St. Catherine School        
8524 8th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98115
206.525.0581

School Counseling

Counseling Connection... From Home!

So... you're at home and wondering, "what am I to do with all this free time and no school counseling lessons?" Well shucks, I was thinking the same thing! But have no fear, I have you covered. Over the next few weeks, this will be the place I post daily reflection prompts, activities and games to play at home, and other counseling tid-bit, ("what is a counseling tid-bit, Mr. Ward?" You're gonna have to come back to find out!). Let's jump into it and make connections from home!

 

Want to check-in with Mr. Ward? Use Calendly to sign up! 

Resources for Parents (you're doing a GREAT job!):

- "Parenting Through Covid-19" from UW (follow the giant link):  https://education.uw.edu/news/professor-launches-livestream-series-parenting-through-covid-19?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTmprd1pUZzRNakl4WmpoayIsInQiOiJma2lcLzVQREQyXC9tTHdRcFNpUDA0a0hUSG44MFZQZnMwd0tVOTRZenN5K3JIbCtwRTg1b3NJTE9PRDZ1SEVzRFlyUDlSNFc3MUowVkFUOVJwSGxBK3pucGFhSGFTR3paUFFSQzBDR3lJTE5waFwvQUtrOWY0T21DUmljaEVzem1iOSJ9

- Self-Compassion: Are you being kind to yourself during this pandemic? It is almost impossible to love those around us if we do not feel that we are enough, that we are connected, or that we are deserving of love. Take some time to think about self-compassion at the beginning of each day: 

https://self-compassion.org/

- Wide Open School: https://wideopenschool.org/

TONS of resources for families with topics like scheduling, emotional well-being, activities for home, and more!

- Center for Healthy Minds: https://centerhealthyminds.org/well-being-toolkit-covid19 - Great resources for kids and families to access during this time. 

Reflections: I call these reflections from within(side). They are intended to give you an excuse each day to quiet your mind and body and be reflect on our current situation with family and friends. When something uneasy happens in our lives, we feel the need to gain control, in any place, and any way. We rush to understand everything and sometimes forget to find the beauty in our imperfect lives. Joy comes to us in ordinary moments. Use these reflections to take note of these ordinary moments, and make in-home learning joyful!

I have started to make my reflections into video format! Follow the link below to connect via video, and share with other families and friendsMake a video of your own, draw a picture, take a picture, sing a song, do a dance, connect with myself and with others!

Click on the button to share and read reflections from others! Make a new post, comment on mine, post a picture, send a song from Spotify or a video from YouTube; be creative!

 

Day 15 (4/6): Make the Most Monday! What is the most difficult part of your day? How can you change your mindset to make it the most rewarding?

Day 14 (4/3): Compassion Friday! Where is there shared imperfection in your life today? Remembering this helps us feel less isolated, be more self compassionate!

Day 13 (4/2): Thoughtful Thursday! We are all suffering a bit from this Coronavirus situation. We are tempted to keep up with the speed of life before this pandemic hit. Have we given enough thought to the slowing down of life, and what that can grant us? What is the opportunity for love in this situation?

Day 12 (4/1): Worthiness Wednesday! Here's a fact for you: You are worthy of love. That is a fact that you do not have to buy, win over, or get lucky to find. What does it mean to you to be worthy of love? How will you remind yourself of this today? 

Day 11 (3/31): Truthful Tuesday! In this time of great trial and tribulation, it is easy to become stressed, thinking that we need to do more than what we are called to do. Recognizing what we can do, and perhaps more importantly, what we are not called to do can allow us to live full lives. So ask yourself today: What are my strengths, and what are my limitations? 

Day 10 (3/30): Make the Most Monday! How has your strength surprised you during this time that has maybe made you a bit sad, hopeless, isolated? 

Day 9 (3/27): Compassion Friday! You may feel stuck, but you are still full of potential for showing compassion. List ways you have showed compassion towards others this week!

