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Direct Services

While my counseling practice is informed by multiple counseling theories, my theoretical orientation most closely aligns with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Person-Centered Therapy. When providing short-term, individual counseling services to students, I most often employ CBT and Person-Centered techniques. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Person-Centered Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy based on the theory that our thoughts affect how we feel and how we behave. One of the primary goals of CBT is to help individuals identify patterns in their thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. Another goal of CBT is to help individuals become aware of irrational thought patterns and develop healthier alternatives. CBT has been found to be effective in treating depression, anxiety, addictions, trauma, and more (National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists, 2014). Click here to learn more about CBT.

Helping Hand Badge

Person-Centered Therapy (sometimes referred to as "client-centered" or "Rogerian" therapy) was developed by psychologist Carl Rogers to empower and motivate individuals through empathic, non-directive therapy. This form of therapy is based on the belief that people have resources for developing positive changes in self-understanding, self-concept, attitudes, and self-directed behavior. Person-Centered Therapy theorizes that a person's tendencies toward self-actualization can be developed in a therapeutic relationship in which the practitioner acts with genuineness, views the individual with unconditional positive regard, and provides accurate empathic understanding (Bozarth & Bradley, 1986; Rogers, 1959). Click here to learn more about Person-Centered Therapy. 

Girls In Real Life Situations: GIRLS Group

This group unit is based on the Girls in Real Life Situation (GIRLS) curriculum for grades 6-12, which aims to help girls feel empowered, gain self-awareness, develop coping strategies, improve problem-solving skills, understand that they are not alone, and learn to make healthy decisions. (Trice-Black & Taylor, 2007). The curriculum includes numerous subjects centered around empowerment, but for the purposes of this group, I focused on self-concept and self-esteem.

 

The group topic was selected after a significant number of 11th grade, female students consistently expressed feelings of isolation and a lack of self-confidence, during our sessions. Furthermore, a student needs survey showed that nearly 50% of students reported lacking confidence and needing support with regards to how they feel about themselves. This group aims to provide students with coping strategies and tools to build self-confidence, improve their sense of belonging, increase motivation, and foster resilience.

 

This aligns with ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors M1: Belief in development of whole self, including a healthy balance of mental, social/emotional, and physical well-being; M3: Sense of belonging in the school environment; and B-SMS 7: Demonstrate effective coping skills when faced with a problem (ASCA, 2014). Students were selected based on counselor referral, teacher referral, and self-referral.

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Wellness Group

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 The Wellness Group is rooted in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)'s Wellness Initiative. Wellness is comprised of 8 mutually interdependent dimensions: physical, emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual, financial, occupational, and environmental (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2016). The Wellness Group emphasizes that individuals must give attention to each dimension. Each dimension is interrelated, indicating that neglecting any one dimension can adversely affect the others. This can ultimately impact one’s health, quality of life, and well-being. However, the 8 dimensions of wellness do not have to be equally balanced, and one should rather strive towards a personal harmony that feels authentic to our unique priorities, aspirations, and values (SAMHSA, 2016; Swarbrick & Yudof, 2017).

 

The Wellness Group is focused on improving participants' emotional regulation, self-awareness, and healthy habits. We also support students in developing positive interpersonal relationships through developing healthy boundaries, communication skills, coping skills, and problem-solving abilities. The 8 students involved in the group were either self-referred or encouraged to participate by a teacher/staff member. Our pre-group assessment utilized the self-evaluations created by Swarbrick & Yudof (2017) and our post-group assessment scores will be measured against the initial assessment to determine student growth and group efficacy. 

 

Each group session begins with psychoeducation on mindfulness and coping skills and focuses on one of the eight dimensions, following SAMHSA's programing: "Creating a Healthier Life: A Step-By-Step Guide to Wellness" (SAMHSA, 2016). 

The Zones of Regulation

The Zones of Regulation is an evidence-based, systematic, cognitive-behavioral approach used to teach children self-regulation by categorizing different feelings and states of alertness into four concrete colored zones. This program provides strategies to teach students to become more aware of their emotions and encourages their independence in managing their impulses, sensory needs, and ability to problem-solve conflicts. The Zones teaches students emotional and sensory regulation, executive functioning, and social cognition. Additionally, this program helps students learn what tools they can use to manage their feelings and states (Kuypers, 2011).

This evidence-based group program was implemented at Donald E. Cline Elementary School in Cold Spring, Kentucky with a group of five 1st grade students who were referred by a teacher or staff member. 

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Image courtesey of The Zones of Regulation® & Social Thinking, Inc. 

Indirect Services

ASCA defines indirect services as services are provided on behalf of students as a result of the school counselors’ interactions with others including:

  • Consultation

  • Collaboration

  • Referrals

  • Program Planning 

  • Data Analysis

(ASCA, 2019). 

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