Dr. Tom and his interns work with students in a variety of settings which can include one-on-one, small group counseling , or in class support to assist in navigating crisis management. The broad focus of these interventions focuses on the often challenging skills of learning how to make friends and get along with others, how to manage one’s own impulses and emotions, and is always tailored to meet the needs of the individual student.
Unlike other more traditional settings, Humanex Academy has designed a program that imbeds this social skill and emotional regulation skill development into the entire program, and is thus a focus both in and outside of the classroom. This is achieved by maintaining a supportive, dynamic, structured, and “real world” environment where it is possible to learn and practice these skills with peers, and within situations that matter.
The overall goal of the program is to ultimately make social skill instruction and coping skill development relevant, with the intention to motivate a willingness for change through self-improvement. As competence develops so does confidence and an increased ability to take on and manage additional challenges.
Here are some of the unique Skill Building Sessions that our students participate in throughout an academic year.
Learning how to positively resolve conflict is a goal for all our students. Dr. Tom and the interns facilitate conflict resolutions between students at their requests and when teachers identify issues that may evolve into larger problems. The skills students learn during conflict resolutions serve them well in their lives after high school and improve their relationships with friends and family members. These skills include listening to other perspectives, learning to stay calm, learning to take a break from a conflict to regroup, setting boundaries, and being empathetic.
Positive Self Advocacy
Developing positive self-advocacy is important for all our students. One of the challenges many students face is that their current methods of getting their needs met creates greater problems for them. Dr. Tom coaches students in how to ask for what they need, whether the request is directed to a teacher or peer or involves a more difficult conversation the student needs to have with his or her parents. Students are taught about sharing power in a relationship and about the qualities of a good friend through the course of this instruction. Teachers support the development of this skill by encouraging students’ appropriate self-advocacy in their academic progress.
Learning to manage and regulate emotions in an age appropriate manner is another skill many students must develop. By having options to visit Dr. Tom or one of the interns or going to a cooling off location within Humanex when they are frustrated, students learn to calm themselves and return to the problem when they are capable of thinking of a solution. Staff training in empathy approaches, solution-focused models, and de-escalation techniques helps students avoid many of the explosive reactions that they have demonstrated in more crowded, less flexible settings. Humanex individualizes the counseling support students need so they can become emotionally healthier overall.