Common Misconceptions with School CounselingPosted by Janell Traylor on 7/31/2015Common Misconceptions about School CounselingWhat you may think: "Only children with 'problems' or 'bad kids' should need to see a counselor."
Here’s another way to look at this: School counselors should serve all students. All students are welcome and encouraged to come to the school counselors for a variety of reasons. Realistically, we all have “problems.”
What you may think: "My child should be able to talk and solve problems at home."
Here’s another way to look at this: A counselor should be an unbiased third party. A counselor may be able to give feedback to an individual that their family or friends may not be comfortable to provide. A counselor is also bound by strict confidentiality laws that protect the student.
What you may think: "I don’t want my child to miss any valuable class time."
Here’s another way to look at this: It is true, being a school counselor means that the children must be at school to access the counselor, which also means that the individual and group counseling times are during the school day. We work closely with the teachers to ensure that the child does not miss out on valuable class work. If the child is out of the room during instruction time, they will get caught up to speed upon their return.
What you may think: "My child only goes to see the school counselor to get out of class."
Here’s another way to look at this: The teachers and counselors are pretty savvy about knowing when a student truly needs to visit the school counselor. We keep running records of the children we see and notice patterns very quickly.
What you may think: "There’s no reason for my child to see a counselor. They are fine!"
Here’s another way to look at this: No matter how “fine” individuals appear, everyone has emotions and thoughts weighing on their minds. Having someone listen to thoughts and emotions can work wonders! Here are some common topics we discuss with individuals and small groups: conflict resolution, emotional awareness, life events, problem solving, self-esteem, social skills, and study skills.
What you may think: "The school counselor should call the guardian when their child visits."
Here’s another way to look at this: Every person deserves to have someone they can talk with and know that what they say is respected through privacy. A school counselor’s first priority should be to build a trusting relationship with each student. We strive to provide a safe environment for every child. That would be a lost cause if the students thought we would call a guardian after each visit. If we see the same student for the same reason on multiple occasions, we will call the guardian. If there is an immediate concern, we will call the guardian. Please feel free to call us anytime with concerns you may have.
What you may think: "My child does not need to see a mental health professional outside of school since the school has a counselor."
Here’s another way to look at this: While one role of a school counselor is to meet with students individually, there is definitely not enough time or resources to adequately fulfill all of the needs that some students may have. Our general thought regarding individual counseling is that we will visit with a student a few times regarding the same issue before we call their guardian. Once contact with a guardian has been made, it is then up to the guardian to decide whether or not they would like to seek outside aide (see Community Resources).
What you may think: "The counselor is at the school only to serve individual students and groups."
Here’s another way to look at this: We do visit with individual students and groups, but we also visit classrooms twice a month for 30 minutes each lesson time. During our monthly classroom visits we cover district- and state-approved curriculum. Lessons include topics such as: bullying, choice making, study skills, test-taking skills, self-esteem, friendship, and careers.