About the Center
Dedicated professionals work with students in the areas of academic, social/emotional, and career development. The team includes college counselors, Upper School and Lower School counselors, the director of community relations (student life), and the coordinator of Memphis Leaders. Counselors use a collaborative approach involving students, parents, faculty, and sometimes professionals in the community to promote learning and development.
The primary function of the Counseling Center is to foster the academic achievement and personal well-being of all students; therefore, the school counselor will meet with students as needed to help identify and implement problem-solving strategies. If a student's difficulties cannot be dealt with effectively in the school setting, the counselor will refer the student (via his parents) to professionals in the community.
Students and parents who have questions are encouraged to contact any member of the Counseling Center.
What Is a School Counselor?
A professional school counselor is a licensed educator trained in school counseling. This person often holds a master's or doctoral degree in counseling. School counselors are knowledgeable about human behavior and provide assistance to students in four main areas: counseling (both academic and personal), group guidance (educational programming), consultation (with parents, faculty, and mental health professionals), and coordination of programs such as standardized testing (Muller-Ackerman, 2002).
Do School Counselors Provide Therapy?
No. School counselors do short-term counseling interventions in response to everyday issues such as grief, stress, getting along with others, etc. Students needing long-term interventions will be referred to therapists in the Memphis community.
How Do Students, Parents, and Faculty Utilize the School Counselor?
The school counselor meets with seventh graders during the first quarter of the academic year to get to know each student, and assesses his progress throughout the year. Counselors are available to meet with any student as needed or following a referral from a teacher or parent. Students may also come to the Counseling Center on their own.
School counselors are also available to parents and teachers during the year regarding student issues requiring a team approach.
Confidentiality in School Counseling
If a student presents a problem to the school counselor, the counselor will engage in a limited amount of personal counseling. The majority of personal counseling that takes place at MUS involves a counselor listening and attempting to help the student help himself based on a foundation of trust and confidentiality.
The school counselor will always seek to maintain confidentiality within each counseling relationship. However, if the school counselor has any reason to believe that a student is a danger to himself or another, confidentiality will be breached and the student’s parent will be notified immediately (and the family will be referred to a professional in the community).