100s of tips for school counselors!

Top 16 Posts for 2016

Heather Thomas Counseling Activities & Resources 0 Comments

The end of the year is a great time to reflect on the highlights of the past 12 months! 2016 was a great year in so many respects…one of my favorite highlights for The Helpful Counselor is that over 500,000 NEW readers stopped by for a visit…Can you believe it? I even did a double take…What an honor! You guys seriously rock. It really is amazing! I went from being the “lone wolf” counselor in a rural school district to having a network of counselors all over the world….if you’re not already part of that super awesome network -> What are …

20 Things to Say to Help an Angry Child

20 Things You Can Say to Help an Angry Child

Heather Thomas Anger Management 0 Comments

So what do you say to an angry child? Does it matter if the child is your client, student, or your own offspring? Do you find yourself reacting differently depending on who is in emotional distress? It really shouldn’t matter, but all too often it does. I speak from experience on this one! Every once in a while, it feels like working with 1,500 other people’s kids is easier than managing my own children…why is it any different? After all, I just said it shouldn’t matter…It all has to do with emotional investment. When we are overly invested emotionally, we take …


20+ Counseling Themes in Star Wars – The Force Awakens

Heather Thomas Counseling Activities & Resources 4 Comments

Star Wars – The Force Awakens is full of counseling themes that can be utilized when helping children and teens (even adults!). Why use movies to address emotional and behavioral issues? Movies are made to connect with the audience on a personal and emotional level…at least the good ones have been. The feelings and challenges faced by the characters allow us to work through our own issues in a non-threatening environment. The general safety of the theater or our living room and the brief duration (yes, even 3-hour blockbusters) gives us a finite opportunity to experience the emotions vicariously through …

How to feel less depressed during the holidays

How to Feel Less Depressed During the Holiday

Heather Thomas Counseling Activities & Resources 2 Comments

Depression during the holiday season is not uncommon and can be especially difficult to manage. After all, this is supposed to be the happiest time of the year. Is it not? It’s everywhere you look in American society…holiday movies, books, and music is filled with hope, love, and togetherness. Being bombarded with holiday merriment can be extremely overwhelming. Even more so when all you want to do is crawl under the covers until it all goes away. At times the external message (this is a happy time of year) coupled with a depressive internal dialogue forms what is known as …

Help Camp Counselors Meet the Needs of Your Child - Free download

Help Camp Counselors Meet the Needs of Your Child

Heather Thomas Counseling Activities & Resources 1 Comment

Sending kids off to camp is fun and exciting, but as parents we still tend to worry about their well-being. After all, we’re parents…that’s what we do! This is especially true when our children have special needs. That’s why I’m super excited to share this post written by the fabulous Robyn from Mental Phils to share her experience! Take it away Robyn! *** Last summer, I thought, “Summer’s here and that means another round of college-aged camp counselors that have no clue what Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) is.” You see, I’ve found they often associate the diagnosis mild Autism with …

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20+ Inside Out Clips to Help Teach Children About Feelings

Heather Thomas Counseling Activities & Resources 0 Comments

The Disney Pixar movie Inside Out was an instant hit at the box office. Children, teens, adults (especially) counselors are drawn to the movie’s relatable characters and life challenges. As mentioned above, counselors anticipated the release of Inside Out and how they would be able to use the movie’s themes in their work with children. Personally, I’ve been having a blast finding Inside Out toys and books my students can use to express their feelings and work out some of the challenges they face. (You can read more about the counseling themes in Inside Out here and all of the toys and …