Counselor Chat is a podcast for School Counselors. If you're looking for inspiration, collaboration, easy to implement strategies and a bit of joy, you'll want to listen along with your host, Carol Miller from Counseling Essentials. Share in some real talk and get tips, tricks and learn about tools of the trade with Carol and listen in as she interviews other school counselors who are experts in the field as they share their advice and enjoy a few laughs.
Why Start A Hope And Resiliency Small Group?
14:18In this episode of Counselor Chat, I delve into the advantages of running a small group centered on hope and resiliency for students in upper elementary through high school. I outline the top 10 reasons why these groups are essential, ranging from boosting mental well-being and academic success to creating a more positive school climate and enhancing conflict resolution skills. I also share my personal experience in structuring and running these groups, from selecting the right participants to conducting activities such as exploring the concept of identifying personal strengths, setting SMART goals, and discussing the resilience of famous figures who faced setbacks.After listening, I hope you’re inspired to consider starting your own hope and resiliency groups! I saw a huge positive impact on my students when using this type of group, and feel that the beginning of the year is the perfect time to try it out.Topics Covered:How teaching hope and resiliency enhances students’ mental well beingThe ripple effect that comes when we encourage students to manage their emotions constructivelyHelping students to feel a sense of belonging among their peersThe details of how I structured my hope and resiliency small group, including how I chose the students to invite and how long I ran for the group forSetting long-term goals for your small groupTeaching hope vs. false hope and doing a personal strength inventoryLink Mentioned:Having Hope Small Group CurriculumGrab the Show Notes: Counselingessentials.org/podcastJoin Perks Counseling Club Membership and get the lessons, small group and individual counseling materials you need. Join now and get your first month free when you sign up for 3 months!Connect with Carol:TpT StoreCounseling Essentials WebsiteInstagramFacebookElementary School Counselor Exchange Facebook GroupCaught In The Middle School Counselors Facebook GroupHigh School Counselor Connection Facebook GroupMentioned in this episode:Perks Membership Join The Perks School Counseling Membership for K-8 Counselors and get your first month free: https://carol-miller-counseling-essentials.mykajabi.com/offers/6Nbbsohn/checkout?coupon_code=PODCAST Perks Membership
Why We Should Teach An Identity Lesson At The Beginning Of The School Year
15:56When we begin a new school year, there are so many topics that we could dive into with our students. I think one of the very most important things we can teach our students as we kick off the year is identity. We have a unique role in fostering discussions around identity, diversity, and empathy. So in this episode, we’ll look at the importance of teaching an identity lesson at the beginning of the school year and how it sets the stage for everything that follows.I have ideas for several interactive activities and group discussions that you can use to help students reflect on their own identities and appreciate differences in others. Additionally, we’ll address the role of empathy and how we can challenge biases and stereotypes to create a welcoming atmosphere for all students. Plus, I’ll share some of my favorite book recommendations that explore these themes!If you have favorite books that you use to teach about identity, please send me a message on Instagram or an email to [email protected]. I would love to create a list of books to share with everyone!Topics Discussed:How we can facilitate discussions around identity Why teaching identity makes for a really great first or second lesson at the beginning of the school yearExamples of activities that foster self-awareness and lay the foundation for understanding othersChallenging the biases and stereotypes that often influence how we perceive othersGreat mentor texts to use when teaching empathyHosting school events that celebrate different cultures, religions, and traditionsLinks Mentioned:Books:Last Stop On Market StreetThose ShoesA Bike Like Sergio'sBook Companion Lessons:Those ShoesA Bike Like Sergio'sIdentity LessonsK-2 Identity LessonGrades 3+ Identity LessonGrab the Show Notes: Counselingessentials.org/podcastJoin Perks Counseling Club Membership and get the lessons, small group and individual counseling materials you need. Join now and get your first month free when you sign up for 3 months!Connect with Carol:TpT StoreCounseling Essentials...
