Benefits of Interdisciplinary Teams for Youth

School Counselors and Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) can make a great team! In the clinical world, we call this concept an interdisciplinary team. Interdisciplinary team work is a process in which different types of staff work together to share expertise, knowledge, and skills to impact on client care. Research shows that clients working with an interdisciplinary team are more likely to be successful due to its ability to foster a more holistic and tailored approach to meet the unique needs of the client. In this case, the interdisciplinary team does not have to meet or communicate regularly. This could look like periodic updates or only initial contact.

There are many reasons why a school counselor and an LPC working together can create a better outcome for your youth receiving therapy.

Most school counselors have daily access to your child/youth and can help maintain/ reinforce the interventions that the counselor may implement (within reason). Much like home vs school life, these environments are different, therefore when outside of session, the child/youth has to work to transfer the skills learned in session to practice. A school counselor and LPC can work together to create a more seamless transition between settings.

The school counselor may have a window to a different perspective that can add value to counseling. We all know that we have polarisms and allow certain aspects of ourselves to be dominant depending on our environment and with youth this is no different. Since the LPC relies on a lot of self reporting, the school counselor may have a more holistic view of the child/youth that may be meaningful and helpful when creating therapeutic interventions. The diversity of perspectives can be invaluable to both the school counselor and LPC.

The interdisciplinary team concept is especially meaningful when a child/youth’s diagnosis may have an impact on them academically. Working together, the LPC and school counselor can increase wellness and improve academic performance.

*Prior to considering the concept of interdisciplinary teamwork, be sure to have a conversation with your child/youth and their LPC about the pros and cons of this type of collaboration. For some, working with multiple professionals, communication can be challenging due to differences of opinion, different approaches, and setting limitations. In addition, the child/youth may prefer to work with these individuals separately.

Keep in mind that a school counselor is not a Licensed Professional Counselor, therefore the school counselor does not diagnose or provide long term/on going approaches to tackle the root cause of mental health challenges. However, the school counselor can help by using the diagnosis and information provided pertaining to the mental health of students to provide a school counseling program that can meet the developmental needs of their students. In addition, the school counselor can use interventions that are appropriate for the school setting to reinforce the concepts taught in therapy. If your child/youth is currently in therapy, talk to your LPC about the steps to allow communication between their counselor and school counselor or if your child/youth could benefit from more intense/ long term mental health approaches, resources are available. If you are in need of counseling services, click HERE or give us a call at 832-352-1600. We are here to help!

Tershundrea Branch, LPC

Tershundrea Branch, LPC

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