Counseling Services

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Counseling Services 2016-10-28T08:49:52+00:00

A variety of counseling services are available at Hill School (with parental permission) at no extra charge to parents. Our counseling services serve as a supplement to private counseling. We believe in a team approach in assisting the whole child and are often asked by families to consult with private therapists and/or doctors. Issues of low self-esteem, poor stress management, and healing old “wounds” from academic challenges are addressed in every form of counseling provided.

Social Thinking® is a term coined by Michelle Garcia Winner, CCC-SLP and represents a coordinated teaching framework of curriculum, vocabulary, teaching tools and strategies for individuals aged preschool through adult. Learn more at

Our counselor at Hill School offers weekly social skills groups utilizing Social Thinking® concepts and activities. Students are referred by parents or teachers, and groups are composed according to students’ ages and needs. Parents receive feedback regarding the concepts taught in group as well as ideas for practicing these skills in different settings.

This program, including its teacher or leader, is not affiliated with, nor has it been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by Michelle Garcia Winner and Think Social Publishing, Inc.

Taylor Spiker joined Hill School in 2013. She has a Master of Education in Counseling from Texas Christian University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Intern under the supervision of Heidi Tournoux-Hanshaw, LPC-AT/S, ATR-BC, ATCS.

As a school counselor, Mrs. Spiker offers individual counseling, group counseling, and classroom guidance to address social, emotional, and academic issues. She takes an integrated theoretical approach to counseling which includes solution-focused, person-centered, and cognitive-behavioral techniques. She also incorporates experiential activities such as art, games, and play to allow students to express what they would like different. To maximize the benefit to students, Mrs. Spiker collaborates with parents, teachers, and supervisors to help facilitate positive changes. Individual meetings are on an as-needed basis and are brief in nature. Groups last 30-45 minutes once a week for 6-10 weeks. Students, parents, teachers, and other school staff may make referrals for counseling services.

Content-specific Group Counseling

Whether the group centers around social skills, friendships, self-advocacy, or stress management, students learn they are not alone. In groups, students are able to make connections and learn from each other. Peers can be the greatest teachers, and students have the opportunity to practice interpersonal skills, hear others’ perspectives, and offer and receive guidance and support.

Social Skills & Character Guidance Lessons

Mrs. Spiker visits Lower School classrooms once a week to introduce concepts from Social Thinking and Boystown. Through discussion, role-play, videos, and hands-on activities, students learn and practice social skills and concepts. Interactions are processed, facilitated, and improved upon. Parents also receive feedback on how to practice these skills at home.

Middle and Upper School students receive weekly lessons in their Advisory classes. Lessons focus on social skills and soft skills such as communication, attitude, and problem-solving.

Should students need additional short-term or long-term counseling services, families will be provided with information about community mental health agencies and providers. If a student is currently in counseling with a mental health professional, Hill School will request that the legal guardian sign a release so Mrs. Spiker may communicate with that provider.

Crises can vary from one distraught student to a natural disaster. Plans are in place for managing a wide variety of emergencies, however rare.