education
Serve on school and community committees addressing the needs of young people
Provide conflict resolution services to students
This service is free to you provided by your school district.
Individual and group sessions usually last for 30-40 minutes once a week and at a time that is convenient for you (study hall usually).
Brief solution-focused therapy is utilized in the counseling relationship. This model does not explore deep issues but rather attempts to find solutions to problems. Options are explored and plans are developed by the student. Counseling can offer relief for a number of problems but results cannot be guaranteed and behavior change is very difficult and may cause stress for some.
In order to build and maintain trust in counseling, confidentiality, is very important. We will not share any information with others unless student permission is given. The only time that counselors are obligated to break confidentiality is when a student discloses:
that they are in danger of hurting him/herself or others
instances of previously unreported child, elder, sexual or physical abuse
If reports of crimes that have been committed or will be committed are shared, we must intervene as deemed necessary
Also, if records are court ordered, we will contact parents first but may have to legally comply with the request for information
At times, we may consult with other professionals in the best interest of the student
Although what takes place in individual or group counseling is confidential, parents have the right to be informed of their children’s general progress.