Benfer Counselor
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The primary focus of school counseling and guidance programs at the elementary level is prevention. Our goal is to help students develop more positive interpersonal and intrapersonal skills by assisting them in becoming happier, more effective individuals and learners. Our school counseling and guidance program is for every student at Benfer. Therefore, these services are designed to reach every student through developmental, preventative education, and responsive services.

Classroom Guidance
I teach a series of classroom guidance lessons to every student at Benfer. These lessons are developmentally appropriate for each grade level, and are generally preventative in nature. The goal is to help empower students with the self-knowledge, coping, and life skills that will enable them to become self-directed learners, clear and effective communicators, collaborative workers, creative problem solvers, and involved, responsible citizens now, and in the future.

Small Group Counseling
Small group counseling is offered throughout the school year. Small groups are needs-based and usually meet weekly in my room for about 4-8, thirty-minute sessions. We primarily offer Friendship Groups, Family Change Groups, Self Esteem Groups, and Anger Management Groups. New groups can be formed as needed. Student groups are a wonderful way for your child to meet new friends, to gain more self-confidence, and to develop more positive coping skills in a safe and fun setting.

Individual Counseling
I work with students individually for a number of problems a student might present, such as friendship issues, difficulty in the classroom, on the playground, or on the bus, conflict resolution, new student orientation, difficulty coming to school, anger management, to name a few. Referrals for students to meet with a school counselor can be made by classroom teachers or other school staff (i.e., school nurse or principal), by parents, or through student self-referrals (yes, even at the lower elementary level!).

What is the purpose of Individual/Group Counseling and Classroom Guidance?
• To help students develop self-understanding and self-awareness
• To encourage students to recognize and make the best use of their abilities
• To provide opportunities for students to experience success
• To help students adapt to school and social situations
• To help students build self-confidence
• To help students to recognize, understand, and work through learning differences
• To support students with educational and personal/social concerns

How does a Student see the Counselor?
• Self-referral
• Parent referral
• Administrative referral
• Teacher referral