Individual and group counseling is available to the students of Overlake Specialty School. The student and their treatment team will determine if counseling may be beneficial based on the student’s unique needs. Counseling outcomes are best supported when students are engaged in the process and allies in their treatment. For this reason, individual counseling is a voluntary service and will not be mandated. Overlake Specialty School Students and families are supported by licensed mental health counselors who maintain licensure standards to practice counseling in the state of Washington.
Individual counseling is a process that utilizes a variety of therapeutic techniques to allow students to identify difficulties, motivate change, and provide the skills for change. This change can be a modification of thought patterns, an increase in self-awareness, behavior modification and/or an emotional response to their environment. These techniques may take the form of cognitive restructuring, play, artistic expression, skills training, discussions or direct instruction. At the heart of each technique is a trusting and safe relationship between the counselor and student, as well as a safe environment in which to communicate and learn new approaches to difficulties.
Group counseling is an experiential process that approaches issues of personal growth through the use of interpersonal interaction. Students are encouraged to interact with one another in order to identify and understand maladaptive patterns and how to change them. Group interactions provide an opportunity to build relationships and receive interpersonal feedback, acquire new skills, build insight, practice real-life scenarios and form social connections. Many groups offered at Overlake Specialty School follow a curriculum and are supported by evidence and research.
Case management is the process of collaborating, consulting and coordinating service delivery with community providers in order to promote advocacy, resource management, referrals and therapeutic outcomes for students and their families. Overlake Specialty Counselors coordinate, monitor and evaluate options and services required to meet the student health and human service needs. Counselors collaborate with educational team members, community treatment teams and external professionals to coordinate care and service delivery. They also assess student functioning from a global perspective, taking the student’s cultural, social, economic, academic and developmental needs into account.