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Are school counselling services a cure to stress and trauma among adolescents?
May it be the CBSE, some societal groups or a section of teachers, all start suggesting the appointment of counsellors in schools after some tragic event occurs on the school premises or mental stress is caused by the doing of others. It has become an off the cuff advice and a fad suggesting that 'adolescents are to be blamed for their plight and they require counselling'.

"All over the world, it is being felt that counsellors have not been able to mitigate the stress on the children since they are unable to remove the cause within the school that is triggering the stress. The advise counsellors hand down to children is just the lip service and disguised blame on the child and insistence on self-reform which is stress for the child who requires support to change," said Jaipur-based social psychologist Dr Anita Shrivastava while commenting the recent spate of suicide by school girls.

She added, "Neither the teachers who are cause of stress by not providing the learning support to the concerned child change, nor the homilies dished out the counsellor are of any use to the child since it does lead to handholding and emotional support to come of the stressful condition or the cause that continues to exist."

Since she keeps on going to the US to visit her children, she informed that in that country there were aspects of record maintenance, confidentiality, ethics and legality attached to profession of the school counsellors that many them are getting themselves treated from psychiatrists. They find the work so stressful due to lack of control on teachers; non-cooperation from other role actors and court cases on them. Many of them quit the job as a counsellor in schools and look for other jobs.

In India, the posts of have created as a new job market. Schools are appointing counsellors to provide jobs. The counsellors are ordered the school authorities to fix indiscipline problems or further discriminate children. Counsellors seem to be of no relief to students at risk, she tells. The ethical and record keeping of the counselling sessions is inadequate. Even, counsellors require in-service training and on-job counselling to do their job well.

She suggests that the well-being based preventive education should be stressed so that causes of stress are eliminated and students love their school and teachers. The feeling of being wanted in the school and a sense of success should by perceived by students. The schools need to be raised as communities of learners and management structure just supports learning rather than administering the schools. The inset sketch note illustrates the negative effects of counselling as a job.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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