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How to Perk Up Your Program, Curriculum and Confidence as a School Counselor
33:11Join me as I talk to Brandy Thompson, AKA The Counseling Teacher. Brandy is a teacher turned counselor and currently works with middle schoolers. In this episode, Brandy and I talk about how to perk up your program, curriculum, and confidence as a school counselor.We open up about our journey as counselors, sharing successes and challenges we’ve faced along the way. We’ll also shed light on how finding a balance between work and personal life can greatly impact your confidence and overall well-being.Plus, we have big news! Brandy and I are joining forces, as she and I have created The Perks School Counseling Membership. Inside you’ll gain community and all the resources you need so that you can spend less time planning and more time doing the things you love. And guess what? You can get your first month FREE by using the code PODCAST or signing up here.Topics Discussed:What Brandy’s first impression was when she joined the membershipHow much community and support can help with avoiding burnoutMy experience as a new counselor, and the imposter syndrome that pops up for so many of usWhat I would change about the counseling profession if I had a magic wandWhat you can expect inside The Perks School Counseling Membership Links MentionedJoin The Perks School Counseling Membership for K-8 Counselors and get your first month freePerks Coupon Code: PODCASTFollow us on FacebookFollow us on InstagramGrab the Show Notes: Counselingessentials.org/podcastJoin Perks Counseling Club Membership and get the lessons, small group and individual counseling materials you need. Join now and get your first month free when you sign up for 3 months!Connect with Carol:TpT StoreCounseling Essentials WebsiteInstagramFacebookElementary School Counselor Exchange Facebook Group<a...
Trust Your Journey with Indra Owens
35:19As counselors, we support several different grade levels, students with various learning abilities, and families with diverse backgrounds. It’s rewarding work, but it’s also challenging to meet the needs of so many students. For many of us, it feels even more challenging in this post-COVID climate.Our guest and seasoned counselor, Indra Owens, focuses on empowering families to navigate the challenges of the post-COVID era. Indra believes in combining theory and practice to make a meaningful impact on the lives of children and families, and she's here to share her insights on how school counselors can build resilience and create authentic relationships with their students.Indra is the curator of the Trust Your Journey Project. The premise is to redefine Mental Health & Mindfulness awareness, advocacy & support in Urban communities, and building resilient families. Using the conceptual framework to: engage, educate, empower & equip & providing easy to use strategies, tools and resources to navigate in today's virtually charged climate. Indra is a School Counselor in Atlantic CIty, NJ and was the 2020 NJ School Counselor of the Year. Topics Covered:The story behind the Trust Your Journey ProjectAdvice for counselors who want to help redefine mental health and mindfulness awarenessHow you can teach kids to reframe their thoughtsInfusing theory and practice to best support our students, especially post-COVIDIndra’s best tip for new school counselorsWhy you should be invested in your own professional developmentConnect with Indra:LinkedInInstagramTrust Your Journey ProjectGrab the Show Notes: Counselingessentials.org/podcastJoin Perks Counseling Club Membership and get the lessons, small group and individual counseling materials you need. Join now and get your first month free when you sign up for 3 months!Connect with Carol:TpT StoreCounseling Essentials WebsiteInstagramFacebookElementary School Counselor Exchange Facebook GroupCaught In The Middle School Counselors Facebook GroupHigh School Counselor Connection Facebook GroupMentioned in this episode:Perks Membership...
Decorating Your Office On A Dime
18:50There’s so much to consider when you’re setting up your office. You want the space to be functional, but you also want it to reflect your personality and be a space where students enjoy spending time. And what’s often the most challenging part of decorating your office? Doing it on a budget!In today’s episode, we’re diving into creative and budget-friendly ways to decorate your counseling office without breaking the bank. We'll explore simple steps like decluttering and organizing your space, as well as furniture placement ideas to maximize functionality. We'll also discuss replacing faded or outdated decor, using calming colors, and adding accessories like pillows, curtains, and area rugs to create a warm and positive atmosphere. Plus, I have some thrifty DIY ideas for you. After listening, share what your office space looks like in one of our Facebook groups! The links for these groups are listed below. Topics Covered:The big difference that decluttering your office can make, and the positive effects that it can have on your studentsWhat to consider when deciding on furniture placement and colors used in your decorExamples of some things that you might want to avoid putting in your officeHow to easily create inexpensive and eye-catching wall art Suggestions for what to include in your ‘calm down corner’A hack for defining specific areas in your officeLinks Mentioned:Calm Down Corner PostersCounseling Office Decor BundleFacebook Groups:Elementary School Counselor ExchangeCaught In The Middle School CounselorsHigh School Counselor ConnectionGrab the Show Notes: Counselingessentials.org/podcastJoin Perks Counseling Club Membership and get the lessons, small group and individual counseling materials you need. Join now and get your first month free when you sign up for 3 months!Connect with Carol:TpT StoreCounseling Essentials WebsiteInstagramFacebookElementary School Counselor Exchange Facebook Group<a href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/176582632507419" rel="noopener noreferrer"...
