ACE Counseling

Academy Counseling and Empowerment (ACE)

 

Community Presbyterian Counseling Center has partnered with SRVCA to provide  free, high quality Christian counseling resources to students at the Academy.

What is CPCC?

Community Presbyterian Counseling Center is a professional counseling center that is staffed with therapists who are either licensed by the State of California to practice Marriage, Family and Child Therapy, interns who are working towards their required hours to become licensed, or trainees who are in their final year of a Masters program at an accredited university. CPCC therapists have a wide range of experience in many areas and regularly provide counseling to children, teens, adults, couples, families, and groups. CPCC is thrilled to bring the expertise of the counseling center to the school setting with SRVCA students. In addition to professional counseling services, the CPCC staff also release weekly blogs on relevant topics. Be sure to subscribe to monthly blog posts to access tips and resources for your family’s mental health.

What is ACE?

ACE stands for Academy Counseling and Empowerment. The purpose of ACE is to provide time-limited, pro-bono counseling to students enrolled at SRVCA that are showing signs of emotional distress and are struggling in school. Some common issues include friendships, bullying, peer pressure, family struggles, anxiety, losses, body image, and eating issues. Counseling at school can offer students a refuge to work through some challenges and develop tools to cope in a stressful culture. Individual counseling gives kids an opportunity to work through personal issues on a one-to- one basis, while group sessions offer a supportive, cooperative environment for connection and social skill development. Being time-limited, the counseling is focused on brief-therapy interventions to provide children with coping skills, social skills development, and behavior modification. In some cases, the child and/or family may be referred to the counseling center for longer-term family therapy.

What is the Teacher’s Role?

The teacher has a crucial role in helping the student find support through the ACE program. In some cases the teacher will make the referral to ACE. In other cases, the request may come from the family. In either case, the teacher will be asked to provide some basic information about their observations of the student in the classroom.  The teacher will also agree to a set weekly time that the student will be released from the classroom to attend the counseling.  Teacher cooperation in observing the ACE Counseling appointment is critical to the student’s success, since the appointment time is very brief.  Because other students may have an appointment after your student, it is not possible for appointment times to be “flexible” or extend beyond the agreed time frame.

What is the Counselor’s Role?

The counselor’s role is to work with the teacher, parents, and other interested parties in identifying the primary presenting problems. The counselor will develop a brief-therapy intervention plan and work with the student in eight 30-minute sessions on the school grounds.  The counselor is responsible to be available at the agreed upon appointment times and will facilitate the logistics of the student leaving and returning to class. Because ACE counseling is provided by Registered Marriage and Family Interns or trainees under the direction of a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, it is the counselor’s responsibility to operate according to the laws and ethics established by the State of California and the Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Confidentiality

All session material is considered confidential with some exceptions. Under California law, it is the counselor’s responsibility to report to the appropriate authorities any reasonable suspicions of child abuse, elder abuse or abuse of a dependent adult. It is also our responsibility to protect clients who, in our judgment, are thought to be in danger of harming themselves. Additionally, we are required to notify authorities and a potential victim of a client’s expressed threat to harm another person.

All client information (including personal data and session case notes) will be treated with confidentiality. Information will be released only with the written consent of the client (or in the case of a minor, the parent or legal guardian), specifying the extent of material to be disclosed and to whom.

For the benefit of the student, teachers and administrators should also treat the student’s involvement with ACE as confidential information. Students leaving the classroom for ACE sessions should be handled with discretion.

Getting Started

If you would like to take advantage of ACE services for your child, the first step is to call the counseling center at (925) 820-1467. You will be greeted with a warm voice to take some basic background information about your child who will then match your child with an available therapist. The counselor will coordinate with the child's teacher(s) to ensure their 30 minute counseling appointment will work with the academic schedule. Pending availability of counselors, the ACE sessions may begin within a week. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the counseling center staff, and we would be happy to talk with you more about the ACE program.