Happy December! For this post, I’d like to share my favorite counseling resources and then discuss Growth Mindset as it relates to goal-based counseling.
Here are some of my favs for counselors!
- Bilingual Winter Holidays Activity– celebrate and teach the diversity of American culture with this 12 page holiday booklet! It is great for a counseling guidance lesson, an ESL counseling group activity or a bilingual/ESL reading comprehension lesson!
- Hanukkah Print and Go by Kathryn Loves Teaching! 52 supercute pages of activities to get your kids knowledgeable and excited about Hanukkah!
- Principal Gerry Brooks’ hilarious Xmas vids: Christmas Countdown Cartoons and Secret Santa Gifts
- Teaching Holidays Around the World activities from Heidisongs.com
- Avoiding Holiday Burnout from Psychology Today
If you are in the counseling profession, you undoubtedly have had some experience with individual sessions. For new counselors, there are so many questions running through our heads- How often? What do we talk about? How to get the kiddo to open up? How many sessions? How to handle breakdowns? and so on and so on. Let me preface all this by saying that I am very partial to goal focused counseling because it utilizes many of the principles of Growth Mindset and because school counselor time in working with students is super limited due to huge caseloads. Therefore, I try to accomplish a lot in about 4 sessions or less, meeting with the student at a set, scheduled time every 2 weeks (just answered the How often? and How many? questions). For some other answers and helpful tips on effective goal focused individual counseling, read on below:
- Start with some ice breaker activities if you don’t know the student well. Have these ice breakers lead into determining what goal the student (and you) want to accomplish in your time together. Here’s a link to a good ice breaker if you need one.
- After deciding on a goal with the student, write it down together (index cards work great here) and make photocopies, so (if you are in a school setting) you can send it to them weekly or (if you are in a non-school setting) you can give the student/client a copy each time you meet with them. This weekly goal reminder is crucial is helping the student/client to remember, revise, and achieve their goal.
- If you have an unresponsive student/client, try one of the many engaging board games to get them to open up a bit. My personal fav is The Talking, Feeling, and Doing Game. This same strategy works really well in getting students/clients calmed after a breakdown.
- If you work in a school setting (or even if you don’t), its really helpful to get feedback from teachers as they spend the majority of the day with your student/client. Additionally, if the student is referred to you by a teacher, I find that it really builds teacher-counselor rapport if you send the teacher a general followup note after your meeting with the student. Here’s a link to the teacher feedback form I use.
Obviously, with individual counseling, the ideas above are just the tip of the iceberg. If you need more resources, check out the individual counseling sessions guide, Where There’s a Goal, There’s a Way (or ¡Gol! if you need the Spanish bilingual version) which you can find at this link.
That brings me to the end of December’s post. Check back here again next month for my post on tips for being the best intern or intern supervisor you can be! As always, you can find out about my latest promotions, free stuff, or my counseling adventures by following my Facebook Page, Twitter Page, or Pinterest Page. And don’t forget to follow me on my new Instagram Page!