There are some therapists who contribute more than others to the helping professions and Donald Meichenbaum is one of them. I have been privileged to attend a couple of his trainings. If you ever get the chance I suggest you sign up for one. I love that he has so generously given us resources that are not only practical, but helpful. If you are a School Counsellor/ Psychologist or Psychotherapist I know you will enjoy his book the Roadmap to Resilience . Bonus it’s free.
Thank you Dr. Meichenbaum for all the work you do with the melissa institute to help othersl
If you are an educator or a School Counsellor I know you love resources so I collated a few for you to use as you start the school year. Save these on your desktop as you will want to go back to them often.
School Counsellor resources were created because of a fabulous Math resource I saw on Twitter created by @beatris_mata which you can find here.
We need to base what we do on theoretical perspectives that are useful and helpful. Humanists like Carl Rogers ,Viktor E Frankl have impacted me, but so to have others in the field of psychology like Albert Ellis, Irvin Yalom, Fritz Perls, Ed Jacobs, David Burns, Virginia Satir, Donald Meichenbaum, Claudia Black, and Mary Pipher to name a few. There is no one right approach. You need to discover what you believe and make sure it works for you and your students. Developing a sound relationship online and off is essential. Using all the skills you learned in grad school can make a difference. Demonstrate empathy, be genuine and respectful, but more importantly be yourself. Therapeutic alliance will always matter.
If you are going to read anything to start your career I would suggest the following:
One of my all time favourite people who has influenced me and the way I interact is Leo Buscagalia. His lessons on life have truly had a positive impact on my life and as a result I have passed this on to others.
“To live in love is to live in life, and to live in life is to live in love.” “It’s not enough to have lived. We should determine to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of person kind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.” Only you will be able to discover, realize, develop and actualize your uniqueness. And when you do, it’s your duty to then to “give it away.” Leo Buscagalia
Each theorist, counsellor and counsellor educator has impacted the way I interact and help students. Along the way I have also worked with some amazing school counsellors , educators and supervisors who have also influenced me in a positive way. Thanks especially to Diane Williams, Deana Helton and Helen MacKinnon. Also to the many School Counsellors in CSSD and #scchat I have much gratitude . Two very special Counsellor Educators and friends Ed Jacobs and Erin Mason thanks for all you do and who you are.
Lesson 2 : Keep learning and base it on theory. Which ones have impacted you?
It really is hard for me to believe that I have retired from a career I not only felt passionate about, but loved deeply. Well, it wasn’t the career so much as the students I worked with that continued to make a difference for me.
School Counsellors really have a multifaceted role which can be exhilerating and exhausting. They do save lives every year. Unfortunately sometimes even though they do their best they are unable to prevent student trauma. Trauma does and will continue to occur in schools. I want to continue to support School Counsellors so that is why I will continue to co-moderate and help faciltate a School Counsellor chat #scchat
Erin , Erin HL and I would like to get at least 20 people who are willing to co-moderate at least one chat ! We will put a how to video together soon so that you will feel comfortable in leading a chat . You can always ask Erin, Erin HL or I questions at anytime. If you have any ideas for topics please let us know.
I am also interested in featuring you in a blog post . So if you are a School Counsellor and interested please let me know.
Picking up the pieces. I work with so many vulnerable youth and one in particular convinced me to not watch. This young person was incredibly triggered by watching the show and made me realize that I did not need to watch it in order to know the harm it could cause to those who are at risk.
Was I curious? Like most of you yes, and I do understand that it is compelling for both adults and youth to want to watch the series, but I also chose to not read the book years ago for some of the reasons I am about to discuss. For those who did watch … this is not a criticism, just a choice I want to make for my own reasons.
I think young people need to know that there are adults who while they may be very curious about the series will still choose to NOT watch . I know this show was NOT created to really help young people , otherwise they would have based the series on solid research around suicide, how it is portrayed in media and the impact on youth. I do realize the creators say they consulted with medical experts and had good intentions however, I do think they missed out on some valuable helpful information when it comes to suicide. Stan Kutcher , a Psychiatrist and mental health expert from Dalhousie University whom I respect believes the show could be dangerous to young people who choose to watch it.
I do not need to see the show to be informed and personally I have NO desire to see a child die by suicide (even if it is television). Some things on TV are even too graphic for me.
I choose not to be triggered by watching the show. I have worked with too many vulnerable youth. I know that I need to practice self-care . Watching this series is not going to make me a better parent , School Counsellor or Psychologist . Being able to discuss sensitive topics is essential and I believe I can do so without actually watching this series.
I plan on reading as many articles as I can that give informed information that is helpful regarding the series . The National Association of School Psychologists gives important information on how to do so responsibly. Dialoguing and engaging youth in thoughtful conversations around sensitive topics is essential. Yes, I certainly know a lot and I mean a lot have already chosen to watch and will watch this series , some will do so with their parents most I am guessing will watch on their own. Parents who watch can and will open a conversation that is useful and helpful with their child. I am just saying for me , I want students to know it is OK to not watch if they have not already done so.
