Counseling Services

At St. Bernard Academy, your child’s well-being is our priority, which is why we offer a School Counselor who is available to provide services for the social, emotional, and behavioral development of all students in Junior Kindergarten through 8th Level.

For more information or to contact our School Counselor, Melissa Lawmaster, click here.

Services Provided

Classroom Support

The School Counselor is available for classroom educational support at all levels, facilitating conversations and lessons on topics including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Emotional regulation
  • Digital citizenship 
  • Social skills
  • Coping skills 
  • Conflict resolution 
  • Managing stress
  • Empathy
  • Peer pressure

Boys and Girls Groups

Girls and boys groups, designed to build community and develop social-emotional skills, will meet regularly for 3rd-8th Levels throughout the school year. All students are encouraged to participate. Through a safe and encouraging environment, the groups will discuss important and timely issues, such as self-esteem, empowerment, social skills, bullying, relationships, communication, and friendships.

These groups are optional for students to attend, and while we encourage all students to take advantage of this offering, we cannot enforce mandatory attendance. Doing so would compromise the efficacy of these groups, and would contradict the American School Counselor Association's position on student groups which indicate that "best practice will include parental/guardian consent and student agreement to participate" (Falco, 2011; ASCA, 2020).

Support Group Counseling

Support Group Counseling will be initiated based on the shared issues and needs of individuals within a grade or developmental level. Parental consent is required for participation in Support Group Counseling groups. Common group topics may include: divorce, diverse families, severe stress or anxiety, and grief.

Individual Counseling

Individual counseling is utilized as needed, in a crisis situation, or facilitated over a short period of time throughout the year (no more than 6 consecutive scheduled sessions). The need for in-school counseling support is determined by whether a particular issue is interfering with a student’s school functioning. Should it become apparent that a student requires further intervention, referrals will be made to appropriate outside practitioners.

The following issues may be appropriate for individual school counseling:

  • Emotional regulation
  • Grief/loss
  • Anxiety
  • Social skills
  • Depression
  • Unexplained change in behavior
  • ADHD skills training
  • Family concerns or changes
  • Friendships/relationships

Frequently Asked Questions

As a counselor and educator, I place paramount importance on meeting each child where they are, both intellectually and experientially. I strive to provide an environment of accessibility and safety for all students, regardless of their background or life experience.

melissa lawmaster
SBA Counselor