Counseling the Independent School Family

For 25 years, I have worked in close proximity to the world of the independent (or "private") school, learning the unique pressures and opportunities afforded by this realm of educating youth. Since 1995, I have written about, designed programs for, worked in, consulted with and counseled thousands of independent school children and their families, holding roles such as:


  • Director of Student Support

  • Director of Social-Emotional Counseling & Learning Support

  • Consultant on School Crisis Management and Response

  • Middle and Upper School Counselor

  • Academic Affairs Liaison

  • Director of Parent Education

  • Head of Testing Accommodations and Learning Support

  • Advisor to the Student Honor System

  • Student Advisor and Club Sponsor

  • Coordinator of Peer Suicide Prevention Programming for High School

  • In-service trainer of faculty on all aspects of adolescent development

  • Assistant to the Head of School for Crisis Management

  • Head of Health & Wellness Program Research and Implementation


I am honored to have developed a wide-ranging expertise in both seeing and serving the needs of the independent school student and their families, informed by a deep understanding of schools, school administrators, staff, parents and students, from the inside out.

If your child attends an independent school, or you are thinking of educating your child in this realm, I can provide highly informed, relevant, compassionate and wise ongoing support. While adolescents often have struggles that exceed their school day, or originate outside the school, it really helps to understand the context in which they spend almost half of their days.

  • Academic and social pressure in the independent school world

  • The issue of status and anxiety over status

  • Policy and practicality around serving the student with learning disabilities/ADHD

  • Working with your school Head or division administrators

  • Working with your child's advisor and the advisory system

  • When is it time to consider a new school?, viz., Can your school change and how much energy do you have to invest in those processes?

  • Negotiating the beginning of an independent high school or middle school

  • Setting limits that are developmentally appropriate and right for your child

  • Navigating the academic landscape: who to talk to and when

  • Helping teachers understand how your child learns best, without alienating the educator

  • Partnering with the school around mental health issues with your child or family...and a host of other key issues that arise during 6th-12th grade.





Educational Services for Students and Families
  • Reviewing and Explaining to you and your child, psychoeducational assessents and evaluations

  • Expertise on AD/HD

  • Learning Problems/Difficulties and working with your school's learning specialist

  • School Visits and consultation(s)


​Working with Students in Context
  • Direct observation in school setting​

  • Collaboration and faculty support

  • Partnering with your school's counseling and student support staff

  • Improve communications between family, school and student​

  • Program accommodations and modifications​

  • Personalized learning plans, accommodations support

  • Public v. Private schools: Understanding ADA, Sec. 504 and IEPs

  • Resources and in-service training for faculty and staff 

Resources for Parents
School Community in Crisis: Mental Health First Aid
  • School Crisis Management​

  • Forming a Crisis Response Team​

  • Critical Incident Stress Management

  • Consultation to School Heads: Do You Need Crisis Response Support?



Offices in California and Louisiana

(510) 867-3800

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