Why School Counselor Introduction Lessons Are Important
20:33At the beginning of the school year, do you take the time to introduce yourself and your role as a school counselor to the students in your building? Or, do you assume the students know who you are and what you do? I used to assume everyone knew me and knew what I did as a school counselor. But over time, I realized that wasn't true and I gained some very valuable insight on the significance of introducing yourself and your role as a school counselor. That’s what we are diving into in today’s episode. We are going to be chatting about why and how to introduce yourself and your role as a school counselor at the beginning of the school year. Topics Covered:How to build rapport and connection with students. When students feel connected and comfortable, they are more likely to seek support and confide in you about their concerns and challengesInforming students about available support, the extent of your role, and the ways you can assist them in their academic success, personal growth, and overall well-beingWhy establishing trust with students is crucialNormalizing help-seeking behaviors. This proactive approach breaks down barriers and encourages students to seek support when facing challengesThe importance of setting clear expectations including explaining confidentiality policies, scheduling procedures, and the types of problems you can assist withEngaging methods for introducing yourself to studentsResources Mentioned: School Counselor Tic-Tac-Toe GameMeet The Counselor LessonSchool Counselor BINGO GameCounselor Brochures BundleSecondary Counseling Brochures BundleCarol's WebsiteTPT storeLeave a review on Apple PodcastsQuestions about the conference or anything you heard on this episode? Send me an email: [email protected] in this episode:Perks Membership Join The Perks School Counseling Membership for K-8 Counselors and get your first month free: https://carol-miller-counseling-essentials.mykajabi.com/offers/6Nbbsohn/checkout?coupon_code=PODCAST Perks Membership
Sharing An Office Space with Ashley Morat
35:26Have you ever had to share an office or classroom with a colleague? Sharing a workspace can be challenging and can certainly have its ups and downs, especially if the move is unexpected and the space is small. In this episode, my colleague and officemate, Ashley Morat, and I are chatting about how we came to share the same workspace and how we make it work successfully. 🙌🏼Topics Covered:The importance of having open, honest, and frequent communication with your officemate.How to set clear boundaries and know when to ask permission to use certain items. Why having a positive mindset, open mind, and being flexible is crucial when sharing an office space. How having two counselors allows us to reach every student more effectively and provide additional support when necessary.How sharing office space can be a rewarding experience and can help you both grow as professionals and as friends.Resources:Leave a review on Apple PodcastsCarol's websiteTPT storeQuestions about anything you heard on this episode? Send me an email: [email protected] Mentioned in this episode:Perks Membership Join The Perks School Counseling Membership for K-8 Counselors and get your first month free: https://carol-miller-counseling-essentials.mykajabi.com/offers/6Nbbsohn/checkout?coupon_code=PODCAST Perks Membership
Incorporating Diversity Into Your Groups with Leslie Cuprill
27:49Does your school have an advisory program? A successful advisory program includes social-emotional learning (SEL) done by both classroom teachers and school counselors. It creates a supportive environment, fosters connections between students and educators, and addresses various topics including bullying, relationship building, and college preparation. Our guest, Leslie Cuprill is a licensed clinical social worker from Brooklyn, who has extensive experience working with diverse populations of students. In our conversation today, we will discuss how to create an engaging advisory program that promotes social-emotional learning (SEL) to help students thrive in their academic and personal lives. You can hear more from Leslie at The Summer Counselor Conference where she will be presenting a session on engaging students in groups, advisory, and SEL. Topics Covered:The many benefits of advisory programs; including improved attendance, engagement, graduation rates, and more.Why it is important for school counselors to support classroom teachers with training to effectively facilitate advisory sessions and connect with students. The best ways for integrating advisory into the regular school day in order to increase student engagement and accountability.Engaging students by using surveys to gather student preferences and interests and involving them in creating ground rules for advisory sessions. Why it is essential to understand the diverse cultural backgrounds of students when designing advisory content. Tips on how to overcome teacher resistance and create a successful advisory program.Connect with Leslie: Email: [email protected] Informed Decisions NewsletterInformed Decisions BlogAdvisory and SEL Programs And Activities Facebook GroupInformed Decisions InstagramInformed Decisions TpT StoreInformed Decisions on Boom LearningResources:Advisory and SEL Programs that Fail in the School SystemWhat Would You Like to Discuss Checklist Summer Counselor ConferenceLeave a review on Apple PodcastsCarol's website<a...
