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Karen Griffith

COUNSELOR AND CHARACTER COACH

Karen Griffith, PhD, LPC, worked in public education for 35 years, 27 as a school counselor, earning multiple state and national recognitions. Now retired, she works at the University of Georgia as an Assistant Professor (Term-Limited) in the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services, and with ASCA as a trainer on the national model, Lead RAMP Reviewer, and Peer Reviewer for the Journal of Counseling and Development. She has authored three books and several articles, and speaks at state and national conferences on a variety of topics. Her primary area of research is around resiliency.

Karen's Sessions

Meeting the needs of students who are struggling with academic performance can be challenging. It is important to discover the unique needs of the underperforming students and then deliver the best possible counselor intervention. Dr. Griffith offers four main approaches to academic support: Goal Work, Enhancing Personal Motivation, Focus on Future, and Study Skills. Groups are offered around each of these approaches. This presentation offers ideas on how to assess underperforming students, place each in the best academic support group, and deliver a worthwhile group experience around the primary topic.

It is a significant endeavor to deliver a comprehensive and developmental counseling program in the school environment. Yet, it is worth the effort. Data-driven school counseling programs based on the national model yield meaningful changes in students and school environments. As a trainer for ASCA, Dr. Griffith has presented multiple workshops on developing, managing, and delivering the ASCA National Model. Understand the model and its components. Learn how to use data effectively to drive the program.

Counselors need interventions that are both effective and efficient. A strengths-based approach, focusing on resiliency, offers a unique and positive group experience, regardless of the reason for inclusion in the group. This is an original plan for small groups, well-researched with proven results, that offers both. It provides a positive framework for addressing varying issues among students that yields increased student achievement, improved school attendance, and more appropriate school behavior.

The domain of career development is an especially relevant topic for counselors right now. But how is that implemented in the elementary setting. This workshop offers specifically lessons for K-5, grounded in career development theory and research, fashioned to be engaging and fun for students (and counselors), and validated by practice. Supporting children’s literature resources also provided.

Counselors are most often asked to deliver some intervention that will build academic success for those students who are struggling. However, lack of academic success can be linked to a multitude of reasons making the choice of intervention particularly challenging. Discover a few ways to discern the possible reasons for academic struggles. Clarify when and how counselors can effectively intervene.

Well-planned, interesting groups yield greater results with students. The group units presented in this workshop provide the general topics or skills essential for inclusion in effective groups as well as activities for delivery. Discover ideas for how to continue to develop one’s own successful groups and methods for being adequately prepared to conduct them.

In this age of accountability, it is important that school counselors understand the data of their settings as well as how to employ data to drive their programs. Data can reveal opportunity and achievement gaps, identify specific needs of students, and provide evidence of effective interventions and student change. Knowing how to report the data in meaningful and understandable ways cements the importance of the counselor in the school. The use of data defines why counselors intervene, demonstrates how well the interventions work, and aligns the counselors with the ultimate mission of the school. Counselors using data? Yes!

Working with individual students to address their social/emotional and behavioral needs is an essential component of any comprehensive school counseling program. Maintaining our clinical skills and using effective techniques is essential. Dr. Griffith teaches a variety of techniques around three areas: affective, cognitive, and behavioral change. This workshop increases the tools in your counseling toolbox significantly.

Counselors who extend their influence to parents via well-articulated workshops contribute to student success in a unique way. Considering what matters to parents, what is important to teachers, current research, along with the personal and professional beliefs of the counselor determine the themes of parent workshops. Translating the theme into meaningful content can be challenging. Make parent presentations a viable component of your comprehensive counseling program. Specific examples of workshops will include: Building Resiliency, How to Respond to Report Cards, How & Why to Support Homework, Motivating Children, Raising Financially Responsible Children.

Counselors possess unique knowledge and skills relevant to social justice and working with traditionally marginalized populations. Moreover, there is a need to share what they know with others who are working with our students. Consider a few alternatives for how to help teachers understand the various challenges and circumstances represented by the students who enter their classrooms. Utilizing those counseling skills to gently challenge biases, myths, and misunderstandings supports everyone and establishes the counselor as an important resource for understanding students.

Almost every counselor experiences the panic of unpreparedness as the time for the small group approaches. Discover a few organizational tips for how to prevent that sense of impending doom, while simultaneously enhancing the quality of the groups offered. Working in advance, collecting what you need, and organizing materials means the counselor is ready for whatever group is making its way to the office. Less worry, more fun, and better outcomes stem from counselors who are ready.

Children’s books often provide the foundation for interesting and informative counseling lessons and activities. Certainly stories offer an authentic method for conveying important messages and truths. However, best practice requires thoughtful selection, meaningful connections, and engaging delivery for the books to yield their greatest impact. Let’s review how to choose well, how to ensure authentic and strong links between the book and the desired outcome, and best methods to present the books to learners.

Creating meaningful pre/post tests which measure counselors’ interventions can challenging. These assessments need to inform counselors on how to better serve students and provide the link between what school counselors do and the relevant outcome data achieved. The ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors provide the focus for writing those perception data assessments that best link counselors’ work to program goals and the overarching mission of the school. It’s a step-by-step process that results in the best possible collection of perception data.