This past school year, I was in my third* school counseling office. I personally really benefit from visual inspiration and examples (for everything!) so I want to share some pictures from it as a sort of school counseling office tour in case it’s helpful for some of you, too!
*My first school counseling office was the conference room. As in, I had to leave whenever there was a meeting and there was a ginormous table in the middle. I did not take pictures in this space, partly because it was a conference room and partly because, you know, the first year is really just keeping your head above water!
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” I’m starting with that quote because I think it’s important to look at every idea and piece of inspiration with the idea in the back of your mind that nothing is really comparable because every circumstance (and state and district and school and year) are different! Take what might work for you and your situation and leave behind what won’t!
Some context about my office: I was part-time at the school and the office was also used by a school-based therapist one day a week (though she didn’t have much of her own so she really just rolled with whatever I had set up). I did class lessons for one grade, 504 review meetings, LOTS of groups, and some individual sessions (a few ongoing and a few one-off self-referral sessions).
You’ll notice as you scroll through that there isn’t a ton on the walls. This was very intentional. I’d always rather have too little than too much, because my goal is for the office to be very peaceful.
Anything that I can, I will link at the end of this post!
Here’s a quick video tour:
Here’s a panoramic view, standing in the doorway:
This was the outside of my door and what’s on the wall right next to it – no self-referral station because we used digital self-referrals with a google form:
I was able to barely squeeze in my rice tray station (stools and drawer thing from IKEA, Sterilite or Rubbermaid bin on top):
Next is my individual counseling area, which hasn’t changed much in the past ten years!
In the cart, I try to keep the things most used or needed during individual sessions: fidgets, calming tools, clipboard with paper, whiteboard, counseling check in folder, and stuffies:
This office only had one small bookcase which normally wouldn’t be nearly enough for me, BUT being just two days a week made it feasible. I had to be really strategic with what I brought in! It’s where I stored children’s books, class lesson supplies, extra fidgets to give teachers, games, and all of my group counseling curriculums.
The room had a filing cabinet in it when I arrived, and while I don’t use filing cabinets (just doesn’t work for me!) it needed to stay for the school-based therapist I shared the room with. I ended up using it for some “closed” storage that I kept my backpack, jacket, toolbox, extra tissues, etc. in.
The large open side made for a perfect canvas to hang my group counseling feelings check-ins, with cups for each group on top.
On the other side of the window (the glorious window that allowed me to bring plants in!) is the kidney table. This area served as both my own work area (I don’t use a desk), and my group counseling area. There’s a whiteboard behind me, as well as a groups rules poster, and our group session agenda. I put my laptop on the floor or in one of the drawers next to the table (more on those later) when there’s a group. You can’t see them, but there’s bands on the chairs for students who need to bounce their feet (and there’s a crate with seat discs in them by the bookcase).
Between the group set up and the door is my feelings and problems scale. Not in the picture, right below I had floor seats that I used for smaller groups when we wanted to be on the floor.
Because I go desk less, I use rolling drawer carts to store a lot of things and get myself super organized. I didn’t take a great picture in my office, so I took one at home with a similar setup. Also sharing how I store my lessons and other materials, though this past year I only brought in what I needed each week:
While the pea green carpet and wall were not my favorite things in the world, it was a pretty great and functional office!
Links to Things You See
Figurine Drawers (there’s a similar one by Brightroom at Target)
Disc Chairs (similar here)
Floor Seats (these are $$$, and they have raised the price – I’m lucky the school bought some for me)