Counseling Groups


The Counseling Department is forming discussion groups on topics important to you. Each group will center around one topic and will provide members with a chance to express their thoughts and/or feelings and listen to other members points of view. Every year many students participate in groups. The groups provide an opportunity to relate feelings, thoughts, information, and personal experiences.

Each group meets once a week during FLEX time and/or lunch for four to six weeks. The groups are led by Mr. Sowers (6th grade counselor), Ms. Jacobson (Counseling Director and 7th grade counselor), and Ms. Filmyer (8th grade counselor). Each group averages six to ten students. Groups will be grade specific. Group sharing remains confidential: What is discussed is only for the members of the group and does not leave the group.

A description of each group follows. There is a google form for families to sign up their students for groups found after the description below. Please discuss this with your family and feel free to stop by the counseling office if you need more information. Parents please speak to your child about any groups you sign them up for so they are not caught off guard when they get a pass for a group. We encourage home dialogue to occur before the group begins. Your family will be contacted with an email prior to a group starting.

We look forward to seeing you!!!!!


NEW STUDENTS GROUP: (all new students to FCCPS will automatically be enrolled in the fall). Are you new to Falls Church City Public Schools and Mary Ellen Henderson? Moving to a new school is one of the hardest things to deal with. Do you want to make new friends and learn how to become involved in activities? In this group you'll learn more about Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School while you make new friends. (This group meets by grade level and runs four weeks at the beginning of school.)


Dealing with the pressures of friends, parents, and school while trying to understand the rapid changes you're experiencing can be overwhelming. Do you want to feel more assertive? Do you want to practice communication skills and interacting with others? If you said, “Yes, then this is the group for you! (This group is based on grade level and gender and runs during lunches.)


Stress/anxiety is a part of life, but it can feel overwhelming sometimes. In this group we will explore what causes stress/anxiety, the effects of stress/anxiety on our bodies and minds, and how to work towards a more balanced approach to school, home, and activities.


As you move your way through middle school, each grade presents its own unique challenges and privileges. Making the transition to new academic expectations, new teachers, and sometimes new friends can be hard. In this group we will talk about how to handle the changes and make the most of your school year. (This group meets by grade level during the beginning of the school year.


Do your feelings get the best of you? Do you find yourself “exploding and then feeling bad about what you said or did? This group will help you understand and control your anger and learn effective ways to express your feelings.


Do you find yourself getting all stressed out when it's time to take tests? Do you feel like you're never prepared enough to succeed? Join us as we learn and practice some skills/techniques that will help you make the most of your study time and feel more relaxed and confident when taking classroom and standardized tests. We will explore mnemonics, types of tests, understanding test results, and more. Here you will also become familiar with your learning style.


Have you ever opened your locker and everything fell out of it or you could not find that assignment for class that you know you completed last night? Having difficulty finding a file in Google Drive? This group will assist you set up an organizational system (Accordion Folder, Folders, Binders, Google Drive, Understanding Schoology, etc.) that you can use when at home or in school. We will also be evaluating your locker and figuring out a way to better organize it.


Sometimes family dynamics change and evolve into something new. This group is designed to give students the opportunity to speak with other students that may either be going through a family divorce, separation, or remarriage, or a blended family. The group will focus on establishing trust and identifying emotions commonly associated with divorce, separation, remarriage, or blending of families.

PARENT AWAY GROUP (parents/guardians temporarily away from the home)

Here in this group students will explore with other students what it is like to live in their home when one or both parent/guardian is either deployed or temporarily out of the home (i.e. foreign service, state department, military, etc.). Students will work on problem-solving skills, communication skills, understanding emotions associated with temporary loss.

If you would like to sign up your child to be enrolled into a counseling group this year please fill out the following form found here.

Counseling Group Sign Up Form