The Job of a School Psychologist

school psychologyThe job of a school psychologist expands beyond the normal capacities of a teacher.  They are akin to school counselors in that they deal not only with the performance and behaviors of the school-aged or college-aged students, but also with their social lives and even internal world of emotions and reasoning.  Combining the resources and powers of teachers, substance abuse counselors, parents, and other people the students encounter in their daily lives, the ultimate goal for the school psychologist is to help enhance the home, school, career, and community lives of students.  By doing this, students perform better with their classwork and ensure better opportunities for themselves in the future. (more…)

Problems Related to Poverty in Students

povertyStudents who live in poverty are exposed to numerous other difficulties because of their unfortunate economic state. School psychologists should be able to recognize such problems related to poverty in students so that they can adequately assist where required. As children, they encounter complications with their physical and emotional health, social capability and academic performance. Poorer children and teens are also at greater risk for school dropout, abuse and neglect, behavioral and socio-emotional problems, and developmental delays.

The physical health of a child living in poverty diminishes over time. From time to time, they may be seen wandering the streets after school or even known to be living in shelters for homeless people. (more…)

Do Suspensions From School Help or Harm Troubled Students?

suspensionDo suspensions from school help or harm troubled students? There has been controversy by teachers, parents and school psychologists over the years surrounding this question. Indeed, it may be the ultimate punishment for some schools, but does it really work? The arguments presented for both sides may help you to pick your side.

Suspensions can be effective, but only for a small group of people. It can work if the parents support the school’s discipline efforts and expectations of how students should behave in schools. There are quite a few disruptive students who needs to be punished because they can disrupt other student’s learning and even threaten their safety. This is why some believe that they should be prohibited from school grounds until they can behave properly. The burden should not only be on the school to instill discipline into students, but a collaborative effort which is usually only recognized to be necessary when a student is suspended. (more…)

Building Healthy Relationships With Students

studentsAs school psychologists, one of our main issues in today’s world is developing professional relationships with students. These relationships are extremely important so as to earn the trust and respect of the students so that our guidance and counseling will be taken seriously. As a result, this article will aim to address several ways in which the building of trust with students may be achieved.

Ensuring competence is key when dealing with students. They should be convinced that that you are able to effectively do your job or they may not trust your knowledge or judgement. Some students are extremely suspicious of school psychologists and even if their paranoia has no basis, one must try their best to quell these suspicions and create fiduciary relationships. (more…)

Recognizing Schizophrenia in Schools

schizophreniaSchizophrenia is said to be the most severe mental disorders that can negatively affect the daily functioning of an individual. It is imperative that school psychologists are trained in recognizing schizophrenia as they are the ones who currently interact with students the most on a daily basis.

One of the first steps in recognizing schizophrenia is acknowledging the fact that when childhood schizophrenia arises early in life, the symptoms may progressively build up. The earliest signs and symptoms may be so ambiguous that it is impossible to diagnose what exactly is wrong, or some psychologists may attribute them to a developmental stage. (more…)

Preventing Absenteeism and Truancy

absenteeismSchool psychologists can help to play a major role in preventing absenteeism and truancy. Students who are at risk include those who have low self-esteem and lack the appropriate social skills. Thus, it is essential for school psychologists to consider implementing programs which are effortlessly geared toward children who show indications of these high risk characteristics of truancy and absenteeism. They should also be prepared to consider executing some programs as primary preventions.

As existing research has shown, a single strategy will not help to avert these delinquent activities. Hence, there has to be an all-inclusive collaboration among interested parties to gain a desired result. Research recognizes precise policies that can be used by schools, parents, and communities to improve student turnout. (more…)

Recognizing Substance Abuse in Teenagers

substance abuse counselorRecognizing substance abuse can be quite challenging , especially with regards to teenagers. They are at the age of experimentation so it is important to remember that many of the signs of drug abuse can also be attributed to natural teenage behavior. The use of alcohol, cigarettes and other drugs among this set can be problematic for the school system. Yet, it is left unrecognized; the substance use will worsen and could spread rapidly to other students. There is a need to be vigilant and recognize the signs and symptoms of substance abuse among teenagers. As a school psychologist there are several considerations you may want to have when exploring the possibility that a student might be affiliated with substance abuse: (more…)

Guide: Giving Residential Treatment Referrals

residential treatmentMost psychologists would agree that residential treatment is considered to be a last and final option for patients who are not responding to more traditional and preferred methods of home-based or community treatment.

While referring a patient to residential treatment is a significant consideration, very little guidance exists for practitioners to follow and decide when this is an appropriate course of action. While the following list is by no means definitive, it provides a beginning framework of when residential treatment is most likely the best option for your client. (more…)

Dealing With Bullying in the Schools

bullyingThe student steps in, looks withdrawn and apprehensive, being sent in by the teacher to address “her issues”. The question is, what is the underlying problem?

More often than not, the introverted, shy or the student deemed different by his or her peers is the subject of bullyism. Students affected are either ostracized, picked on, psychically attacked or, with the advent of social media, cyberbullied. This is a traumatic and potentially dangerous experience resulting in a damaged self-image and repressed anger that may erupt in the most unexpected and deadly manner. (more…)