Personal Counseling

Why School Counseling?


Professional school counselors are certified/licensed professionals with a masters degree or higher in school counseling or the substantial equivalent, and are uniquely qualified to address the individual needs of all students. Professional school counselors work towards delivering a comprehensive school counseling program that promotes maximum student achievement through the academic, personal, and social development of all students. Their work is differentiated by attention to developmental stages of student growth, including the needs, tasks and student interests related to those stages. At Sacred Heart, the Personal counselor and the Director of University Counseling work in partnership to support Sacred Heart students in their college and career paths.

Systemic and Holistic Approach

At Sacred Heart, Ms. Dega works together with students, parents, faculty, staff and outside community resources to provide a holistic and systemic counseling approach in the following areas:

  • Individual Counseling and Student Planning
  • Personal Education- Ms. Dega, our Personal Counselor teaches the High School Personal Education classes to all students in grades 9-10, and has a supporting role to all faculty and staff with guidance curriculum and supplemental activities to promote personal, social and academic achievement in all grades K-12.
  • Responsive Services- Responsive services are preventative and/or interventive activities meeting students' immediate and future needs. These needs can be necessitated by events and conditions in students' lives and may require any of the following:
    • Individual or group counseling
    • Consultation with parents, teachers, and other educators and administrators in the school community
    • Referrals to school support services or community resources
    • Peer support and peer mentoring
    • Information

Communication and Parent Support

Together with parents and families, we strive to create a kind, caring and safe school environment for our students. We consider strong partnerships with parents, guardians, and families to be key to student success and helping students to feel part of a safe and supportive learning community. Parents are encouraged to contact the School Counselor directly with concerns or questions regarding their child's personal/social or academic needs, as well as participate in the systemic activities offered to parents such as parent-counselor special topic workshops, coffee hours, and school counseling needs surveys and feedback forms.
Confidentiality guidelines: The school does not automatically contact parents of students who see the School Counselor, since confidentiality is an important part of the service for many students. However, we do contact parents if students would benefit from longer-term counseling, which is not offered in school, and also of course, if there is any question of the student’s safety.

About Ms. Dega

Hello, and thank you for visiting to the School Counselor’s page! I am thrilled to be a part of the Sacred Heart community. This is my first year here at ISSH, and I am enjoying getting to know the students, families, and faculty. I am new to Japan, and this is actually my first time living outside of the United States. My husband’s job is what initially brought us to Japan this past summer, and we are absolutely loving the adventure.

Back home, I worked as an elementary school counselor in Nashville, Tennessee. There, I worked closely with children and families by teaching “Life Skills” classes, coordinating student services, and meeting with students individually and in small groups.

I realized in college that school counseling was my passion, and after graduating from Wheaton College in Massachusetts with a B.A. in Psychology and elementary teaching credential in 2009, I attended Vanderbilt University where I earned an M.Ed. in Human Development Counseling and a K-12 School Counselor Licensure in the state of Tennessee.

At Sacred Heart, I will be teaching 9th and 10th grades Personal Education. In this weekly class, we will explore a wide range of topics such as personal safety, mental health and wellness, relationships, communication, identity, goal setting, confidence, body image, and peer pressure. It is my hope that our students will work in their classroom communities to build connections with one another and support each other's personal growth. As the K-12 personal counselor, I also am available to meet with students in groups or individually through the grade levels, and I look forward helping them reach their personal, social, and academic goals.