The MAPS program at Holbrook Indian School (HIS) seeks to improve students’ lives in every dimension. The program has four pillars: Mental, Academic/Artistic, Physical, and Spiritual. Each pillar is a fundamental component of the students’ environment and education, with specific and practical applications.
HIS students often have troubling circumstances in their lives that can limit their ability to learn. For that reason, HIS wants to go beyond academics. It can be a challenge for the students to overcome the mental roadblocks that their experiences and behavioral patterns create. Part of the solution is to provide them with individualized counseling services. Licensed counselors play a key role, assisting students in expressing their stories and assessing how to change negative behaviors and thought patterns.
Licensed counselor Laura Sohn focuses on the “M” component of MAPS: mental health. Laura is part of a two-person team of counselors on the HIS campus, along with Loren Fish.
Laura shares some of her work in facilitating this with students:
“I’m entering my second semester here at HIS, and my role here is the female clinical counselor. I try to start every morning with prayer and devotion time to get myself in the right mind. Then I go for an hour walk or run in the morning. After that, I head to the office to meet with students one-on-one, from Monday to Friday.
“In addition to these one-on-one meetings, I’m also responsible for the girls’ groups that meet once a week. We base these groups on grade levels: there’s two elementary groups, a junior high group, and a high school girls’ group. These are not always therapy-type group sessions. Sometimes we just play games. I ask the older students at the beginning of the semester about topics they are interested in talking about, and they choose something we end up exploring together. The purpose of the girls’ groups is to give the students an opportunity to hang out, eat some snacks, relax, and talk about whatever is on their mind.”
To learn more about Holbrook Indian School, click here.