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The 2nd Annual Drishti Symposium Talking Point “Updates and Trends in School Counselling� Saturday 22nd Feb 2014 Mumbai

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Program : 0830 - 0900


0900 - 0910

Welcome Address

0915 - 0935

Dr. Smita Desai : "A Systematic Approach to Counselling in Schools The Drishti Model "

0940 - 0100

Dr. Anuradha Sovani : "Evidence-Based School Counselling Interventions"

1005 - 1025

Dr. Suja Koshy : "Building the Teacher-Counsellor Alliance"

1030 - 1050


1055 - 1115

Ms. Sonali Patankar : "Raising responsible netizens"

1120 - 1140

Dr. Kersi Chavda : "The Role of Multi-disciplinary Teams in Managing Teenage Crises"

1145 - 1205

Fr. Terence Quadros : "Career Guidance- A vital tool for successful youth"

1210 - 1240

Panel Discussion : "Towards a strong school-based counselling service"

1245 - 1300

Concluding remarks / Vote of thanks

205 - 206 midas chambers, off new link road, andheri west, mumbai 400053


Drish i A Systematic Approach to Counselling in Schools : The Drishti Model Dr. Smita Desai, is an Educational Psychologist and Special Educator, and the Founder-Director of Drishti. She will discuss how well-organized systems can facilitate effective counselling services in schools. Counselling within schools has a distinct role from counseling in other settings. In the school environment, the process of counselling is utilized for the purposes of prevention of difficulties, bringing about change, and provision of enhancement programs-thus, preventive and developmental in nature. This service hence, extends to all the individuals who are a part of the school environment- child, teacher, and parent. Using a three-pronged approach, Drishti counsellors are able to effectively fulfill the responsibilities that a school counselling service ought to provide. Awareness: Bi-annual programs are scheduled for teachers, parents, and students to introduce the counsellor and the school counselling service. Bi-annual awareness programs are conducted on various relevant topics for teachers & parents. Use posters/circulars/notice board/school website with details of School counselling program. Identification: Facilitate the nomination process by teachers, classroom observations, set protocols for information gathering, and parent meetings. Interventions: Both, group and individual intervention is offered. Bi-monthly guidance classes on various topics ranging from bullying, sexuality, study skills, self-esteem, etc. are conducted. A planned counselling intervention using SMIP (System for Management of Individualized Programs) is utilized when needed. The counsellor is also available for SOS Counselling if there is a crisis or for group interventions, when needed. Liaisoning with teachers, parents, and school administrators is also a vital aspect of the counsellor's responsibilities. Other value-additions that a Drishti counsellor provides to a school, include, vocational guidance, Teen Wellness Programme, Teacher training, Parent education programmes, and access to workshops, symposia and other programmes that may be available at the time.

Evidence-Based School Counselling Interventions Dr Anuradha Sovani, Psychologist and Psychotherapist. Associate Professor and former Department Head at the Mumbai University Post Graduate Department of Applied Psychology. Trustee and Consultant, Institute for Psychological Health, Thane, Maharashtra. She will share her insights on the movement towards a more evidence-based approach to interventions. Psychologists need to embrace the Boulder model, and become researcher-practitioners. According to this model, a psychologist should be a competent scientist and researcher who applies that knowledge and methodology when treating clients. There is a wealth of data at our fingertips as we work with youngsters, and much of this we are actually using because of cognitive expert systems in our heads that are guiding our decisions regarding what to do in a particular case. However, as our body of experience increases, it is important to share this expertise with others who are in the same field. Evidence based practice is the buzzword today, and we need to work to create this evidence and then allow it to lead our practice. Some of the problem areas that have been studied and evidence-based interventions being applied include issues like student anxieties and fears, student anger, somatic complaints that often reflect emotional issues among the young, and last but not the least, internet use and overuse. All these are key issues in counselling today and being led by data is a sound way to work.


Drish i Building the Teacher-Counsellor Alliance Dr. Suja Koshy, is Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development of S.V.T. College of Home Science, SNDT University, Juhu. She will be highlighting how teachers play a vital role in allying with the counsellors to assist children in our schools. In our present society, an alarming number of children/adolescents are entering schools with dysfunctional family backgrounds which is resulting in emotional upheavals among the children. The question is “Are these vulnerable children/adolescents going unnoticed in our schools?” Discussions on these family stressors, the spillover, indicators of spillovers will be undertaken with the help of different 'case illustrations'. There is an urgent need for a 'new partnership' between the counsellor and the teacher to emerge, so as to create a supportive and caring environment in school for reducing the impact of family stressors on the children/adolescents. The counsellor sets the stage, but the teacher is the counsellor's chief ally. It is to be well understood that it is not the job of a teacher to diagnose mental health problems of students which is the role of the counsellors. But the teacher is very often the first point of contact for the distressed students and consequently if the teacher is sensitive to the potential issues of students it is likely to promote the emotional well-being of young people. Hence, school counsellors need to collaborate with teachers to help them to be alert and identify the children who are experiencing emotional difficulties. The key is a 'Caring Relationship' wherein the quiet availability of the teacher, the empathetic listening etc. could pave the way for the teacher to become the “BALM” (temporary relief) for the child. The next major task of the teacher is to refer these troubled children to the school counsellor.

