When to See Your School Counselor (National School Counseling Week, 2/7-2/11)
Your teenage years are the time in your life when you just want to have fun and create memories to look back on when you get older. However, while these years can be amazing and full of unforgettable memories, they can certainly come with their own issues, as well. With pressures to decide what you are going to do with the rest of your life, a reputation to uphold, a social life to upkeep, extracurriculars coming at you from every angle, and so many other things (in school and out) fighting for your attention, your teenage years can quickly become overwhelming.This is why most schools hire school counselors. School counselors are trained professionals providing student counseling to kids in need of help. Have you found yourself anxious about what your next steps should be after the graduation celebrations die down? Are you having a difficult time in your home life? Or have you found yourself the victim of bullying after a fallout with one of your friends? No matter how big or small you may think your problem is, it is important that you know your school counselor is there to help you work through the many struggles you may encounter in your school-aged years.
What is a School Counselor?
A school counselor is a person hired by the school to provide students with personal or academic help as needed. They are certified and licensed educators who work to ensure every single student at the school is given a fighting chance to live a happy, successful life. To be hired, a youth counselor must meet rigorous qualifications, so they receive enough training to be trustworthy and reliable for students like you, including:
- Obtaining a master's degree in counseling
- Meeting the state licensing requirements
- Continuing to pursue education in counseling
- Uphold set ethical standards put in place by the American School Counselor Association
School counselors are trained to help all students pursue academic success, manage difficult emotions, learn critical social skills, find help as needed, and create a plan for their future. They work to ensure the school is functioning well for the students as a whole and make time to ensure the individual students assigned to them are receiving the help they need.
How Your School Counselor Can Help You
As you can see, school counselors undergo a large amount of training and schooling to make sure they have all the tools needed to help you through a number of issues you may encounter in your school years, including:
Planning for Your Future
It's always nice to have an experienced adult to turn to with questions or concerns about your future. Whatever path you decide to take, your school counselor is here to help you:
- Create a realistic plan for success in your dream career path
- Plan ways to improve your future resume
- Team up with your parents, teachers, and community to ensure you have the best chance of success
- Offer advice for building more effective studying habits
- Assist you in improving your grades
- Help you work through issues you are having in class
- Offer advice, a listening ear, or help when you are having conflict with a teacher or other authoritative figure
- Coach you through preparing for the SAT's or ACT's
- Assist you with job or college applications
- Encourage and offer you advice for finding the right path for your future
- Provide you with a quiet, safe space to do your schoolwork
Sometimes, you just need somebody to talk to that you can trust. School counselors can be great when you need someone to:
- Listen to your problems
- Offer short-term adolescent therapy
- Offer support or advice as needed
- Help you find referrals for professionals that can help with personal conflicts or issues you are having
When Should You See Your School Counselor?
There are endless issues you may encounter throughout your school years. Whether you are facing internal conflicts, having issues at school, or facing problems at home, your counselor is here to help you. Just a few of the many personal situations they can help you work through include:
You may encounter challenges and obstacles throughout your schooling. It is important to know that you can always turn to your school counselor to make sure you get the help you need. Whether you are struggling with a specific class, feel like a teacher is being unfair, or need help planning for your future, take advantage of your school's counselor. They will work to get you the help you need.
Problems at Home
Not everybody's home life is healthy, safe, or happy. If your home has begun to feel full of turmoil and chaos, your counselor is here to listen. Whether you are enduring a divorce between your mom and dad, have found yourself in continuous arguments with other family members, or are dealing with a home situation that does not feel safe or healthy, your counselor is here to make sure you get the help you need.
Problems with Your Friend Group or Classmates
When you spend almost all day, every day together (not counting the hours you spend together outside of school), conflicts amongst your peers are practically inevitable. Whether you are struggling to work through a conflict with a friend, issues within a romantic relationship are impacting your quality of life, or have found yourself the victim of bullying; your counselor is here to make sure you receive the help you need.
Stress and Anxiety
School can undoubtedly have its stressors. With extracurriculars, planning for the future, and interpersonal relationships expecting your full attention all of the time, it is no wonder so many students struggle with stress and anxiety. Whether you are struggling to find the courage to socialize, are stressing about the future, or dealing with severe anxiety, your counselor is here to help you get the help you need.
You Need Someone to Help Get You Mental Health Help
Your mental health matters. This is why your school counselor is here for you. While they cannot provide you with long-term therapy, they can refer you to a mental health professional who can help you feel better as soon as possible.
Although school counselors do not provide long-term therapy, they can provide students with short-term counseling and referrals to professionals in the community who can provide you with the help you need.
How You Can Plan a Visit to Your School Counselor
Every school is different, which means that there will likely be different paths you need to take to talk to your counselor. If you have no clue how to get ahold of your school's counselor or who your personal counselor is, talk to a teacher or administrative staff that you trust. They will lead you in the right direction of your school counselor. You may also be able to find information about or make an appointment with your counselor on your school's website.
If you are struggling in school, don't forget that your student counselor is here for you. They will be there to make sure you get whatever help it is that you need. However, if you are struggling with mental health issues that are impacting your quality of life, we are here to help. Contact us today.
Keywords: adolescent therapy, student counseling, youth counselor, how to help a child with anxiety, how to help a teenager with anxiety and depression