According to DS Psychology Group, “Adolescent counseling is not only for adolescents with personality or behavioral issues, but for [anyone]  who may be confused or overwhelmed.”

Okay, so that’s pretty much EVERY teenager. But who do we talk to, and how do we make an appointment? What if we don’t know anything about the school counselors?

The Bite sat down with AISB’s four secondary counselors to get some information, and hopefully make the process a little easier. Here’s what they had to say:

 

Stephanie Finnell (Ms. Finnell), Grades 6 & 7

Q: Where are you from?

A: I was born in Massachusetts (USA) and grew up in South Carolina (USA).

 

Q: Should students make an appointment? How should they reach you?

A: When students want to talk with me, they can let me know in the hallway, ask their teacher, or send me an email- whatever makes them feel most comfortable.

 

Q: What do you specialize in?

A:  I’m open to talk about all topics, but some that I have experience in include: stress, managing emotions, healthy and unhealthy relationships, making friends, coming out/being LGBTQ, anger, grades, anxiety, big decisions, depression, self-esteem, divorce, teachers, suicide, future plans, confidence, self harm, social media, parents, loneliness, peer pressure, and much more!

 

Q: How did you decide to become a counselor?

A: I’ve always loved psychology, helping people, and working with young people, so school counseling is the perfect career for me!

 

Q: Some students may be shy to come and meet up with you. What advice do you have for them?  

A: It’s perfectly normal and okay for some students to feel shy or nervous about opening up to others.  Taking the first step to get support can sometimes be the hardest part. In these cases, some things that might help could be getting a friend’s support in going the first time or even emailing me first.  Either way, just know that I do not judge anyone and am always open to meet with you!

 

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: I like painting, eating chocolate, and petting dogs.

 

Q: All time favorite food:

A: Ben and Jerry’s Mint Chocolate Cookie Ice Cream

 

Q: Favorite movie or book:

A: Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankyl

 

Michaela Young (Ms. Michaela), Grades 8 & 9

Q: Where are you from?

A: Tasmania, Australia

 

Q: Should students make an appointment? How should they reach you?

A: Students can email me, chat to me if they see me, or come past my office.

 

Q: What do you specialize in?

A: In the past I’ve worked as a clinical psychologist in a range of different settings including private and government funded clinics and with children and adults of all ages.  I’ve specialized in mental health, trauma and addictions in the past.

 

Q: How did you decide to become a counselor?

A: I studied psychology in high school and absolutely loved discovering about how the human brain works and how this influences behavior.  I enjoyed learning more about human behavior and neuroscience throughout my university studies and went on to train to become a psychologist. Once I started working in the field, I really enjoyed meeting people and finding out their motivations and the unique way that each person sees the world.  Being able to help people to find their own way forward through difficult times was very rewarding. I decided to move into school counseling as I wanted to be able to help support children on a wider systems level and support a larger number of young people’s social and emotional well-being.

 

Q: Some students may be shy to come and meet up with you. What advice do you have for them?  

A: Firstly, coming to see a counselor doesn’t just have to be for people that have a problem.  Everyone has things that they want to talk to someone about from time to time, and I am looking forward to talking to you all and getting to know you throughout the year.  Secondly, it’s important to remember that talking to a counselor is always confidential, and we will never judge you for something you want to talk to us about. If you have a question you want to ask anonymously, you can use our “ask anything” website.  Otherwise if you want to talk to me and are nervous about coming up and introducing yourself to me, you are welcome to email me and ask for a time that works for you.

 

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: My biggest one is music and singing. I sing opera but also like listening to all genres of music.  I like to perform and go to the theater. I love travelling and exploring new areas and hiking, especially climbing mountains.

 

Q: All time favorite food:

A: Pasta!! Traveling through Italy this summer was heaven for me.

 

Q: Favorite movie or book:

A: There is an Australian film from the 1990’s called “Shine” which is very special to me.  It is about an amazing pianist called David Helfgott. I love movies with a big focus on music and also that tell great stories about interesting characters.

 

Oddny Bakke (Ms. Bakke): Grades 10-12 (students with surnames A-J)

 

Q: Where are you from?

A: The United States, New England area.

 

Q: Should students make an appointment?

A: I try to keep my schedule free during breaks when I don’t have duty, and student lunches, so students can see me on a walk-in basis during those times. Otherwise, Ms. Stan or I can make an appointment by request.

 

Q: What do you specialize in?

A: I’m a certified school counselor grades preK-12. I love working with students of all ages and have done so throughout my career.

 

Q: How did you decide to become a counselor?

A: I’ve worked in schools all my life and really enjoy helping students figure out what’s important to them and their future. I also believe it’s important for students to have someone that advocates for them.

 

Q: Some students may be shy to come and meet up with you. What advice do you have for them?

A: Well, counselors don’t bite. I understand shy people, because I’m one too. Most shy people are okay with one-on-one interaction, so I invite them to stop by and say “hello.”

 

Q: Which countries have you lived in before coming to Romania?

A: I’ve lived in Germany, Kenya, and Indonesia. I’ve enjoyed them all, but Romania will always have a special place in my heart. The people are wonderful.

 

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: I enjoy hiking with my dogs, yoga, trail running, and traveling with friends and my sons.

 

Q: All time favorite food:

A: I have many favorites; it would be impossible to narrow it down to one!

 

Q: Favorite movie or book:

A: Moonheart by Charles de Lint was a favorite of mine along with the Ayn Rand books when I was in high school.

 

Lindsay Kehl (Ms. Kehl): Grades 10 & 12 (students with surnames K-Z)

Q: Where are you from?

A: Minnesota, USA

 

Q: Should students make an appointment? How should they reach you?

A: Students can make an appointment with me by stopping by to see Ms. Simona or me, or by emailing either of us as well.

 

Q: What do you specialize in?

A: I’m the counselor for 10th graders with last names K-Z, and a random group in 11th and 12th grade. I’m a comprehensive counselor, so I help students with post-AISB planning like where they might want to go to university, social-emotional things, and academics too.

 

Q: How did you decide to become a counselor?

A: I love working in schools, but knew I didn’t want to be a teacher. I found out about counseling, and knew that it was for me. I love interacting with people and connecting them to resources they might need.

 

Q: Some students may be shy to come and meet up with you. What advice do you have for them?  

A: I encourage them to be brave and to come and talk with me – even it’s just for a hello, so they can get to know me and get to feel more comfortable.

 

Q: Which countries have you lived in before coming to Romania?

A: I’ve lived in Japan, Panama, Zambia, and India. I’ve loved so many things about each place I lived, but I especially loved going on a safari in Zambia!

 

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: I love to read, play tennis, and play cards.

 

Q: All time favorite food:

A: I have a sweet tooth, and banoffee pie is one of my favorites!

 

Q: Favorite movie or book:

A: So many [books]! I love Half A Yellow Sun, Circling the Sun, House of Spirits…and my favorite author is Louise Erdrich.

 

 

Where to Find Them:

 

Miss Finnell’s Office: Secondary school building, ground floor, across from the toilets.

Miss Michaela, Miss Kehl, and Miss Bakke’s offices: Secondary school building, first floor, upper secondary lobby.

 

Thanks to all the counselors for telling us about yourselves! If you want to know more, contact them by email or drop by their offices (see their answers first on how you should reach them). 

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