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School Counseling

guidance teacher

Middle School

Welcome to the HMS Counseling Department

Dear Parents:

Be prepared to marvel at the tremendous physical, emotional, and intellectual growth that punctuates the middle-school years. It is quite normal for these changes, along with the demands of academics, peers, and society, to create tension and conflict that affect student behaviors. It can be a difficult and awkward time as students continue to adjust to changes in their bodies, worry about peer acceptance, and try to stay atop the standards of our youth’s culture. Rest assured, inside is still that child that needs a parent’s love and protection though they will certainly clamor for independence and privacy.

With the challenges presented by the “in-between years,” our goals as school counselors are clear:

         • To aid students in the acquisition of decision-making, problem-solving, and coping skills.
         • To help resolve any issue that interferes with student learning. 
         • To be leaders in the area of bullying prevention.
         • To provide a supportive learning environment. 
         • To assist students in developing an understanding of self and others.
         • To improve the self esteem of students.
         • To help students become more responsible and independent.
         • To assist students in developing effective communication and                                  interpersonal skills.
         • To maximize the academic success of students.
         • To facilitate the transition at each grade level.

To meet these objectives, we will provide individual counseling, visit classrooms to facilitate small group and whole-class lessons, and work closely with staff to foster academic and social-emotional growth. We will also work to organize and coordinate educational, community, and family resources. It is our approach to be proactive in the journey of a student rather than purely reactive.

We encourage parents to communicate concerns and questions but also request that a teacher’s right of first communication be respected when dealing with specific classroom issues. In our experiences, a polite conversation with a teacher will often bear positive results.

We look forward to working with you and your child to promote a safe, supportive, and positive learning environment. 

The Counseling Department at Hopkinton Middle School

Counseling Services

Hopkinton Middle School provides a variety of mental health supports to students.  Service providers consist of a school psychologist, an adjustment counselor, and three guidance counselors (one per grade). Counselors work with students individually and in small groups, teach guidance lessons in the class‐ room, and support the academic, social, and emotional development of all Middle School students. All of the counselors collaborate to provide the whole student body with a range of long‐term and short‐term services, including transition services for incoming 6th grade students and outgoing 8th grade students, crisis intervention services, referral to community mental health services and prevention services, coordination of peer tutoring, and orientation for new students.  The Counseling Department at Hopkinton Middle School is dedicated to ensuring the appropriate social, emotional, and academic development of all Middle School students. 




Helpful Documents & Forms


Helpful Links



Book Suggestions:


The Edison Trait: Saving the Spirit of Your Nonconforming Child
Lucy Jo Palladino, Ph.D.

Eight steps for raising the child who:

  • Takes the initiative but won’t take direction
  • Thinks of everything except consequences
  • Is strong-willed but not self-controlled

 Meeting the ADD Challenge  

Meeting the ADD Challenge: A Practical Guide for Teachers
Steven B. Gordon and Michael J. Asher

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The Myth of the ADD Child: 50 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion
Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D.

The Myth of the ADD Child is the first book of its kind to challenge the misdiagnosing of millions of children with attention deficit disorder and to question the overuse of psychoactive drugs in treating hyperactivity.  Thomas Armstrong is a psychologist, teacher, and consultant who has had years of experience working with children with attention and behavioral problems.  He believes that many behaviors labeled as A.D.D. are in fact a child’s active response to complex social, emotional, and educational influences.  By tackling the root causes of these problems – rather than masking the symptoms with potentially harmful medication and behavior-modification programs – parents can help their children experience positive changes in their lives.

 The Unmotivated Child: Helping Your Underachiever Become a Successful Student
Natalie Rathvon, Ph.D.
Natalie Rathvon solves the mystery of underachievement in children by looking beneath the child’s surface behavior.  She discloses the beliefs that influence an underachiever’s attitude and actions and pinpoints the warning signs to watch for in elementary, middle, and high school students.

 Taming the Dragon in your Child: Solutions for Breaking the Cycle of Family Anger
Meg Eastman, Ph.D.
Does your child act like a storybook dragon-harmless and enchanting one moment, but out of control the next?  Most children do.  Some angry kids vent their rage in fiery tantrums and foot-stomping rampages, others through outing, hostile silence, sarcasm, lying, stealing, and fights with siblings and schoolmates.  Dr. Meg Eastman draws on her experience as both a child psychologist and a mother to give you battle tested strategies for coping, for helping your child, and for dealing with real feelings.


