Merrill School Counselor
Mr. Self's Personal Message
My mission is to provide programs and support for children, families and educators to help our community's youth maximize their potential and make healthy choices. I honor the integrity of children and families by acting compassionately, while protecting the confidentiality of the family and understanding that all families are different.
I offer a variety of services for our school community, including:
- Mentorship and guidance for youth.
- Educational and cognitive-behavioral supports.
- Individual, group and family counseling.
- Classroom lessons and group presentations.
- Providing referrals to community agencies.
I bring several years of experience to my position at Merrill School, including 3 years experience providing services in public schools (at all levels from Pre-K through high school) as well as another year providing clinical counseling. I am a licensed school counselor, having completed a MA in Counseling from Lewis University and a MA in School Psychology from the University of Nebraska. As a child of poverty from a diverse community, I am particularly sensitive to the needs of many in the community I serve. I intimately understand the impact a quality education and good role models can serve, personal experience which drives my work.
What do School Counselors do?
The School Counseling program is an integral part of the total educational program and is designed to meet the needs of all students. The goal of the School Counseling program is to help students, parents, and teachers develop positive learning experiences through: 1) Academic Lessons and Counseling 2) Career Lessons and Counseling and 3) Personal / Social Lessons and Counseling.
Counseling is developmental and is designed to help students develop an understanding of themselves or others, define goals, and resolve conflict. I DO NOT offer intensive psychotherapy focusing on mental illness, as the time and intensive nature of these interventions is outside the scope deliverable in the school day. Students may self-refer by leaving a note in my mailbox; or parents, teachers or other concerned students may request that I speak with a child to discuss a particular concern. I see students individually anywhere from one time to several weeks, depending on the topic. Most topics can be addressed quickly, but if a concern cannot be addressed in a few conversations with the student, I will contact a parent or guardian for permission.
Sometimes students who share a common concern find it helpful to meet together to share ideas and support. These group sessions help children learn how to reach out to friends for help in responsible ways. Possible group topics are Grief, Divorce or Family Change, Social Skills, Friendship, Problem-Solving, Anger, Self-Esteem, Study Skills, and Classroom Issues. I do not place students in groups without parent or guardian permission.
Guidance lessons are designed to help students succeed and get along in the classroom. Guidance lessons are intended for all students and do not require students to reveal any personal information. Typical classroom lessons include school values (responsibility, caring, respect, etc.), appreciation of diversity, and test strategies.