Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy (Online)

Improving the Effectiveness of School Counselling: Consensus, Collaboration, and Clinical Supervision/Amélioration De L'efficacité Du Counseling Scolaire : Consensus, Collaboration, et Supervision Clinique

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy (Online)

Improving the Effectiveness of School Counselling: Consensus, Collaboration, and Clinical Supervision/Amélioration De L'efficacité Du Counseling Scolaire : Consensus, Collaboration, et Supervision Clinique

Article excerpt

RÉSUMÉ

Dans cette revue de la littérature, on examine les facteurs qui influencent l'efficacité des services et des programmes offerts par les conseillers scolaires. Les facteurs d'influence spécifiquement examinés sont l'identité professionnelle, les pratiques de travail collaboratif, et la supervision clinique. L'analyse a révélé que les principes d'égalitarisme, de relation, et d'interdépendance sont omniprésents dans tout ce que font les conseillers scolaires, et que les pratiques de travail collaboratif, la supervision clinique, et la notion d'identité professionnelle sont intimement liées. On discute des implications pour la pratique et l'on formule des recommandations pour les recherches à venir. On met les chercheurs au défi de s'attaquer à la pénurie de littérature sur les pratiques du counseling dans les écoles canadiennes.

Canadian schools are dynamic, energetic, and diverse. At the heart of Canadian schools are school counsellors, who act in many roles: educational leaders, advocates, and change agents (British Columbia School Counsellors Association, n.d.; Manitoba School Counsellors' Association, 2002; New Brunswick Department of Education, 2002; Northwest Territories Education, Culture, and Employment, 2004; Nova Scotia Department of Education, 2010; Ontario School Counsellors' Association, n.d.; Prince Edward Island Department of Education, 2005).1 Now, as their profession develops, school counsellors are taking on a broader range of duties and facing new challenges (Culbreth, Scarborough, Banks-Johnson, & Solomon, 2005). Therefore, it is becoming increasingly necessary to reexamine how school counsellors will continue to support the students in their care.

In this article, I analyze and synthesize the literature on school counselling to determine what factors contribute to, or detract from, the effectiveness of the services and programs that school counsellors offer. I then evaluate this information to determine how the literature can inform-and ultimately improve- the practice of school counsellors. I review variations in conceptualizations of the school counsellor's role across Canada, as well as how these views have changed over time. School settings are unique in that many people are involved in the lives of students. Therefore, I also examine the extent to which school counsellors collaborate with other stakeholders in order to support students, as well as any barriers to collaboration. Finally, I discuss the nature of supervision that school counsellors receive, as well as how this helps to support them in their various roles.

The existing literature has not examined the role of Canadian school counsellors and the effectiveness of the services and programs they offer. In this article, I aim to highlight some of these knowledge gaps and make recommendations for future research studies. I propose that consensus on the role of the school counsellor, collaborative working practices, and clinical supervision are key factors influencing the effectiveness of school counselling.

THE STORY SO FAR

My main focus in this article is to examine how school counsellors help to make a difference to the lives of their students. For the purposes of this article, I have defined an effective school counselling program (SCP) as one that helps students to make positive changes in one or more domains of their lives. The definition is in line with this guideline in the Prince Edward Island (PEI) Department of Education's (2005) handbook for counsellors: "the primary goal of school counselling services is to enhance and promote student learning" (p. 5), and to address the personal, social, emotional, and career needs of students. The term has been similarly defined by Alberta Education (2012), the BC Ministry of Education (2013), the Manitoba SCA (2002), and the NS Department of Education (2010).

School counsellors face a double challenge: they must show how the services they provide positively influence student outcomes, and they must also demonstrate their worth in order to ensure that their services continue to receive funding (Oberman, Studer, & Womack, 2006). …

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