Cougar Counseling Corner

October Counseling Newsletter

Meet Your School Counselor

Hello! My name is Elizabeth Reed, this is my second year as the school counselor here at Kelly Creek. I am so happy to get see all the students in person even behind a mask.

I grew up in Tennessee but have lived in Oregon for the past 7 years. My husband is an elementary teacher and we have a 12 year old rescue dog named Blossom. In our free time we are often hiking up on Mt Hood, climbing in Central Oregon or tending to our garden at home.

I received my Masters in Counseling from Portland State University. I have experience working with kids, adolescents, and adults in a non-profit, school, and clinical setting. My belief is that any student should feel safe and thrive in our school community regardless of identity. You can learn more about my role here at Kelly Creek below!

Contact Me

(503) 663-7483

You can also contact me on the Remind app.

My Role As a School Counselor

Classroom Lessons

I will be working in your student's classroom teaching lessons about social emotional learning and collaborating with teachers. I love being in the classroom and just seeing all the awesome things your students are working on!

Small Counseling Groups

This is one part of my job that I LOVE and didn't get to do during CDL. This year I will be running small groups around anxiety, emotional regulation, social skills, and mindfulness.

Student and Family Support

I am here for all our students! If there is anything that comes up big or small that you would like my support with, please reach out to me or your teacher! Common "Issues" that I support kids around is anxiety, anger/frustration management, depression, grief and loss, social skills and friendships.

I also can help connecting with family resources, mental health resources, any housing/utility help, etc.

Family/Community Resources

Here are many resources in the community that Kelly Creek families can access. I continue to update this resource list throughout the year. I will also send out a specific one around the holidays.

Click Here for the Resource List!

Helping Kids with Anxiety

It is very normal if your student is experiencing some anxiety being back in school! The goal isn't to eliminate anxiety, that is impossible! But to help your child manage it.

From the Child Mind Institute:

"When a child gets upset in an uncomfortable situation and their parents take them out of the situation, they learn that getting upset is a good way to cope. Instead, it’s helpful for parents to let kids know that they’re going to be okay, even if they’re scared. You can’t promise your child that nothing bad will happen. But you can express confidence that they can face their fears and feel less afraid over time."

Positive Parenting Behaviors That Help with Stress

  • Reward coping behaviors and positive risk-taking

  • Extinguish excessive anxious behavior

  • Manage your own anxiety

  • Develop family communication and positive problem-solving skills

  • Authoritative parenting (vs. authoritarian, permissive or uninvolved parenting)

Helping Kids Recognize and Describe Their Feelings

- Learning what different emotions look and feel like will strengthen kid’s emotional vocabulary and increase their capacity to be empathetic towards others feelings.

- Kids learn feelings best with visuals and sensory. Prompts to identify emotions.

Validate feelings, even “bad” feelings are okay. All feelings and emotions are signals to our bodies. -- I also want to validate that this is challenging when kids are having BIG EMOTIONS.

- Model talking about your feelings, and how you manage them, making nonjudgmental observations.

Managing Your Own Anxiety and Stress

**Note: Not everything works for everyone. The most important thing is to find something that works for you and your family in your context.

STOP Right Now, how do you actually feel? We are often asked this and we say “fine.” But this has been a difficult time lately, and emotions can be complex. You may be feeling sad, worried, or stressed.

Pause. Breathe. Notice How Do You Actually Feel?

Observe how you are feeling and what you are thinking, without judgment. Instead of responding or reacting to those thoughts or feelings, note them, and then let them go.

Take breaks from screens, news content, social media, Netflix, etc.

Take Care of Your Body

Reach Out and Stay Connected

Teaching Kids to Describe and Recognize Feelings

The Meta Moment: The meta moment is the moment in between a stimulus and how you react. Such as if someone cuts you off in traffic (stimulus) you can either immediately get mad (unhelpful response) or pause (meta moment) and let it go (helpful response). This idea is so valuable for kids.....and adults!

Body scans: If kids can identify that feelings feel like such as when their heart beats really fast this is a sign they are anxious. Then, when this happens in the future it will be a sign to them to use some coping and calm down tools.

Breathing Activities: Teaching kids how and when to take deep breaths calms down the nervous system and helps them de-escalate
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Kid's Books About Worry