Day 8 (3/26): Great sorrow and great joy are often seen to be parts of the same experience, (overcoming a large challenge in school, disagreements with close friends). How is this especially true right now, in the midst of the pandemic ?

Day 7 (3/25): Being in quarantine has meant that we are missing out on some big life events. Times like these can teach us valuable lessons about honoring our grief and sadness, while seeing how joy can exist at the same time. It is good to simply be in these moments. What might you be missing during this time? How do you feel about it?

Day 6 (3/24): Find something special in your home that makes you feel like you belong. Why does this object make you feel this way? How can you share this feeling with someone else in your home today? Take a picture of this item, journal about it, or place it someone where everyone can see it.

Day 5 (3/23): Week two of online learning! How do I feel mentally? Physically? Spiritually? How does the way I feel differ than the beginning of last week?

Day 4 (3/20): Think back to Monday, when online learning began. How have you grown during this first week? What have you learned about yourself? Make a goal for yourself for week 2 of quarantine.  

Day 3 (3/19): Today is the first day of spring! Pope Francis once said: "Each day in our world, beauty is born anew." What does this quote mean to you?

Day 2 (3/18): What are you hopeful for today? How will you remind yourself of this hope throughout the day?

Day 1 (3/17): What does "home" mean to you? Look around your house today. What brings you joy? Peace? Confidence? 

Looking for something peaceful to reflect to? Missing the great outdoors? Think outside the box and watch these animal live stream videos!

https://www.adventure-journal.com/2020/03/if-youre-stuck-inside-might-as-well-enjoy-this-list-of-animal-cams/?fbclid=IwAR0Y5z1HMIxooQ6CqjShL2sOAqMm5shoky4FPQwZVlA69P5i8ElAGnzsM-Y

Games and Brain Breaks:

These games are brought to you by an organization I worked for in Boston called Playworks. They rock. Follow the links to learn how to play:

This is a warm-up is called "Shake it Up, Shake it Down." Great to start the day with!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPbyZ096A38

This is a game called "Crack the Code."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FljuNtVc_-g&feature=youtu.be&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTXpsaU5Ea3dZalZqT0dFMSIsInQiOiJ1UElXblwvRzVudENFT2F3emxvcFF5a1dqUlpUb2V0XC8yS2dIa1pWeG0zXC95ajgyTzFlK1BTbkFpVXJkK1Fwd2RQQWE1MFdTK3VtcWVEWlFJeWpBVEVMcXhGYXVxcU1zaVhzc1hsa2RkVCtwWGRSdHRNdkNpVnVGVzFFUkE5ckt1RSJ9

This is a game called "Popcorn."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ot40kdLBZhk

This is a game called "One Step Back."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Lzo2Kuw29c

 

Flipgrid Lessons:

https://flipgrid.com/stcatscounselor

Resources from Big Life Journal: Games, what to do when I'm bored, (with and without siblings!), and daily to-do lists:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1U26PKLsQ-FpPrx3OUzDDkLqK27-fbDhG/view 

Stay at Home Care Package: https://biglifejournal.com/blogs/blog/stay-at-home-printable-pack-families

Mindfulness, Meditation and Online Therapy: 

Abide App: https://abide.co/

 

Headspace App (FREE RIGHT NOW!): https://www.headspace.com/ -> Find them on YouTube as well! https://www.youtube.com/user/Getsomeheadspace

 

REAL Therapy (FREE for one month): https://www.join-real.com/real-to-the-people --> Great for parents, too!

The Art of Living: https://event.us.artofliving.org/us-en/hcp-online-wellness-program/

Coaches for Good: (Half hour, FREE): https://www.coaches4good.org/?fbclid=IwAR1iJTAbLC8VjcJR9fCD6153xDA0LtTAwDAna9U2pdcYRJUPfRxTi1LiZBo

Activities:

Check it out, the KIND Challenge! Follow this link and GET AFTER IT!

During this time, we can be particularly mindful of how we inspire others towards acts of kindness! If you have any fun pictures of yourself doing an act of kindness, getting fresh air, or creatively exercising your mental health, send them my way! 

