Developmental Guidance and Counseling Programs


The developmental approach to guidance is an attempt to identify certain skills and experiences that students need to be successful in the school environment.  The guidance curriculum is planned in correspondence with the academic curriculum.  In the developmental approach, students learn interpersonal skills in an attempt to prevent or remediate problem situations that may interfere with learning.  Skill identification in the developmental approach is related directly to developmental stages, tasks, and learning conditions of the student population.  When the developmental approach is used, it incorporates the preventive, intervention, and crisis approaches to guidance and counseling.


Prevention involves enhancing self-esteem and providing opportunities for personal and social growth.  It is designed to prevent the need for intervention and crisis counseling by anticipating problems before they happen and teaching strategies necessary for success.  This type of counseling often focuses on teaching life-long techniques and skills, such as conflict resolution, communication, decision-making, and study skills.


Intervention involves assisting students who are experiencing difficulties that are affecting school success.  By using individual counseling, group counseling, or classroom guidance, students are taught effective techniques for handling various personal, social or academic problems.  Through intervention, issues can be targeted before they become a crisis situation.  


Crisis involves addressing immediate and emotionally upsetting concerns.  It includes counseling students in crisis, such as suicide prevention, sexual abuse, death of a friend or family member, and substance abuse.  In crisis counseling, the goal is to stabilize the student or students, to address the cause of the crisis, and to contact appropriate resources.