We now have a better understanding of the complexity that children today face in navigating every developmental milestone thanks to the enormous advances in information technology that have exposed children to a wide range of situations and made us aware of all the potential harm that can befall them. Television, videos, and the internet tell kids violent and lewd content that kids fifty years ago would have never imagined of seeing. Child pornography is used to sexually exploit children.
Both clinical and educational settings are used to counsel kids. The method may be comparable in both locations, but the environment, referral procedure, objectives, confidentiality, and termination are different.
1. The Environment
The school is a typical, everyday environment in which every youngster lives. The counsellor or therapist has access to educators and peers who interact with the child, and they have the chance to see the youngster interact with others. This gives them rich diagnostic information for both understanding the child and creating successful interventions. To help understand the kid and his or her requirements in the clinical setting, the practitioner relies on parental reports and observations made during the child’s first sessions.
2. The Referral Process
Most frequently, parents refer their children for counselling and psychotherapy in clinical settings for a variety of reasons, some of which preserve the family’s privacy (i.e., behaviours that occur only in the family setting and are not open to scrutiny). The parent who sends their child for therapy in school commits to the therapeutic process. The teacher usually makes the referral when a student exhibits behaviours that interrupt the learning process for the student or for others.
3. Goals of Counseling
Counselling’s objectives in a clinical setting are those of the mental health system (e.g., fostering emotional functioning so that a child can process developmentally in all areas normally); in a school setting, however, these objectives frequently combine those of the educational and mental health systems, which are frequently at odds with one another. The purpose of both the educational and mental health systems is to foster children’s growth, but their priorities and opinions on what that entails are different.
Therefore, counsellors and therapists working in school systems must concentrate on developing emotional, behavioural, and social skills and functioning that will lead to the child’s full participation in the educational process. Educational systems place a strong emphasis on academic progress, socialisation, and appropriate behaviour.
4. Confidentiality in Schools
In any situation, maintaining secrecy calls for ongoing attention. However, in schools, there is constant pressure to share information with those who work with the child. In addition, since teachers and other school staff do not adhere to the same ethical standards as counsellors and therapists, they occasionally talk about children and their families insensitively in the hallways or teachers’ lounge. The success of treatment initiatives depends on open communication with the child’s caregivers. Practitioners working in school settings must learn how to give just enough information to guarantee the success of a suggested intervention in the classroom without invading the child’s confidentiality and privacy.
5. Termination of Counseling
When the counselling’s objectives have been achieved and the child’s emotional health is sufficient, the process is typically terminated. But in schools, it frequently happens when the academic year concludes rather than when the student achieves their objectives. Children who require ongoing care during the summer should be referred to local experts. However, switching therapists can strain the therapeutic bond and occasionally makes a youngster resistant to forming new therapeutic alliances.