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Julia V. Taylor

School Counselor, Author, Speaker

Dr. Julia Taylor is an Associate Professor of Counselor Education in the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia and co-directs the Virginia Partnership for School Mental Health (VPSMH). The VPSMH is a statewide collaborative effort with the Virginia Department of Education aimed to recruit and retain school mental health professionals and improve evidence-based practices. Dr. Taylor’s research, service, and advocacy efforts focus on (1) improving K-12 mental health service delivery, (2) effective data-based decision making, and (3) equity issues concerning the preparation, implementation, and evaluation of comprehensive school counseling programs.

Prior to academia, Dr. Taylor worked as a school counselor and dean of student services in a variety of K-12 settings. During this time she supervised school counselors-in-training, developed district-wide counseling curricula, served on school and district-level teams, and authored several counseling-related books. She frequently presents relevant topics (i.e., mental health literacy, body image, relational aggression, group counseling, comprehensive counseling services, etc.) to school counselors, administrators, educators, and parents at the local, state, and national level.


's Sessions

Today’s standards of beauty are unrealistic and unattainable. It’s not a coincidence that body image disturbances are widespread, contagious, and toxic. Girls are inundated with confusing messages that often interfere with their ability to learn, lead, and develop authentic relationships. This keynote will address these important issues, with a focus on helping girls develop leadership skills to combat and revive a generation that has become exhausted by body bashing, social media saturation, and the myth of perfection.

Current research indicates that 1 in 5 students will experience a mental illness before the age of 25, with symptomology beginning during adolescence. The lifelong trajectories for these conditions can be greatly improved with early identification and intervention. School counselors are ideal to provide Tier 1 programming to reduce stigma, promote help-seeking behavior, and enhance mental health literacy for youth. This session will provide an overview of current research and best practices to address the topic, along a plethora of suggestions and advocacy resources.

A growing number of youth are impacted by trauma. As research continues to grow in this area, we understand more about the devastating consequences trauma has on childhood outcomes. It is imperative for school counselors to recognize, understand, and address the unique needs of this growing population. This session will provide an overview of trauma, cognitive and behavioral implications of trauma in youth, the impact on academic outcomes, and prevention and intervention strategies for educators and school counselors.

We consistently hear that students who self-harm and contemplate suicide reach out to others on social media. Sometimes, school counselors are provided with screenshots or insight into this issue, with little ground for investigation (i.e., which student is it?). What is our role in prevention? How can school counselors intervene? This session will provide great insight into the darker side of social media, refresh our ethical standards, and engage participants in a collaborative discussion about how to help students help themselves and others.

Navigating the cultural and social context of girl world is not a simple task. Relationally aggressive behavior is often prevalent during the tumultuous adolescent years, and intensified by the use social media. And while relational aggression in youth continues to receive national attention, resources that address this behavior remain scarce. This workshop will focus on the cultural context of relational aggression, current research including the role of bystanders, and prevention and intervention strategies to help girls manage this behavior.

When constructing SMART goals, school counselors often have to look beyond the obvious to pinpoint problematic areas where they are most likely to impact student outcomes. Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is an effective analytical procedure designed to help individuals identify the primary cause of a problem. If the root cause of a problem is identified, interventions are more likely to be effective. Participants will learn how to perform a RCA, disaggregate report card data, identify potential causal factors to reoccurring problems, and design impactful SMART goals. Resources will be provided.