The Trouble with Perfect: How Parents can Avoid the Overachievement Trap and Still Raise Successful Children
Elisabeth Guthrie, M.D., and Kathy Matthews
Alarmed by the high numbers of unmotivated, burned-out youngsters seeking her psychiatric treatment, Dr. Elisabeth Guthrie set out to uncover not just the sources of their distress but also the factors that drive parents to pressure their children.  Dr. Guthrie explores our confounding culture of over achievement and takes a sympathetic look at the pervasive guilt that accompanies raising children today.

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Parenting a Child with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Nancy S. Boyles, M.Ed., and Darlene Contadino, M.S.W.

Learn how to:

  • Recognize symptoms and obtain an accurate diagnosis
  • Evaluate and manage medications
  • Teach your young child self-control strategies for academic and social success
  • Establish a support team with your child’s teachers, health professionals, and other family members
  • Help your teenager recognize and control risk-taking behaviors

 The Oppositional Child
O. Randall Braman
How to recognize and change the self-defeating behavior of a child (or adult) who persists in doing the opposite of what he should do, and the opposite of what he REALLY wants to do.

Bullying and CyberBullying:

The following books are available in the counseling office library. Please see the counseling secretary to check out any of our books.  

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Odd Girl Out: The hidden culture of aggression in girls
Rachel Simmons

Dirty looks, taunting notes, exclusion from social groups – there is a hidden culture of girls’ aggression in our schools that is as widespread as it is painful.  Here, bestselling author Rachel Simmons exposes the truth about what’s going on, and she helps everyone – from parents and teachers to coaches and counselors – understand how to cope.  With real-life stories and important discoveries, this groundbreaking book illuminates the most pressing social issues facing girls today.

The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From pre-school to high school – how parents and teachers can help break the cycle of violence
Barbara Coloroso

It’s a deadly triad:  bullies who terrorize, bullied kids who are afraid to tell, bystanders who watch, participate, or look away, and adults who dismiss the incidents as a normal part of childhood.  Drawing on her decades of work with youth, this practical book by bestselling parenting educator Barbara Colorso explains:

  • The three kinds of bullying: and the difference between boy and girl bullies
  • Four abilities that protect your child from succumbing to bullying
  • Seven steps to take if your child is a bully
  • How to help the cullied child heal and effectively discipline the bully

Odd Girl Speaks Out: Girls write about bullies, cliques, popularity, and jealousy
Rachel Simmons

 After the astonishing success of the bestselling Odd Girl Out, Rachel Simmons invited the girls to describe their own experiences of being bullied or bullying other girls.  The letters, essays, and poems in this book are culled from hundreds of submission by girls across North America.  Rachel Simmons offers advice throughout the book, giving girls both voice to their feelings and help for the future.


 Girl Wars

Girl Wars: Strategies that Will End Female Bullying
Cheryl Dellasega, Ph.D. and Charissa Nixon, Ph.D.

Mary Pipher’s bestselling Reviving Ophelia triggered widespread interest in the culture of preteen and teenage girls and the seeming epidemic of relational aggression (bullying) among them. Two experts explain not only how to prevent such behavior but also how to intervene should it happen, as well as overcome the culture that breeds it. Gossip, teasing, forming cliques, and other cruel behaviors are the basis of this bullying, which harms both the victim and aggressor.  Until now, no one has been able to offer practical and effective solutions that stop girls from hurting each other with words and actions. But in Girl Wars, two experts explain no only how to prevent such behavior but also how to intervene should it happen, as well as overcome the culture that breeds it.



Getting Equipped to Stop Bullying: A kid’s survival kit for understanding and coping with violence in the schools
Becki Boatwrights, Ph.D., LPC; Teresea Mathis, Ed.S., LMSW; and Susan Smith-Rex, Ed.D.

A bully is someone who abuses another person.  The authors believe bullying is the basis of many life problems, i.e. low self-esteem, abuse, and violence.  The goal of this program is to provide an understanding of the dynamics of bullying and to empower elementary and middle school children to recognize and deal with bullies.