Meet Mr. Ward

Hello, families of St. Catherine’s!

My name is Kevin Ward, and I am your student’s school counselor. After spending the past three years in Chicago, where I received my MEd from DePaul University, I am back home in the PNW. Before moving to Chicago, I attended Gonzaga University, (Go Zags), and then volunteered for a year in the Boston Public Schools through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. I am a big believer in Catholic education and the value of mental healthcare, social/emotional learning, and strong community.

What is the role of a school counselor?

I am grateful for the opportunity to be here full-time as St. Catherine’s school counselor. Through this opportunity, I am able to offer a comprehensive school counseling program to all students at St. Catherine’s. This program will be driven by student data and include a multitude of interventions regarding the student’s development in three domains: social/emotional, academic, and college/career. Students will see me in the classroom teaching lessons that fall into these three domains, leading small groups, and meeting with students on an individual basis when needed, (as well as on the playground every day!). I have an open door policy for any student who needs a quiet space to vent, work out conflict, reflect, or simply take some time for themselves.

Mental health is something we all need to care for. Even when we feel our best, it is important to exercise our brain and care for our well-being. Teaching students the value of this at a young age is highly beneficial. Please feel free to contact me with anything regarding your students’ mental and emotional health within the context of their academic success and social/emotional development. My office is located straight through the door to the main office.

Email: kward@stcatherineschool.net

Social/Emotional Developmental Stages in Children

Gaining a healthy appreciation for the patterns of social/emotional development of children influences the way we teach, support, and inspire our students and/or children. The mysteries of childhood are endless and beautiful, but still have the ability to leave us frustrated and anxious if we suspect something is awry. More so, we know that each child will develop at his or her own pace. However, It is still important to understand the basic developmental stages of children before we let our worries get the best of us. By watching for these developmental stages, we can change the way we speak, act, and listen to children so that they may thrive to the best of their abilities. 

Below, I have attached social/emotional developmental stages, compiled by counselors at St. Anne's and St. Joe's Schools in Seattle. They are excellent resources to lean on as educators and parents. But remember, these are simply guides and snapshots of development, not answers for everything in your child's life. 

"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believer in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity." 

1 Timothy 4:12

Confidentiality

Students are invited to speak openly and honestly in my office space. I tell each student that I will only break confidentiality if they disclose one or more of three things to me:

1) Someone is hurting them. 2) They want to hurt themselves. 3) They want to hurt someone else.  

Click on the link below to view ASCA's position on confidentiality:

Outside Mental Health Referrals

Getting help from an outside counselor is more common than many people think. If you think that your child could benefit from having someone outside of school to talk to, please do not hesitate to contact mental health professionals. It can feel daunting at first, but the gifts that come from it are worth pursuing. Below, I have complied a list of outside resources for counseling and evaluations to help you get started. 

Monthly Newsletters

Nifty Mental Health Links:

Building Resilience in your kids:

https://www.heysigmund.com/building-resilience-children/

4 Keys to Mental Well-Being:

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/the_four_keys_to_well_being

Transitioning to High School:

http://www.parenttoolkit.com/grade-levels/high-school

Recognizing warning signs of mental illness:

https://www.nami.org/find-support/nami-programs/nami-ending-the-silence

Suicide Prevention Links:

http://www.intheforefront.org/king-county/

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IF YOU REQUIRE IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE AT ANY TIME THE FOLLOWING NUMBERS ARE AVAILABLE RESOURCES:

Emergency Services: 9-1-1                            

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Crisis Text Line: text "TWT" to 741741

United Way: 2-1-1  

OTHER RESOURCES FOR SUPPORT:

RAINN (sexual assault) 800-656-4673 (HOPE) Chat option at rainn.org

1in6 male sexual violence survivor resource (sexual assault): https://1in6.org/  Online Support Groups

You can also contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text MHFA to 741741 to talk to a Crisis Text Line counselor.

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