Counselor Introduction

Because counselors will often lead groups with youth who have specific issues (anger management, self-harm/cutting, etc.) we will continue to create prompts that meet specific needs. (We welcome your requests for topics!)

Because counselors have different needs and greater knowledge about social/emotional issues  than teachers, the prompts provided here don’t necessarily have to be used in order, unlike those for the classroom. Choose what you believe will work best given the needs of the group you are serving.


We are assuming that your goals in using this program include:

  • Knowing that each prompt will:
    • Offer a time-limited but effective means of youth checking in to the group and becoming present
    • Normalize kids’ feelings /thoughts as they listen to how similar others are
    • Provide healthy coping skills and solid alternatives to self-medicating and other maladaptive coping strategies kids are currently using
  • Providing the means for all youth to come to know one another as pairings rotate through the group
  • Creating or reinforcing a sense of community as students learn what they have in common with one another
  • Helping students examine relevant issues that support your group process, raising self-esteem and a sense of belonging
  • Bringing students who often feel isolated into the fold
  • Giving all students equal voice
  • Increasing respect, acceptance and compassion


Foundational Program Practices

Students are paired with new partners(including all adults in the room) continually so all get to know one another. Begin by reinforcing confidentiality; that what your partner says to you is to stay confidential. You might go into detail about why that’s important. You might also ask whether each believes they can and are willing to hold confidence.  If one is not, thank them for their honesty and point out that, although confidentiality is requested, students need to be aware that it is not yet a common agreement.