  • The following books are available in our counseling office library. Please see the counseling secretary if you would like to check out any of the books in our library.


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    When Nothing Matters Anymore: a survival guide for depressed teens
    Bev Conain, R.N.C.

    In 1994, rock star Kurt Cobain ended his struggle with depression and drugs by taking his own life.  Bev Cobain is Kurt’s cousin.  This book I s her way of making sense of his death and reaching out to teens who are sad, discouraged, or depressed.  If that’s how you feel, this nook can help you feel good again.

    Part 1: “What’s Wrong?”  describes the causes and types of depression and the connection between depression, suicide, and drug and alcohol abuse.
    Part 2: “Getting Help and Staying Well” discusses different kinds of professional treatment, how they help, and how to stay healthy.

    If you’ve ever felt unhappy, hopeless or alone – and especially if you feel that way now – this nook is a light in the darkness.  Because depression is common.  You’re not the only one to have these feelings.  You don’t have to face this all by yourself.  And you don’t have to feel this way forever.


  • The following books are available in our counseling office library. Please see the counseling secretary if you would like to check out any of the books in our library.


     When Your Parents Divorce

    When your parents Divorce:  A Handbook for Children Whose Parents are Divorcing 
    Betty Clark
    It has finally happened; you parents are getting a divorce.  No doubt your mind is racing with questions.  Who is going to take care of you?  Where will the other parent live?  How is your life going to change?  Will there be enough money for two homes?  Will you be able to visit with your other parent?  How often?  Will you still have your grandparents?  And most of all you wonder if your parents still love you. This book was prepared to help you answer these and many other questions young people face as they try to deal with their parents’ divorce.

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    Why did you have to get a divorce? And When can I get a hamster?: A Guide to Parenting Through Divorce
    Anthony E. Wolfe, Ph.D.
    In this groundbreaking book, Anthony E. Wolf argues that divorce, while difficult for children, does not have to do long-term damage to their emotional health – especially if their parents remain a source of positive support in their lives.  Dr. Wolf offers advice on all the difficult questions raised by divorce:  how do you tell your child about the divorce?  How do you keep your child from being caught between you and your ex-partner?  How do you help children cope with new partners or new siblings?


The following books are available in our counseling office library. Please see the counseling secretary if you would like to check out any of the books in our library.

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When Children Grieve: For Adults to help children deal with death, divorce, pet loss, moving, and other losses
John W. James and Russell Friedman

 To watch a child grieve and not know what to do is one of the most difficult experiences for parents, teachers, and caregivers.  And yet, there are guidelines for helping children develop a lifelong, healthy response to loss.

 In When Children Grieve, John W. James and Russell Friedman of the Grief Recovery Institute, along with psychotherapist Dr. Leslie Landon Matthews, have created a cutting-edge volume that will help free children from the false idea that they “shouldn’t feel bad” and will empower them with positive, effective methods of dealing with loss.


Helping Teens Cope with Death

Helping Teens cope with Death
The Dougy Center: The National Center for Grieving Children and Families

What is it like for teenagers when someone close to them dies?  How do they respond to the death of a parent, a sibling, a relative, a friend?  The grief journey as a teen is unique from that of a child or adult.

Helping teens Cope with Death explains common grief reactions of teenagers and offers advice from parents on supporting teens in grief.  You’ll find helpful hints on navigating anger, guilt, and frustration as well as suggestions for coping with holidays and anniversaries.  You’ll also hear what teens and parents have to say about what helped them most in the grieving process.  This book is an invaluable resource for anyone with a grieving teen in their life.



Knowing When Your Teen is at Risk

Suicide: Knowing when your teen is at risk
T. Mitchel Anthony

Teenage suicide is a problem that can strike in any home.  But most people don’t even realize it could happen – until it’s too late.  In this book you’ll discover the signals that teens send out before they take their own lives.  And you’ll learn the practical steps you should follow in order to help save the life of a person considering suicide.  It’s information that every parent, counselor, pastor, teacher and friend should know before they are faced with a crisis.  Because it’s never too early to learn how to save a life.


The following books are available in the counseling office library. Please see the counseling secretary if you would like to check out any of our books.

