When families are struggling with school difficulties, hard emotions, or challenging behaviors, they need help. Unfortunately, there can be a lack of clarity in the counseling process designed to provide that assistance. Navigating the maze of increased services, specialized schools, therapeutic schools, or treatment programs can feel confusing and overwhelming. Families, school counselors or officials, and mental health care providers usually have expectations of one another when faced with problems that are not responsive to existing or past attempts for help. When those expectations are not met, misunderstanding and tension may prevail.
Working Together: Educational Consultant Perspective
Educational consulting and therapeutic placement consulting are fast becoming standard supports in the quest to fully serve families. There are many reasons a family might hire an Independent Educational Consultant (IEC). A consultant has specialized information on many topics and knows resources that can assist with a wide range of issues, such as college disabilities, Learning Disabilities (LD) boarding school, wilderness treatment, drug and alcohol treatment, process addictions, and more. Each classroom teacher, school official, and mental health provider has a full plate serving those in their particular domain. An IEC offers a niche service that is focused on planning with families, advising on school and program choice, and coordinating support across school, therapeutic and other domains. These areas may include:
Social Needs and Behaviors With High Functioning Asperger
Technology Abuse and Social Media
Process Addictions Including Gaming, Gambling, and More
Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program
Grief and Trauma
Teen or Young Adult Aggression in the Home
Florida Educational Consultant
With an office in the Winter Park and Orlando area, and serving families throughout the state of Florida and beyond, Educational Consultant Elaine Morgan makes it clear to her client families: A team is essential. Schools, therapists, psychiatrists, and other specialists are each important to the family serving team. The addition of an educational and therapeutic consultant’s knowledge to the foundation of existing insight is an advantage when searching for the best possible school or treatment option. The IECs at Morgan Guidance Services are trusted colleagues who assist in identifying the right fit for each unique circumstance. They don’t receive any type of commission or payment from schools or programs, though they work hard to understand all types of options and how they serve young people. Elaine comments:
What I have said to families is they need a team. Input from those who know their student or young adult, what has been tried, what worked and what didn’t, is important to our thorough planning process. Professionals benefit as well when they have the opportunity to triage a client with extra sets of eyes. Professionals appreciate knowing their client is being advised by a program expert. Everyone wins when we work together for the young person who is at risk or who is already facing barriers to success.
Essentially a family is hiring an expert on schools and programs and who specializes in creating a strategic customized plan for an individual’s academic, social, emotional, and behavioral needs. IECs who are members of ethical professional organizations must adhere to a stringent code of ethics that keeps the young person’s best interest, a good academic fit, or the right level of therapeutic care at the core.
Morgan Guidance Services identifies several areas where an educational or therapeutic consultant overlaps with other providers.
Consider the whole person when planning services.
Ask what is in the best interest of the child, teen, young adult, family, and siblings.
Be thorough in teasing out key needs and strengths.
Seek the best possible setting for unique circumstances.
Create treatment counseling goals and follow markers of success.
Adjust course, tweak the plan, and adjust strategies as needed.
Counseling professionals and others refer to educational consultant Elaine Morgan when they have a family or young person who could benefit from a big-picture action plan with strategic components and a strong dose of parental encouragement. Parents trust Morgan Guidance consultants for their responsiveness in times of trouble, a non-judgmental approach, and thoroughness that brings clarity during difficult days. Contact Morgan Guidance for a complimentary session and to explore how we might work together.