Guidance Counseling: Communicating with Students and Parents

Instructor: McKenzie Isom
Learn about the strategies that guidance counselors use when communicating with students and their parents under the developmental counseling approach. Also, read about responsive services and how counselors respond to students' academic and personal issues. Updated: 10/15/2021

What is a Guidance Counselor?

Guidance counselors were initially hired by school systems to help with career development and provide post-academic advice to students. However, over time, guidance counselors' roles within the public school system gradually expanded. Today, guidance counselors are tasked with undertaking an overall assessment of students' academic progress. This is typically done by analyzing students' grades, test scores, and prior academic history to see where a student may be struggling. Guidance counselors can then use this information to work with other faculty members, including teachers, to help design an individualized instructional plan focused on improving concepts or areas that the student may be having difficulty with.

Developmental Counseling

In the Texas Education system, guidance counselors operate under the guidelines outlined in a counseling program called developmental counseling. Under this program, guidance counselors work as a part of a team that includes a student's instructors, parents, community, and other faculty members to provide assistance that will help guide a student towards their full academic potential. When discussing these topics with parents and students, counselors approach the situation with respect, warmth, understanding, and positivity. The key characteristics of a developmental counseling style includes;

  • Consistent service to students
  • Group and individualized counseling
  • Preventative and crisis counseling
  • Evaluation and improvement focused
  • Collaborative outreach
  • Student goal attainment
  • Planned and based on priorities

Responsive Services

In addition to helping students achieve their academic goals, counselors often must provide responsive services. Responsive Services refer to situations in which a counselor provides short-term interventions in an attempt to resolve problems, crisis events, or school-related issues that may be disrupting a student's ability to learn and function within the school setting adequately. Under the Texas Education system, counselors should be trained and able to provide responsive services to students at the preventative, remedial, and crisis levels.

Preventative Crisis

At the preventative level, counselors interact with students and provide them with resources and other aid before an identified issue or problem goes further and becomes chronic. Students are encouraged to work with counselors to establish ways to build healthy habits to solve their problems. This can include finding ways to boost a student's sense of self-worth, encourage healthy coping mechanisms, and create a support system for the student that they can lean on when issues develop, and they find themselves struggling to get past them.

Remedial Crisis

With remediation, counselors seek to evaluate a situation and help a student resolve issues that have already occurred. Students who have reached the remedial level have typically already tried to solve their problems using unhealthy or unwise tactics, or are struggling to cope with difficult situations or issues. At this level, counselors will look more closely at the circumstances of the student's particular issues or problems to understand better why they happened. Counselors then help the student make plans or any necessary changes to help alleviate the situation.

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Guidance Counseling: Communicating with Students and Parents Quiz

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Under the developmental counseling style, who does a guidance counselor work with in order to provide comprehensive assistance and advice to help a student reach their full academic potential?

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