Counselor Stories: How I Transformed my Counseling Program

Perhaps you want to make some big changes in your counseling program but you're not sure where to start or need a little inspiration. I want to share stories of how these counselors (including myself) established systems to transform their counseling program (while staying stress free!).

My Secret to Less Stress as a School Counselor

Let's start with my own personal story of transformation and my secret solution.

Do you feel like you are constantly putting out fires? Do you spend your days running from one crisis to the next and not having time to teach class lessons and plan engaging activities for your groups? If so, you are not alone! This is a super common problem that a lot of counselors have. Whether you are a first-year counselor or if you've been counseling for over a decade, you may feel like you are in crisis response mode.

The struggle is real... I have been there! When I first started counseling this was a big struggle for me. Once I was late to teach a class lesson because I was dealing with a crisis and the teacher assumed I was unprepared. This made me feel unreliable and overwhelmed.

So what's the solution? Establish a Crisis Response Team

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A Crisis Response Team consists of people who can help when a student is in crisis. Each person is assigned a designated part of the day when they are "on call" to help a student in crisis. This relieves you of always being the go-to person.

Potential team members could be the School Psychologist, Instructional Coach, Behavior Specialist, and the Principal.

As you're starting to wrap up this school year and plan for the next, bring up this idea to your admin. It will make your counseling life so much easier!

How this counselor uses data to advocate for her role

School counselor, Rebekah, shares on the School Counseling Simplified podcast how my Stress Free School Counseling program taught her how to use quantitative student progress data to advocate for her role!

If you've ever thought this...

"As school counselors we do bring home a lot of our work."

"You look at a school counselor's to-do list and it seems like it's endless."

And want to think this...

"I can now quantify student progress! Before I was meeting with students ...and I wasn't measuring the impact it was making. This communicates and advocates for the position."

…then you're going to love this podcast episode. Listen to the full interview here.

How scheduling and organization tools can be game-changers in your counseling program

When you think of game-changing tools for your counseling program you're likely thinking of social-emotional resources, not scheduling and organization strategies... but you'd be surprised. The bonus is that both of these strategies help you increase your impact and advocate for your position!

Strategy 1: Streamline your schedule

  • Increase your Impact: Having a streamlined schedule allows you to increase your impact. Spending less time putting out fires and dealing with non-counseling tasks allows you to work with more kiddos.

  • Advocate for Your Position: Your time is valuable and you deserve more than the catch-all position that people dump undesirable tasks on. Being more visible helps you be more understood and valued.

Strategy 2: Get hyper-organized

  • Increase your Impact: When you are organized you can easily show the services you have provided by using your caseload, calendar, and notes. Demonstrating your impact is a great way to show the need for your position, allowing you to impact more students.

  • Advocate for Your Position: Being organized can show your colleagues the value your counseling program brings to the school. You'll leave them thinking, 'She's got it together! It always goes so smooth and efficient when I collaborate with her!'

Two school counselors, Traci and Neeti, share on the School Counseling Simplified podcast how the scheduling and organization tools they learned in my Stress Free School Counseling course has transformed their programs and allowed them to stress less!

"I have been a school counselor for over 16 years... and I can say my systems have changed, my scheduling has changed, it was all very do-able and that has really encouraged me." - Traci

"I am so much better at utilizing my time and prioritizing my tasks, deciding where I need to be and when." - Neeti

Hear more from Traci and Neeti in this episode of School Counseling Simplified.

These are real school counselors who are following my 5 step framework to improve their programs. Click here to learn more about how Stress Free School Counseling can transform your program so you can increase your impact and get the recognition you deserve!

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