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Middle School Counseling Programs

Council Program
The council program offers a forum of small peer groups to practice attentive listening skills and authentic communication, with emphasis on confidentiality and authenticity. Four objectives are reviewed before each session:
  1. Listening from a non-judgmental or open point of view;
  2. Speaking from an authentic or reflective point of view;
  3. Being aware of brevity;
  4. Learning to listen and not interrupt or prepare one’s response before it is one’s turn to respond.
Generally speaking, council is the process of coming together to listen deeply and share honestly. With clear intentions and parameters, all are invited to listen from the heart and to take turns speaking to the topic at hand and all are offered an opportunity to witness what has been heard. This intentionality and containment leads to deeper and richer understanding of the topics being discussed.

Council programs in local schools have a 25-year track record of fostering deeper communication skills, enriching student engagement and strengthening school communities. Council programs currently serve over 40 LAUSD campuses, dozens of independent schools in Southern California and many more around the state and around the world, supporting a range of dynamic teaching tools, a model for building strong, safe school communities and a process for strengthening relationships, modeling respectful interaction, resolving conflicts and deepening mutual understanding among students, teachers and parents.

6th Grade Council: Sixth graders participate in a 4-part council. They meet 1 day a week for four weeks and focus on the following topics:
  • Week 1 – Relationship with Self (self-esteem, respect for oneself)
  • Week 2 – Relationship with peers of the same gender (how do you treat, communicate with, and show respect for other girls/boys?)
  • Week 3 – Relationship with peers of the opposite gender (how do you treat, communicate with, and show respect for boys/girls?)
  • Week 4 – Relationship with the community and the world (what is your personal responsibility to the world around you?)
Students will be divided into gender separate groups based on their Language Arts class.

8th Grade Council: Groups are typically 14-16 students or one classroom divided into two groups. These groups meet weekly to discuss a variety of age appropriate adolescent topics through eighth grade language arts classes. For more information, please see the middle school counselor or your child’s Language Arts teacher.

8th Grade Dialogues
Dialogues are held at the beginning of the school year in eighth grade to support a strong, positive, school culture, improve communication between students and develop student leadership skills. The Boys and Girls Club staff helps facilitate the 8th grade Dialogues.

Personal Counseling
In addition to school counselors, Malibu High School has a bilingual therapist and school psychologist on staff to meet with students who are in need of more support. MHS is also in partnership with Family Services of Santa Monica, offering one-on-one counseling services from a licensed MFT. Referrals are made through the school counselors. If necessary, some students may be referred to private therapists in the community.

Counseling Groups
As part of the counseling program at Malibu High School, we offer a variety of support groups to students. A group is composed of students who all share the same concern or problem. These groups do not deal with the treatment of psychological disorders. Each counseling group focuses on a particular problem, which may be personal, educational, social, or vocational. The groups are preventative, short-term, supportive, and developmental. They help the children find ways to cope with stress, and teach them skills that they can use in everyday life. Participation in these groups is optional. Group meetings are held weekly during a regular school day period. Please note that all information is to be treated with the strictest confidentiality and with the highest respect. Parent Signature on permission form is required for student participation.
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