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Monthly CCC Tips

How do you keep a healthy work-life balance?

We talk about self-care and work-life balance a lot on Confident Counselors, and for good reason. This is a tough job that comes with a lot of rewards. BUT if you aren’t thoughtful about caring for yourself, you not only won’t be able to effectively care for others, you will burn out. #realtalk.


Three Confident Counselors, including myself, share how we care for ourselves and keep our boundaries around work.


Mrs. Bell The Crafty Counselor

I have learned keeping a healthy work-life balance has made be a better version of myself, allowing me to better care for everyone else. I maintain a healthy work/life balance by doing three things.


Leaving work at an appropriate time.

There is always so much that needs to be done; at some point, you have to shut your work brain down and go home. When you leave, you have to leave behind the job and all that comes with it. I find that going for a walk before I go home helps me leave the work baggage at the door. Read More »

Career Stress, Monthly CCC Tips

What’s the secret for successful small group counseling?

Secrete to making small group counseling effective

Small group counseling is an essential part of a school counselor’s role, and boy is it tough. Facilitating useful small groups goes beyond meeting over lunch. Some confident counselors have tips for how they keep things purposeful, effective, and fun.

Know Your Purpose

The Middle School CounselorI get asked this question all the time, especially since I have written several small group curriculum that have been published. There isn’t just one secret, there are several.


First, it is important to have a purpose. Too many times I hear that counselors just want to meet during lunch with a group of students. There needs to be more of a purpose. What is your why? Determining this will give you a goal and will drive the work that goes on in the group. Read More »

Group Counseling, Monthly CCC Tips

How do you use technology in school counseling?

How do you integrate technology into school counseling? Do you use digital games? SMARTBoard? progress monitoring apps?

Incorporating technology in school counseling can really engage students, but sometimes it can be hard to figure out how to use it in simple ways. Some Confident Counselors have great suggestions for how they use tech to improve their lessons and keep themselves organized.


How have you been using technology as a school counselor?

Engaging, Smooth Lessons

The Sunny Sunshine Student Support StoreI have found my students are more engaged in classroom lessons and group counseling sessions when I incorporate technology. I have updated many of my lessons in the PowerPoint format so it can be viewed on a SmartBoard or computer. I find by doing this and adding cute graphics, video clips or songs, student participation increases greatly. Read More »

Monthly CCC Tips, Technology

Conversations: How do you use goal setting in counseling?

Set goals at any level in counseling with direct materials and step by step approach.

It is important that students make social-emotional progress and our lessons and counseling sessions are supposed to help them get there. Without clear goals, it can be difficult to tell if that is happening. Brandy and Rebecca use student-friendly materials and approach goal setting in a direct manner. The new year is a great time to reset the clock and incorporate goal setting at any age level. Read More »

Monthly CCC Tips, Setting Goals

Conversations: What is the best gift you ever received from a student?

My guess is that it isn’t one from the Yankee Candle collection in your garage. Often, the best gifts from students are ones you can’t hold. <3

The Middle School CounselorThe best gift I’ve ever received from a student was actually from the grandmother of my student after he graduated from college. It was a phone call telling me that this student’s artwork was published in a book, and she had to let me know. They never thought he was ever going to graduate high school, let alone college, and no one had ever told him his art was good. They credit his success on my talks with him. Really, it was his success. I’m just proud they shared it with me.  

– Carol Miller – The Middle School Counselor

CounselorChelseyThe best give I have ever received from a student came from a 12 year old boy I had been working with. We were working on anger and conflict resolution, specifically in relation to getting along with his brother. After some ups and downs, we started to see a lot of positive change – in the student’s behavior, as well as in his relationship with his brother. He then brought me cookies, with the SWEETEST note. Parts of it said that he didn’t know how mature and responsible he would be without my help and that he loves that he can play with his brother and not fight. It was such a sweet, tangible example of the difference that we can make in the lives of our students and their families! 

– CounselorChelsey


confident counselors conversations: what is the best gift you ever received from a student?

Monthly CCC Tips

What is your go to Self Care Activity?

You know you should be incorporating self-care. You know you can’t pour from an empty cup. Sometimes it just takes hearing from others who get it. So Confident Counselors, what is your go to self care activity?

Counselor KeriMy two favorite self care activities are baking and napping. I love to bake for a couple of reasons. I am a hands-on person, so using my hands to make something is really gratifying for me. I also love that I can make a large batch of something that I can then share with a neighbor or coworker to build relationships. Read More »

Monthly CCC Tips

Conversation: How do you handle requests for assistance around the holidays?

Develop Systems and Work with Others

Little Miss CounselorTriaging requests for assistance helps me from feeling overwhelmed by the high number of Christmas assistance referrals that I receive each year. First, I start off by making a spreadsheet with the requests. Whether I have resources for Christmas or if the deadlines have passed and those resources are no longer available, I inform parents that I have added their name to my waiting list. Some years I may have someone contact me mid-December wanting to sponsor a family. Read More »

Monthly CCC Tips

Conversations: How Do You Make Restorative Justice Meaningful and Effective?

Restorative justice is the kind of approach that school counselors should be advocating for in their districts. When implemented well, it has the ability to shift the focus from punishment to repairing and learning from mistakes. How do you get your administrators and teachers on board with this paradigm shift? Even more important, how do you make it a meaningful and effective experience for students?

Restorative Questions are Key

The Sunny Sunshine Student Support StoreRestorative justice practices emphasize the importance of positive relationships and restoring these relationships when harm has occurred. Restorative justice practices decrease behavior issues, discipline referrals and bullying, while increasing in instructional time, school climate, and positive relationships between staff and students. Read More »

Behavior, Monthly CCC Tips, School Culture

Conversations: Confidentiality in School Counseling

What do you share with parents, teachers or your administration about a student’s progress or participation in school counseling services? Is your confidentiality policy considerate of student trust as well as student growth?


All or Nothing Confidentiality Policies Limit Progress

Social Emotional WorkshopConfidentiality is there to build trust and rapport while working towards goals. Students, elementary through high school, benefit from wrap-around services to make meaningful progress. They need multiple adults helping them practice skills and reinforcing their efforts. If we do not share information with relevant adults, I think we limit the progress they could make. Read More »

Individual Counseling, Monthly CCC Tips