Astro Boy and Uran’s Encyclopedia of Current Terminology / School counselor
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 4, 2012)

An adviser for children

Astro Boy: What does a school counselor do?

Answer: A school counselor visits a school about once a week to give children advice about various problems they face. Last fiscal year, about 6,300 school counselors worked at about 15,000 primary, middle and high schools nationwide.

The education ministry has decided to increase the number of school counselors, hoping to make sure all public middle schools are covered by their activities, beginning next fiscal year. This is partly because school counselors have expertise in handling bullying cases.

Uran: What kind of people serve as school counselors?

Astro Boy: School counseling is provided by clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and other professionals with expertise in mental health issues. After the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami last year, a total of nearly 2,300 such professionals played an active role in aiding children as “emergency school counselors” in disaster-hit Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures. They also engaged in similar work in neighboring areas to which affected children had evacuated, including Yamagata and Niigata prefectures.

In addition to advising children, it was reported that the counselors advised parents and teachers about how to handle their own day-to-day worries as a result of the great disaster.

Astro Boy: What kind of advice can children receive from school counselors?

Answer: Children can seek advice about whatever may worry them, such as relations with their friends, their family problems and uncertainties about their future.

A school counselor stands by in a counseling room where he or she listens to children’s problems one-on-one. The counselor gives them advice about how they should handle their problems while also talking with their homeroom teachers about what would be the best solution to each problem.