I want all people to know that suicide is complex. We are learning more and more about the brain . I am sure new research in the future will give us a better understanding of some of the complexities.
I want students to know the protective factors, risk factors and warning signs of suicide. We have Canada Mental Health come in every year to speak to all our grade 10 High School Students.
I want all students and adults to become more literate when it comes to mental health. All staff at our school are trained in the go to educator series. You might want to consider this for your school.
This show is NOT hopeful . Students need HOPE in as many ways as possible.
Suicide is never a solution. It is an irreversible choice regarding a temporary problem. THERE IS HELP! If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or know someone who is, talk to a trusted adult, like your School Counsellor or call Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868.
School Counsellors across the world (#scchat) work very hard to let others know that they work diligently daily to help and serve students . They do save lives . They may possibly be the unsung hero in a child’s life , but that is not often the way they are depicted on tv or in movies and from what I have read definitely not in this series. There are also lots of other people who do like parents, teachers, administrators, support staff, coaches, psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, and friends. I want youth to reach out and keep asking for help until someone they trust makes that difference. WE DO CARE!!!!!
The opinions expressed in this article are mine alone. This is my choice and although I listed 13 reasons I could have listed many more. I do not regret my decision. I know it is best for me.
The following TED Talks and videos are excellent for School Counsellors:
Martin Seligman The New Era of Positive Psychology
Some highlights from Seligman. Psychology should be as concerned with strength as it is with weakness and in building the best things in life as it is in repairing the worst. It should also be as concerned with making the lives of normal people fulfilling and with nurturing high talent as healing pathology .
2. Shawn Anchor: The Secret To Better Work
Some highlights from Anchor.It takes 21 days 3 minutes every day to train your brain to be more positive. What are 3 things you are grateful for ? Write them down everyday. Journaling about one positive experience you’ve had over the past 24 hours allows your brain to relive it. Exercise teaches your brain that your behavior matters. Meditation allows your brain to get over the cultural ADHD that we’ve been creating by trying to do multiple tasks at once and allows our brains to focus on the task at hand. Random acts of kindness are conscious acts of kindness.
3. The Science of Happiness – An Experiment in Gratitude
Some highlights. Take time to tell someone how grateful you are that they are in your life. Do it today!
4. My Philosophy for A Happy Life Sam Berns
Some highlights from Sam.Sam had progeria. Sam lived life fully while he was living. Always have something to look forward to. Accept life when you are feeling badly. You can change the world and he did. Never miss a party.
Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.
– Leo Tolstoy
5. My Last Days Meet Zach Sobiech
You don’t have to find out you are dying to start living. Most people live in the middle , but you don’t have to. What’s awesome about living in this world is that you can help . People we don’t really know can change our lives. Love makes life better.
6. Educate The Heart
Highlights :A child’s heart and mind are fragile. We have an enormous responsibility … we need to educate students from the heart. It can start today in our schools.
7. I renamed this to From the heart : What Real Winners Look Like.
Highlights:Watch and you’ll see.
If you have any great video’s you know School Counsellors should see please send them my way @sspellmancann.
School Counsellors all over Canada are making a difference. I want to share what you do!!
I thank you School Counsellors in Canadaand in the world for all you do. YOU DO #makeadifference. Post to the hashtag #cscchat Canadian School Counsellor Chat to share what you do .
Inspired by my dear friend Maria De Cicco, I am wanting to celebrate all the great work School Counsellors are doing in Canada this week. I want to feature YOU and what you do on my blog. If you would like to write an article and send it to me, I would love to feature the fabulous things School Counsellors are doing . Please send a pic if you can along with your blog post to email@example.com. If you would just like to send me a pic of you and a message that is great too. I would be happy to share it on twitter with your permission. I believe there are School Counsellors all over Canadadoing amazing things and the TIME IS NOW to share what you do!!!!
Check out Julie Fantinato ‘s @jfantinato school district’s comments from Elementary school students about their School Counsellor.
The CCPA has some ideas for you . Below you can see an example of what we plan on doing at BCHS. Here are some possible examples of PA Announcements:
Monday: This week is Canadian School Counselling Week. We challenge you today we challenge you to take 10 mins. out of your day to exercise or practice mindfullness. Need more information or tips please pick up todays tips in Student Services. Have a great day! You can make a difference.
Tuesday: It is Canadian School Counsellor Week. Today we challenge students and staff to do one small good deed and when you do please post it to the hashtag #empowerBCHS or come and share with us what you did and we will share it on our school facebook site. Have a fabulous day . You make a difference.
Wednesday: It is Canadian School Counsellor Week. Today we challenge each student and staff member to express your gratitude to someone at school by telling them thank you for… You could even write a post card to them . The post cards will be available all week in Student Services. Being grateful improves your overall happiness. Do it today! You make a difference.
Thursday: It is Canadian School Counsellor Week. Today we challenge students and staff to let one of your family members know how important they are. Pick up a You make a difference in my life card in Student Services and give it to them. Remember you make a difference.
