A School Counsellor's Diary

Loya Agarwala, Tranquebar Press, 2013, Pbk, 244 p, ISBN : 9789383260430, $20.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

A School Counsellor's Diary

A School Counsellor’s Diary aims to bridge the gap in the modern Indian parent-adolescent relationship. Aimed at parents, and written in an easy-to-understand style, with numerous real-life examples, this book illustrates the genuine problems faced by modern adolescents in the classroom, family sphere, and wider world. Presented through thirty-four case studies spanning a wide range of problems faced by the new generation, the book includes seldom-spoken-about issues such as masturbation, homosexuality, sexual abuse, self-cutting and even attempted suicide.

A School Counsellor’s Diary guides parents towards imparting the skills and confidence that adolescents need to protect themselves in the new world. Each chapter gently eases the reader into a new issue through anecdotes, stories, and even technical knowledge presented in an easy-to-understand way. Once the reader is familiar with the topic, several case studies are reproduced as if the author and the reader are sharing a chat over coffee. Written in the first person, the accounts are refreshingly compelling because they are presented as honest, easy-to-read conversational transcripts as they happened without the frills of text-bookish or technical language. They show the pain behind various problems, their manifestation, and ultimately, how the problem was solved/handled through weeks or months of counselling. Each chapter ends with a list of red flags to watch out for, and possible courses of action to follow in case of problems. Since there is no ‘preaching’ narrative or ‘one-size-fits-all’ recommendations, it is hoped that discerning parents will use the book to understand the pitfalls facing their adolescents and initiate a better connection.

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