Counselling Implications from the Examination of Effective Teacher Approaches to Addressing Student Behavior Problems
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Behavioral problems, including those that are mental health related, can negatively impact the lives of young people in a variety of ways. Mental health services alone are not sufficient to meet the need to support youth with behavioral-related problems and there is a need for effective collaboration amongst professionals who work with youth experiencing such issues. Therapists need to learn what other professionals, including teachers, find helpful for addressing behavioral problems in youth. The purpose of this paper is to determine if, and what, therapeutic value can be found in the work that teachers do to support youth with behavioral concerns. This is done through the comparison of effective teacher approaches to addressing behavior issues in students to common factors that lead to successful outcomes in therapy with youth-including in the treatment of behavior related disorders. Similarities found were the use of relationship building, good communication/interpersonal skills, providing direct guidance in the learning of new skills, and working with clients or youths families. Differences found include teachers widely reported use of positive reinforcement, and their use of a variety of pedagogical strategies to address behavioral concerns. Implications for therapists working with youth are discussed.