Motivational Interviewing For School Counselors with Reagan North
47:22Have you ever used motivational interviewing (MI) in your school counseling program? If you aren’t familiar with motivational interviewing, it is a technique that focuses on building empathy and helping students talk themselves into making positive changes based on what motivates them. It’s absolutely fascinating to learn about and for our guest today, Reagan North, it completely changed the way he viewed his job as a school counselor. Reagan is here to share all about this technique and how you can use it with your students.Reagan North is a professor and author of Motivational Interviewing for School Counselors. In our conversation, we discuss the power of motivational Interviewing (MI) in school counseling and how it can lead to positive behavioral changes in students.You can hear more from Reagan at The Summer Counselor Conference where he will be presenting a session on motivational interviewing techniques for individual counseling, small groups and classroom lessons.Topics Covered:A powerful MI technique that leads to better understanding and connection with students.How asking for permission to discuss sensitive topics or change allows students to feel in control of the conversationDifferent ways that school counselors can use MI (Motivational Interviewing) effectively Why giving advice can actually break our relationships with studentsThe difference between a simple and complex reflection, and examples of how you might use it during a counseling sessionWhat to focus on in order to help students develop the motivation to make positive change in their livesLinks Mentioned:Connect with Reagan North:Facebook: Motivational Interviewing For School CounselorsTwitter: @ReaganNorthGrab Reagan's Book:Motivational Interviewing For School CounselorsMore Resources:Summer Counselor ConferenceLeave a review on Apple PodcastsCarol's websiteTPT storeQuestions about the conference or anything you heard on this episode? Send me an email: [email protected] in this episode:Perks Membership Join The Perks School Counseling Membership for K-8 Counselors and get your first month free: https://carol-miller-counseling-essentials.mykajabi.com/offers/6Nbbsohn/checkout?coupon_code=PODCAST Perks Membership
5 Steps to Vocalizing Your Value with Jeff Becker
42:16When was the last time you got to the end of a work day and actually got everything done that was on your to-do list?As our guest Jeff Becker says, “there’s never a quiet day in the counseling office”. It’s non-stop and some days the overwhelm really wears on you. What’s worse is that other staff members may not recognize the hard work that you put in each day. Jeff and I both know exactly how you feel, which is why he’s here to emphasize the importance of vocalizing your value and showcase his passion for helping other counselors succeed.You’ll hear Jeff introduce a new training program, “Counselor Impact Training”, which focuses on empowering counselors to understand and utilize data effectively, identify and address performance gaps in students, and develop creative interventions. Plus, he explains the significance of pitching innovative ideas to school leaders and display your impact to stakeholders.Topics Covered:How to communicate who you are, what you do, and the value you provideStrengthening the skill to understand and apply data effectively for student success Identifying hidden performance gaps impacting students Inspiring the creation of unique innovative solutions to address individual student needs. Boosting your confidence in presenting bold innovative ideas to school leaders Jeff will be presenting a session at the upcoming Summer Counselor Conference, focusing on how to get teachers involved in delivering counseling lessons and fostering social-emotional learning in the classroom.Resources:Jeff’s Website: In Control SELJeff’s Instagram: @IncontrolselSummer Counselor ConferenceCarol's websiteTPT storeLeave a review on Apple PodcastsMentioned in this episode:Perks Membership Join The Perks School Counseling Membership for K-8 Counselors and get your first month free: https://carol-miller-counseling-essentials.mykajabi.com/offers/6Nbbsohn/checkout?coupon_code=PODCAST Perks Membership