A School Counseling Year in Review


Let's sum it up!

So it’s been another great school year of growth in my counseling office. I have been fortunate to have access to some excellent professional development, information and resouces which can directly impact students, staff and me personally! I would like to share some of my highlights and resources I found very useful and valuable this year. Jennifer Wilson

Growing up in a digital age faces many challenges. Screenagers in a documentary movie which details families as they struggle and work through the issues of technology boundaries. Even if you don't get a chance to view the movie, there are loads of wonderful resources for you and your families regarding the data that surrounds this epidemic with possible options to help support healthy manageable screen times

Standard Based Grading

Standards Based Grading is on the rise and schools in the area are starting to look at methods to create a grading system where the grade reflects your competency on certain standards. Basically does your grade reflect what you know. The district where I work created a useful and relevant website with plenty of interesting resources. If you have heard of Standards Based Grading and are curious about the whats, the whys and the hows please take a look at the below link.

Chasing the Dragon and Ok 2 SAY

Several of my colleagues this year had the privilege of attending a workshop hosted by Oakland Community Mental Health Authority https://www.occmha.org/. If you are not familiar with OCMHA please take a moment to look at their resources, they do great things for our community. At this workshop current FBI and DEA agents discussed the massive concerns around an opiate addiction. Opiates are highly addictive and can start with a simple prescription. The video below in valuable and eye opening. Please understand it is not censored so keep this in mind when watching, there is lots of swearing.
Chasing the Dragon (C)
Ok 2 Say and the Michigan's Cyber Safety Initiative (CSI) Program teach students the importance of making safe and smart choices in a technologically evolving world. They also provide tips and really nice hands out for schools and parents.

Immigrant Stress Related Issues

We have seen an up tick in student stress related to immigration issues. Sometimes these students hold in their fears because they don't know who to ask for help. We don't want them to suffer in silence so in case you have concerns or need a guide to help a student please check out the following resource. http://www.marquette.edu/education/news/documents/Immigration-RelatedStress-AGuideforSchools.pdf


My biggest professional development surprise for the year was gaining an better understanding for DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy). I was not well versed in this type of therapy but I have a couple of students who have been diagnosed with borderline personality so I was invested to find out more. I attended a wonderful half day workshop presented by Joann Heaps out of the University Michigan. This inspired me to investigate more and what I realized is that DBT has a vast amount of activities and process that can help a lot of people besides borderline. I find it to be a nice combination of behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, with lots of mindfulness and self regulation. There mantra is 'getting a life worth living." There is a lot of application and practice with DBT. If you have the resources to check out the DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets workbook by Marsha Linehan, it is loaded with activities to help students and clients.

Also check out:


Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical- reinforcement and biosocial theory

Mindfulness-emotion regulation and consultation

Balance between change and acceptance

Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder

"Getting a Life Worth Living"

1. Identify What you are feeling

2. Do one thing for yourself everyday

3. List of pleasant events

4. Eat well, sleep well and exercise

5. "acting' opposite

"Wise" mind Concept

Use some emotional mind and reasonable mind to make a WISE choice.

DBT is about having control, taking care of yourself, experiencing what you feel and not letting it take over. Don't hang on the negative.

Mindfulness Resources

Tis' the season for mindfulness. There is so much buzz and attention on how to become present in moment and calm. Mindfulness qualities are non judging, accepting, listening and being fully present. It's consequences can lower stress, anxiety and depression. Mindfulness can also teach you to be kind to yourself and others. Increasing compassion, kindness and happiness. Mindfulness-gives the brain an experience of being fully present.


So I am going to be honest, internally I have been a little hesitant regarding the idea a GAP year. It just sounds risky when you say it and the word gap doesn't leave a positive marker on my brain when I hear it. However, after I had the privilege of attending a GAP year fair I am definitely very intrigue and excited by the possibilities that exist for our students. I was taken back by all the unique, meaningful and interesting ways you can spend a year of life in your prime. Please check out some cool GAP year possibilities.


Alliance for Coalitions for Healthy Communities

Growth Mindset

What kind of mindset to do you have Fixed or Growth? This is such an interesting and relevant topic. It takes a look how one's outlook, mindset and attitude can really change the learning process. I had the pleasure of working on a school committee with the purpose of researching and teaching others about growth mindset. This is a powerful philosophy and strategy for learners of all ages. Please take a look at all of valuable resource included in the smore below.