A few throwback tips from my time as a school counselor…

counseling Ally Bayard with child playing

Fun fact:

I’ve done just about every type of counseling there is to do. I’ve worked in hospital inpatient psychiatric units, in ERs, and at St. Jude Children’s in Memphis. I have worked in IOPs leading parenting groups and adolescent groups, as well as in community agencies traveling to homes and schools. I have worked in numerous private practices before opening my own. But one of my favorite seasons as a counselor was when I spent several years contracted with the sweetest little private school. My contract was to provide clinical and school counseling services in the school setting. I was there three days a week and doing private practice or consultation on the side.

There is nothing like a school. Schools have it all: families, friends, community, spirit. And as a counselor, what a dream it is to have access to your clients’ families and teachers all in one place.

Having worked in hospitals, schools, agencies, community programs, IOPS and private practice (read more here), it never ceases to amaze me how mental health issues present themselves in different settings. Sure, anxiety is anxiety, but anxiety in a private elementary school looks different than anxiety in an adult psychiatric unit of a hospital. Yet we are all people. And we are all capable of experiencing anxiety. And the root of the issue doesn’t change, and the evidence-based practice doesn’t change.

But that’s a soapbox for another day. This post was just to tell you a little more about my counseling journey, and to share an article that InRegister recently re-posted. This is an article that i was interviewed for last year at the start of school, sharing insight from a counselor’s perspective about sending children back to school. I hope you find some wisdom in words and encouragement during this often hectic season.