School environments that communicate high expectations for students’ success and satisfy students’ needs for belonging promote students’ development of academic, personal, and career competencies. Counseling at Rivers works to enhance systems of support that are ingrained into the school’s culture to foster belongingness and individual development, such as the advisory program and grade-level wellness programming.
School counseling can provide students with an additional source of guidance, support, and belonging, especially through challenging times. Counseling services seek to equip students with the skills and sense of wellbeing needed to meet high expectations—to move from good to great—by fostering personal growth and enhancing individual holistic development. Through counseling, students receive support that facilitates their development of self-management skills and empowers them to find solutions to their problems more efficiently.
Students may access counseling services confidentially through multiple channels. Parents, peers, and faculty members may refer a student to one of the school counselors, and students often self-refer by emailing the counselors to set up a meeting time or stopping by their offices in Lower Campus Center. When parents, peers, or faculty are interested in connecting a student to counseling supports, they are invited to reach out via email or phone to consult with Mr. Liston or Ms. Murphy about the appropriate next steps. A student’s advisor is often the first point of contact if a parent or another adult in the school community has questions or concerns about a child’s overall progress. When appropriate, the advisor may recommend and facilitate collaboration with the school counselors to determine a plan for support.
The American Counseling Association (2010) defines counseling as “a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and careers.” Counseling is generally considered to be a helping process that is delivered to individuals who are basically healthy, but would benefit from support to address a variety of developmental or situational difficulties.