Training School Counsellors to Work with Families

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 1998

Publication Title

Guidance & Counseling


Volume 13


Issue 4

First Page


Last Page



A paradigm shift has evolved in the field of school counselling over the last 35 years. Emphasis has changed from focusing solely on the individual to a consideration of the individual in relation to social networks and the entire family constellation. School counsellors have recognized the need to understand family dynamics and interventions. Family counselling can prevent many school problems from escalating and such approaches may prove very effective within the context of the school setting. There has been limited family counselling training in school counselling programs, however. This article presents an argument for family counselling as an effective and needed skill for school counsellors. Although the article is not a substitute for training in this specialty area, information is presented on the role of the school counsellor in family counseling as well as terminology and theoretical concepts used in therapy. The counsellor's need for personal development is acknowledged and three approaches that can aid the school counsellor in his or her own personal “family work” are discussed: (1) The Family Autobiography, (2) Cultural Family of Origin and (3) Family Sculpting. The limitations of school-based family counselling are also addressed. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

This document is currently not available here.