Greetings, View Ridge Community! My name is Kathy Hanson and I am the school counselor. School counselors have changed a lot over time, so I wanted to provide you with information about counseling services at View Ridge, as well as my hours and background.
Counseling Services for Students and Families
- Small groups– These groups tend to have 4-6 students and last from 6 weeks to the whole year, depending on need. These groups are mostly educational in focus and include role plays, games and other learning activities. Here are some topics that are covered:
- Friendship skills- making, keeping and resolving challenges with friends
- Emotional regulation- recognizing feelings, understanding where they come from, labeling feelings, expressing appropriately, and regulating. Groups can focus on challenging feelings like anger, sadness and anxiety, and can also address attention impulse control challenges
- Grief/loss/trauma- Because confidentiality cannot be guaranteed amongst the students, group conversations tend to be more general, with students being given the opportunity to process through writing exercises.
- Guidance lessons– Classroom lessons focus on various topics, including emotional regulation, bullying, and friendships
- 1:1 support– Because of the large number of students, school counselors are unable to provide regular, intensive therapy to individual students. I can meet with individual students for 1-3 sessions, provide referrals, and work with our staff to collaborate with outside providers.
- Family support– Nurse Karen Johnston and I work with families to help them find needed support, including medical/mental health providers, food and clothing. We can help provide referrals for other needed services.
- Responsive services– My #1 responsibility is to provide immediate support for students and families during times of crisis.
How Students Are Referred
Students may be referred for counseling services by teachers, parents or administrators. They may also self-refer. It is View Ridge’s policy that regular participation in counseling services (not including guidance lessons) requires parent permission.
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with the State of Washington, in addition to being a Certificated School Counselor. I have a B.A. from Amherst College in Classics and a Master’s degree from Seattle University in Mental Health and School Counseling. I used to teach Greek, Latin, History and Philosophy at Milton and Tabor academies in Massachusetts, and have also been a mental health and behavior therapist for Seattle Children’s Home and Navos, as well as in private practice.
I look forward to supporting your children and the View Ridge community this year!
Katherine Hanson, M.A.Ed., LMHC
View Ridge Elementary (Mon., Thurs., 1st/3rd Wed.)