Social-Emotional Learning

Faculty member and student standing outside of West End Day School, an independent school with counseling for children in NYC

Counseling Program

Counseling is an integral part of our school, with each child and family working directly with a dedicated counselor for the duration of their time at WEDS. 

Our counseling program is designed to help ease the anxiety of students and families through individual, group, and classroom counseling. Much like our academics, counseling interventions are customized to each student and family, based on their needs.

What we provide:

  • A dedicated counselor who serves as the family’s point person
  • Weekly individual counseling sessions with students, utilizing talk/play therapy and focus upon classroom dynamics 
  • Small group counseling to foster peer connections and decrease social anxiety
  • Regular meetings with parents and caregivers to better understand the student on a different level
  • In-the-moment counseling, should conflicts arise
  • Coordinated care with outside providers

Counseling mission:

  • Our counselors strive to provide security, warmth, and encouragement so students can feel safe enough to be vulnerable and grow in an environment where they feel understood and supported. 
Student sitting with faculty member inside of West End Day School, an independent school with counseling programs in NYC
Students in their small groups for counseling at West End Day School, a school in NYC

Counseling Groups

Kids want to feel they belong and connections to their peers help students feel successful in school. 

This is where our individualized, social-emotional curriculum comes in. Our weekly Counseling Groups–both class-wide and in smaller groups–give us an opportunity to address the needs of the class year to year, with the flexibility to adjust to the dynamics of unique class groupings.

Classroom Counseling Groups are integrated into our regular weekly curriculum, which eliminates anxiety around transitions and reduces the possibility for particular students to feel “singled-out” from the rest. 

Our Counseling Groups can look like:

  • Friendship Group
    • Tailored to our younger learners
    • Co-led by counselors and speech-language pathologists
    • Focused on building communication and problem-solving skills, and integrating how-to’s of fulfilling social interactions in their everyday lives
    • Utilizes interactive games, discussions, books, and role-playing, as well as tools such as the Mood Meter to promote awareness of feelings and self-regulation
  • Games Groups 
    • Geared towards our middle aged students
    • Led by counselors
    • Designed to build a stronger tolerance for win/lose situations, encourage  sportsmanship, and create a sense of fun during play
    • Incorporates board games, card games, and teamwork activities both outdoors and indoors, and continues the use of the Mood Meter
  • Advisory Groups
    • Involves our oldest students
    • Led by counselors
    • Allows a safe space for our maturing students to better understand themselves and each other in a supportive way
    • Helps prepare them for middle school and beyond
    • Promotes differing opinions and tolerance disagreements