Group counseling is a viable new option emerging in the school setting. It can be effective and cost-effective for the schooling system by addressing a larger number of students and can be used to address a multitude of topics that children often face. One benefit of group counseling in the school setting is that it teaches children important socializing skills with their peers, as students often learn best from each other (Pérusse, 2009). It provides support, assists with emotional and problem-solving skills, and empowers children to be help each other as well as receive help from their peers (Thompson, 2012). The group setting may be perceived as less threatening, it helps bridge the gap in trust for children by providing a safe environment in which children can connect with others, and it allows for interactions that builds on social skills and the development of empathy for others (Thompson, 2012).
Although there is value in group counseling at school, some of the problems that surface include scheduling issues, teacher resistance, and ethical concerns as well (Pérusse, 2009). Leading group counseling requires highly specialized skills (Pérusse, 2009). It is important for the counselors to have a solid foundation in group counseling theory and practice to be effective (Pérusse, 2009). As with individual counseling, counselors in this setting struggle with issues of confidentiality from parents wanting to know details of what was said but also with the issue of other students breaking confidentiality outside of group (Crespi, 2009).
Another concern that counselors struggle with for both individual and group counseling, is maintaining appropriate records (Crespi, 2009). State...
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...or mental health counselors. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 17(1), 63-81.
Huey, W. C. (1986). Ethical Concerns in School Counseling. Journal Of Counseling & Development, 64(5), 321.
Lawrence, G., & Robinson Kurpius, S. (2000). Legal and ethical issues involved when counseling minors in nonschool settings. Journal of Counseling & Development, 78, 130-135.
Meade, M. & Slesnick, N. (2002). Ethical considerations for research and treatment with runaway and homeless adolescents. Journal of Psychology, 149(4), 449-463. doi:
Pérusse, R. V. (2009). Group counseling in the schools. Psychology In The Schools, 46(3), 225-231.
Reamer, F. G. (2013). Social work in a digital age: Ethical and risk management challenges. Social Work, 58(2), 163-172, doi: 10.1093/sw/swt003
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