My Qualifications and About me
I’m Willoughby Newcomb, the new school counselor at DECHS. I completed my Associate of Arts (AA) degree from Cape Fear Community College in December 2015. I then transferred to UNC Wilmington where I completed my Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology and graduated cum laude in 2017. I completed my Master of Arts in Education (M.A. Ed.) in Professional School Counseling in November 2020 at UNC Pembroke.
I have a spouse, a daughter who is 10, and two dogs. For fun my family likes to go bowling, ride bikes around our neighborhood, watch movies, and travel. Outside of school and family I enjoy gardening, going to the beach, DIY projects, and visiting with my friends.Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone: 910-296-1462
I follow the ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors, they can be found HERE. I am ethically bound to protect my clients’ (students') right to confidentiality, but I must balance that with parents’ rights to protect their minor children. Counselors typically keep what your child says in confidence with the following exceptions:
- Student is a danger to theirself
- Student is a danger to others
- The student tells me about abuse or neglect
Student safety comes first and guardians will be notified in any of the above cases.
Mission StatementThe mission of the Duplin Early College High School counseling program is to provide a comprehensive counseling program that addresses the academic, career, social, and emotional development of all students through collaboration with families, teachers, and the community.
My School Counseling Philosophy
Why is school counseling important?
- School counseling is important because school counselors help advance the educational, personal, social-emotional, and career development of students in an encouraging and safe environment. School Counselors do this by collaborating with other school employees, families, and community agencies for the purpose of preparing their students for a lifetime of productive citizenship and learning. Students spend at least one-third of their days at school, so school counselors are able to build trusting relationships with students and help them to become successful as they grow and develop.
Theories I use as a school counselor:
- The main counseling theory I align with is person-centered. I believe it is important for me, as their school counselor, to meet the students where they are at. I trust that they are the expert on their own life and they are capable of creating their own healthy coping skills. I also try to not make assumptions about their cultural background, I ask what their experience and reality looks like.
- I like choice theory and reality therapy in school counseling because it focuses on the student’s choice and gives them responsibility and autonomy. It also helps make them accountable for their actions. I often ask “Whose behavior can you control?”. I also like choice theory because the students and I can discuss their wants, what they are actually doing, how they self-evaluate if that is the direction they want to be going in, and they can make a plan of action to move forward towards new goals.
- I appreciate solution-focused brief therapy because of it being more positive. I believe being optimistic is important, and that sometimes we lose direction and that is okay but we can always start new and build a new future. Sometimes students get down on themselves when they received a bad grade or when they got in trouble. Being solution focused and brief in schools is also beneficial because school counselors only get about 15 minutes for individual counseling.
- I believe that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques are helpful with youth. There are many worksheets and lessons available that can help explain how and why behaviors happen. It helps students to know the origin and go through the steps to learn the new, healthier behavior. Once students are able to understand how their brain and emotions affect their behavior, they are better able to recognize when they might need to take a mindfulness break or use a helpful coping strategy.
What services are important for school counselors to provide?
- Individual counseling referrals are made by teachers, administrators, or students themselves to assist students with a variety of personal and educational concerns. School counselors meet with students individually to build a relationship of mutual trust, respect, and care. School counselors seek to understand the student’s needs and viewpoint to give support, understanding, and constructive suggestions for solving problems.
- In group counseling, some students express concerns about issues and meet with counselors in small groups, normally 5-8 students. Group counseling allows students to share their ideas and learn from their peers in a supportive environment. Some topics for groups are friendship/social skills, grief/loss, divorce, self-esteem, anger management, study skills/organization, and healthy decisions.
- Classroom counseling can sometimes be called Social Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons. Teachers and other school staff also promote Social Emotional Learning (SEL) techniques. School counselors present lessons in the classroom to promote positive self-image, personal responsibility, stress management, study skills, problem solving skills, career development, goal setting, and creating a bully-free environment.
- Consultation and collaboration is when school counselors work with parents, teachers, administrators, and other student support staff to share thoughts on goals, abilities, behavior, likes and dislikes of the students. Together as a team, members assess and attend to the students’ needs. In addition, I work with our college liaison to serve as a resource to students and parents in preparing for life after high school whether that is college, career, or the military.