Raising Responsible Netizens Ms. Sonali Patankar, is a professional social worker. She is one of the founder members of Ahaan Foundation, which has conceptualized and initiated the Responsible Netism movement along with Thane, Navi Mumbai and Mumbai Cyber Cell. The Movement aims at sensitizing children, youth and adults about the impact and risks of internet usage thereby protecting them from online threats; thus building Responsible Netizens to promote Responsible living. We belong to the era of technology, it is important to put the virtual world in perspective such that children, youth and adults become alert and aware of their conduct on the World Wide Web as also in the use of gadgets and tech tools. The movement RESPONSIBLE NETISM aims at empowering them to become digitally secure by embracing technology for leading happier healthier lives. Thus protecting them from cyber threats and promoting online safety. Ahaan Foundation takes immense pleasure in unveiling the Vandrevala Foundation's 24 * 7 Digital Distress and Virtual Help line to help online users and digital consumers to address the whole range of technical and emotional queries. It is essential to stay connected virtually and yet stay connected from within. We strongly believe that collective action can bring about an awakening; we aspire to build a CYBER SAFE WORLD for our children and ourselves to promote mental well being and inspire Responsible living. Digital Distress Helpline no: 1802662345 / 0222-5706000 Write to us: or 9699294229/ Visit us at:


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The Role of Multi-disciplinary Teams in Managing Teenage Crises Dr. Kersi Chavda, is a consultant Psychiatrist at the P.D.Hinduja National hospitals at Mahim and Khar. He is a Past President of the Bombay Psychiatric Society. Today, he will highlight pressing issues faced by children and adolescents of today, includingsuicide, aggression, and sexuality with some take-home pointers for all. In a school setting, academic issues are one of the single largest referrals. An academic issue often gets psychiatric undertones, and psychiatric problems often cause academic dysfunction. Keeping this in mind, teachers must increase their understanding of commonly seen diagnoses like Learning Disabilities, Slow Learners, and Autism, and advocate for and support these children. On the other hand, counsellors are important allies since they act as a conduit between the school and the child. Increased suicidality is yet another grave issue these days. Teachers, parents, counsellors, need to familiarize themselves with signs and symptoms of suicidality and without hesitation refer the child for a psychiatric evaluation. Another red-flag issue is increased high-risk sexual behaviours and sexual violence. It is important that adults talk regularly to their children about acceptable sexual norms, and consequences, at a level appropriate to the child. If you are not comfortable having this talk or need more information, seek help. Another common phenomenon that can escalate easily is bullying and victimization amongst peers. It is vital for all concerned to openly discuss acceptable behaviours. Important to know that bullying is often a sign of an underlying problem, such as depression, that may need to be addressed. Different professionals- teachers, counsellors, occupational/speech therapists, medical professionals, play a vital role in effectively handling several of the issues faced by today's youth. When these professionals collaborate as part of a multidisciplinary team, they have been seen to be much more effective than individuals working on their own. Hence, schools should strive to have on-board a team of professionals to help them address these effectively.

Career Guidance- A vital tool for successful youth Fr. Terence Quadros, S.J. is the Director of the Counselling Centre and the Social Service League of St. Xavier's College, Mumbai. He has been counselling adolescents and youth for over 30 years. Today, his talk will focus on the important role of career guidance during the formative years. To be confused about choices one has to be making, particularly about one's career, is normal. At a young age one is neither aware of one's full potential and capabilities or what match could be made of these with the wide range of possible careers that exist. This is where assistance and guidance come in. Adequate career guidance provides information of the candidate through psychometric testing of Aptitudes, Interests, and Personality. The test profiles are not locked-in genetic codes that the candidate is helpless about. The aptitudes, to an extent might be, but interests can change and the personality might also be nurtured in desired directions. These possibilities are suggested to the candidate so that he/she knows where he/she is headed towards and what need to be done to get there optimally. The counsellor does not make decisions for the candidate but through the analysis of the test results and appropriate guidance makes suggestions that could be followed upon. At the early stages (Std. X/XII) the suggestions are more about courses that lead to careers rather than careers themselves. Locking in too early, with limited information about self or careers might result in a wrong choice. Career choices get finetuned as awareness on one's abilities/interests/personality connect with the challenges of the career one wishes to spend one's life in.

Newsletter: 2nd Annual Drishti symposium 2014  

Updates and Trends in School Counselling: 2nd Annual Drishti Symposium held on 22nd February, 2014

Newsletter: 2nd Annual Drishti symposium 2014  

Updates and Trends in School Counselling: 2nd Annual Drishti Symposium held on 22nd February, 2014