News from the Counseling Office at Johnson Elementary School

posted Aug 26, 2016, 8:22 AM by Woody Belt

I am pleased and excited to welcome Amy Maher to the counseling office.  Amy is presently a graduate student at Johnson State College working toward her Master’s Degree in Counseling and is on the mental health track.  Amy will be with us every day of the week for the entire school year as an intern.  She will be able to see students individually, in small groups and teach classroom lessons.

As Amy is in her final stages of her program, I too am widening my training and will be in the final stages of becoming a Registered Play Therapist – School Based.  Play therapy allows students to express themselves, work though experiences, and learn new social and self-regulation skills more through activities than through just talk.  While it might look like a good time with toys or coloring, this form of working with students is work that has real results for children, and adults, by the way.

Amy and I are both working toward important milestones in our professional development where we are required to receive supervision.  For Amy, she will be supervised directly by myself and have further supervision with one of her graduate professors.  I will be receiving supervision through a practicing registered play therapist (RPT) and another RPT who is a RPT – Supervisor.  It is also nice that this RPT-S also works in an elementary school and understands the demands of a school counselor that are not directly related to providing therapeutic support.

Supervising is difficult when the supervisor is present in the same room. The addition of a second adult sometimes changes the outcome we are striving for.  For my supervision of Amy we will be recording both Amy’s and my sessions.  The video is a tool for learning, is not shared with anyone else, and is destroyed after the review.  For my sessions with individuals or small groups where I would like to use video for supervision with my off-site supervisors, I will be asking parents to sign permission slips.

For the last two years we have had a therapist from Laraway come to JES and work with some of our students.  This was such a great success that we have extended the service from one to two days a week.  

Amy and I are here to for all students at JES.  We look forward to working not only with the students but as a team member with parents and teachers to give our students and families the best opportunities possible.

Woody Belt

School Counselor