Counselling in schools has a rich and diverse history and the role of the school counsellor continues to evolve and change to meet the demands of the current population. Over the decades, the role has changed from providing primarily academic support to a more comprehensive array of services. The changes have largely come about to reflect philosophical shifts in education and in society generally. For example, risk factors including poverty rates, working parents, blended families, transient families and an increase in divorce rates have increased demands for social/emotional support at a time when programs and service delivery traditionally provided by agencies and departments outside of the school system have changed.
Today's students face increased challenges, often with decreased support. Students live in a very dynamic world that presents constant change and increased demands for them to be self reliant in a world that is as expansive and exciting as it is overwhelming and uncertain. Student feelings of anxiety and depression are intensified by peer pressure, bullying, unstable family environments, drug, alcohol and tobacco use, and increased teen suicide rates. All of these issues create barriers to learning. As well, the developmental diversity which exists within the student population, and the changes in service delivery provided by outside agencies, means that school counsellors and other support staff within the education system are faced with unique challenges. Flexibility seems to be a key ingredient in providing an effective and efficient school counselling service. More and more students vary in their capacity to cope with the academic, social and emotional demands, and require support within the school system to help them make successful transitions through life. School counselling services are key to providing that support.
School Counselling Services are an integral and essential component of the educational process for all students as they progress through the educational system. The need for these services is dictated by the complexity of the human growth process, the demands on yourth and the ever changing nature of society.
The aims of school counselling services, which are based on a developmental hieracrchy, are to provide students with:
- opportunities to develop knowledge and an appreciation of themselves and others;
- opportunities to develop relationship skills, ethical standards and a sense of responsibility;
- opportunities to acquire skills and attitudes necessary to develop educational goals which are suited to their needs, interests and abilities;
- information which would enable them to make decisions about life an dcareer opportunities.
Administrators and all other staff contribute to the implementation of these aims, both informally and through curriculum, as well as by identifying and referring students who have particular needs. Although counselling functions require the intervention of qualified supportive services and consultant staff.
For information on counselling services please contact:
Kathy Mundell, Counselling Co-ordinator,
Phone: (403) 380-5320