School counsellors working with immigrant pupils: Changes in their approaches after 10 years

Moshe Tatar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Counselling culturally diverse populations poses several challenges for mental health professionals in schools as well as the wider community. In 1998, the author interviewed counsellors working in Israeli schools, and categorised their approaches to immigrant pupils in four broad categories: culturally encapsulated assimilator, self-facilitator, specialist and cultural translator. The majority of counsellors (51%) were categorised as culturally encapsulated assimilators, emphasising the expectation of immigrant pupils to integrate into the dominant culture. This article describes a 10-year follow-up study in which 31 of the original 37 school counsellors were re-interviewed. The interviews included topics such as the processes counsellors went through during this period, indicating what the counsellors believed contributes to immigrant adjustment in school, what they considered the most important obstacles immigrant adolescents face in their process of adaptation, and what the counsellors have learned about themselves, their roles and the schools' work with immigrant students. Responses were categorised according to whether immigrants were perceived as a problem, a challenge, a non-issue or an asset to the school culture. The counsellors' reports and reflections enrich our understanding of the complex professional processes they and their schools go through when dealing with culturally diverse clients over time.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)577-592
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Guidance and Counselling
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • approaches to diversity
  • counselling immigrant pupils
  • multicultural counselling
  • school counsellors
  • school micropolitics


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