Friday: It is the last day of School Counselling Week. Your school counsellors want you to know we are here for you anytime . Come see us in Students Services. Today we challenge you to think about your favourite wellness quote and post it to the hashtag #empowerBCHS or share it with us in Student Services and we will feature it in the upcoming weeks. Have a wonderful weekend and remember You make a difference.
You may also wish to send someone you know who supports School Counsellors a thank you. This one I made with haiku deck.
Alberta School Counsellors are also doing amazing things . Check out their website here . ProclamationCanadian School Counselling Week.
Proclamation from CCPA for School Counselling Week
WHEREAS, school counsellors are employed in public and privateschools to help students reach their full potential; andWHEREAS, school counsellors are actively committed to helping studentsexplore their abilities, strengths, interests, and talents as thesetraits relate to career awareness and development; andWHEREAS, school counsellors help parents focus on ways to furtherthe educational, personal and social growth of their children; andWHEREAS, school counsellors work with teachers and other educatorsto help students explore their potential and set realistic goals forthemselves; andWHEREAS, school counsellors seek to identify and utilize communityresources that can enhance and complement comprehensive schoolcounselling programs and help students become productive members ofsociety; andWHEREAS, comprehensive developmental school counselling programsare considered an integral part of the educational process thatenables all students to achieve success in school;Therefore, I, ___________________________________ do hereby proclaimFebruary 2-6, 2015, as Canadian School Counselling Week. School Counsellors make a difference . It is worth repeating. Thank you School Counsellors in Canada and in the world for all you do. YOU DO #makeadifference. Post to the hashtag #cscchat Canadian School Counsellor Chat to share what you do especially this week.
There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.
I am so fortunate to work with @NeilOF12 a great leader, and @ehordyskiluong ( my co-inspirer) I know that’s not a word, but she always works with me to inspire students and helps me with so many other projects and ideas. To Peter Damen who always has great ideas and is a fabulous School Counsellor ( who I am grateful is on our team ) thank you for who you are and all you do. To my fabulous colleagues who continue to inspire me by what they do and their comittment to education . I am grateful to work alongside you.
In 2015, I hope to see more Canadian School Counsellors on twitter. I look forward to celebrating and connecting with you. Thanks to those who have already taken a leadership role. See you in #SCCrowd #scchat and #cscchat.
In October while attending CCSDL conference 2014, I met Josh , a positive intelligent young man. Inspired by his teacher ( N von Krogh) who asked students to complete a project titled “15 reasons to live”, Josh made this video. I hope watching Josh’s 15 reasons to live gives you inspiration to come up with your own top 10 reasons to live. The students projects at CCSDL in B.C. inspired me to bring this idea back to our wellness team at BCHS .
The Mental Wellness team Living Aware, Living Informed, Living Empowered will be coming up with their own top 10 reasons to live to share with the Bishop Carroll High School Community. This project is an adapted version of what Mrs. von Krogh did. The project we plan on doing is also inspired by The Buried Life , who are positive young Canadians who go out and cross things off their bucket list by doing the things they want to live for, but a very important part of the process is doing something kind for others.
Directions for our project:
For our project I’d like you to reflect on your life and think about things that matter, the things that make you, you and give you reasons to live life fully.
Some questions to ponder:
What do you live for and love?
What are your reasons to trust, to overcome adversity, to cope, to laugh, to love?
What makes you get up every day?
What makes you happy and makes your life worth living?
What do you value?
What motivates you to make a difference?
What are the peak moments in your life that have impacted you?
Who are the people or relationships in your life that make you want to celebrate life?
What are the places in the world that inspire you or bring you comfort?
What do you want to do before you die? What are your TOP 10 reasons to live?
This is a reflective activity. You might start listing 100 reasons to live randomly. Then go through your list and pick the top ten to CELEBRATE .
You may wish to celebrate your TOP 10 in several ways:
An Art piece
A magazine article
Music … there are many ways to celebrate your reasons to live … an album cover …
A photo gallery
Use a tech tool like @haikudeck to tell us about your top ten
You can make a YouTube video
You can be creative and come up with your own ideas
You may wish to collaborate with some others or you may choose to make this more personal to you .Who you do this with and how you do this is totally up to you.
Our wellness team want you to think about all the things that make a difference to you and hopefully seeing others projects inspires you to think of many more ways to enjoy your own life as well as ways you can make a difference in others. We will be displaying or sharing some of the presentations at our Mental Health Symposium.
We challenge you to find two people who would be willing to do this project and share this project with us so we can spread more HOPE in the world. What are your ten reasons to live? You also need to think of one way you can make a difference in someone else’s life. I’d like you to reflect on one of my favourite quotes when you do something good for someone else, something that will make them feel that you care and that they matter.
“The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention
You can look back here at a later date to see our projects.
Now it’s your turn. Go make a difference and when you do please post your ideas to this blog or tweet @sspellmancann so I can share your inspirational projects.