Guidance Office Mission
The Guidance Office provides a safe place to have a licensed professional counselor listen, understand, accept and encourage the client. We accept all students and their emotions, thoughts, and feelings unconditionally.
Freshmen and sophomores have one session with a guidance counselor each year. Sessions are designed to help students:
· Better understand themselves· Evaluate how they relate to others· Reflect on their relationship with God
* Requests for a student appointment with a counselor can be made by students, parents, teachers, administrators, or other counselors.
* Parents may also request sessions with counselors in parenting skills.
Guidance Office Staff
LAURA OLIVA, LPC
Licensed School Counselor; Licensed Professional Counselor
Laura has passed the National Certified Counselor Test
Master’s in Counseling Psychology from KU. B.S.ed in English/Journalism from NWMSU.
Laura has completed the Play Therapy Certification program at MidAmerica Nazarene University. This includes 27 post-master’s hours and 350 hours of supervised clinical hours.
She has worked at Saint Thomas Aquinas since 1995 as either a classroom teacher or counselor.
Laura’s theoretical perspectives are a combination of cognitive behavioral, Adlerian and Play Therapy. She is trained in play therapy (both directive and non-directive), filial therapy, Theraplay, and sandtray therapy. She uses a wide variety of techniques to help students to process and find solutions to their challenges, and to address anxiety, depression, trauma and other emotional issues.
Other student populations Laura likes to help include students with social skills deficits; ADHD; and Executive Skills Dysfunction. Laura has sought additional training to help these populations through coursework, workshops and community training.
You can reach Laura at [email protected] or 319-2457.
MATT HALLAUER, LPC, NCC
Matt earned his master’s in counseling from MidAmerica Nazarene University, a CACREP-accredited program, in May 2010. He is a licensed professional counselor (by the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board) and a nationally certified counselor (by the National Board of Certified Counselors).
Matt started at Saint Thomas Aquinas in 2005 as a journalism teacher because he saw how mass communication and transparency could improve communities. He decided to become a counselor when he noticed some students quietly struggling with anxiety, doubt and hate. He took night and weekend classes during his fourth and fifth years at Aquinas, then became a part-time counselor in July 2010.
Cognitive Therapy is his chosen framework. In a cognitive therapy session, the student works on identifying and altering unhelpful thoughts, behaviors and emotional responses. For example, a student who is hurt by being ignored by a friend and believes “I am worthless” will instead focus on other reasons the friend may have ignored him. The friend may have been distracted or tired, or the student may be pushing their friend away. Matt has done extra research into cognitive practices toward helping teenagers suffering from depression, grief, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Matt oversees the PSAT and PreACT, coaches cross country, and is a moderator for the National Honor Society.
He enjoys playing games, working on his father’s cattle ranch, spending time with his family, and reading newspapers. Matt married his best friend Shannon in 2012.
You can reach Matt at [email protected] or 319-2418.