Counseling FAQ

Counseling Frequently Asked Questions

What does an elementary school counselor do?

Counsel, educate, advocate and empower! I work alongside teachers and parents/guardians to help students develop socially and emotionally, and to help remove any barriers they have with learning.

How does a student see a school counselor?

  • Self-referral
  • Parent/guardian referral
  • Administrator, teacher, or other staff referral

What counseling services does a school counselor provide?

  • Classroom guidance lessons
  • Small group counseling
  • Short-term individual and crisis counseling
  • Consultation with parents/guardians and teachers
  • Parent/guardian workshops
  • Community resource referrals (including longer term therapy services)
  • Coordination of Services Team (COST)
  • Schoolwide programming
  • Committee involvement

What types of things do counselors talk with students about in class lessons and in individual or group counseling?

  • Career exploration
  • Conflict resolution
  • Focus skills
  • Friendship skills
  • Growth mindset
  • Listening skills
  • Mindfulness and coping skills
  • Positive communication
  • Responsibility
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-esteem
  • Self-regulation (emotions)
  • Study skills

How can school counselors support parents/guardians?

  • Helping with social or emotional concerns you have about your child
  • Improving communication between you and your child
  • Discussing family difficulties/concerns that affect your child at school
  • Making outside referrals to community resources
  • Helping understand the developmental changes of childhood
  • Discussing concerns about your child’s academic achievement
  • Helping establish healthy routines for your child

How does a school counselor manage privacy?

  • Your family’s privacy is important to me. What you or your child discuss with me is private except in cases required by law (when abuse, neglect or imminent danger is suspected).

How does a school counselor manage confidentiality?

  • Confidentiality is an important part of the counselor/student relationship as it helps build trust. However, there are certain exceptions that may require a school counselor to break confidentiality when working with a student.
  • Confidentiality will be broken if a student shares that they are going to hurt themselves, hurt someone else, or someone is hurting them.
  • Confidentiality can also be broken if the student and school counselor decide it is important to share the information with another adult.
  • All students are informed of confidentiality exceptions at the beginning of the school year during a classroom guidance lesson. Students are are also reminded at the beginning of every individual or group counseling session.

How does a school counselor manage parent consent?

  • If I meet with a student more than once, I will inform the parent/guardian of these meetings only if their assistance is needed or an outside referral needs to be made.
  • If I would like to include a student in group counseling, I will call the parent/guardian to get consent to work with a child.