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Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 Stories to Open The Heart and Rekindle The Spirit
Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen


Get Out of My Life: but first could you drive me and Cheryl to the mall? A parent’s guide to the new teenager
Anthony E. Wolfe, Ph.D.

In this book, Dr. Wolf argues that today's teenagers do act differently than their parents did at the same age (and, thus, parents must come up with a new parenting approach); he describes the psychological rules that dictate teenage behavior, including differences between boys and girls; and, best of all, he doesn't over look the humor in the teenage years.

 Get a Clue! A parent’s guide to understanding and communicating with your preteen
Ellen Rosenberg

For more than thirty years, Ellen Rosenberg has given interactive presentations to schoolchildren, and from them she has learned that most children are hungry for guidance on feeling good about themselves, expressing their feelings, and getting along with parents, peers, siblings, and teachers.  She has made it her mission to listen to what children think and feel, replying to their concerns and queries with straightforward facts and practical advice.  In Get a Clue she shares the anonymous questions, fears, frustrations, and pressures eight-to-fourteen-year-olds have written to her in their own words and then, with these insights in mind, gives suggestions on how parents can address their children.  In a reassuring style filled with practical pointers, Ellen Rosenberg shows you hoe to approach a helpful talk with your child.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
Sean Covey

Being  a teenager is both wonderful and challenging.  In the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, author Sean Covey applies the timeless principles of the 7 Habits to teens and the tough issues and life-changing decisions they face.  In an entertaining style, Covey provides a step-by –step guide to help teen improve self image, build friendships, resist peer pressure, achieve their goals, get along with their parents, and much more.  In addition, this book is stuffed with cartoons, clever ideas, great quotes, and incredible stories about real teens from all over the world.

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Parenting with Love and Logic: Teaching Children Responsibility
Foster Cline, M.D. & Jim Fay

As parents, you have only a few years to prepare your children for a world that requires responsibility and maturity for survival. That thought alone can send shivers down your parental spine! According to Jim Fay, one of America's top educational consultants, and Dr. Foster Cline, a trend setting child and adult psychiatrist, parents who try to ensure their children's success often raise unsuccessful kids. Because responsibility is like anything else - it has to be learned through practice.

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Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children
Michael Thompson, PhD & Catherine O’Neill Grace


 It’s Not Fair; Jeremy Spencer’s Parents Let Him Stay up All Night!
Anthony E. Wolf, Ph.D
Anthony Wolf’s groundbreaking book focuses on the most difficult challenges of parenting post-infant to pre-teen children – setting limits and making demands.  Dr. Wolf covers all the classic parenting problem areas: family disputes, including who’s in charge (mom or Dad), sibling fights, and divorce; day-to-day issues such as bedtime, grumpiness, and public tantrums; and problems that might not be problems after all, like aggression, lying, and spoiling.  Positive, loving, and, above all, effective, this guide offers parents what they want most: more time to enjoy their children.


Mom, I Got a Tattoo

"Mom, I got a Tattoo!”: The Survival Guide to Raising a Teenage Daughter
Dr. Janet Irwin & Susanna De Vries
From work habits and cleanliness to peer pressure, substance abuse and pregnancy, the teenage years bring a tall order of issues for girls and their parents.
Even though many girls react by puling away from their parents, authors Janet Irwin and Susanna de Vries emphasize that during these difficult years, daughters need their parents more than ever.  They show concerned parents how to keep sting bonds and good communication alive even during the most difficult periods of their daughters’ adolescence.

Learning How to Kiss a Frog: Advice for those who work with pre and early adolescents
James P. Garvin
Learning How to Kiss a Frog is a classic which explains the characteristics of early adolescence in warm, down to earth terms.  The book is a great resource for parents of middle school children, as well as for middle level educators making decisions on curriculum and school organization.

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Take a Walk in Their Shoes: Practical advice for parents…from a parent and middle school teacher.
Mary Jane Fernino


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Our Last Best Shot: Guiding Our Children Through Early Adolescence
Laura Sessions Stepp
It’s easy to dismiss ten- to fifteen-year-olds as moody, baffling creatures.  Yet these years are perhaps the most critical time in human development, a juncture at which unmatched physical and intellectual growth, explaining creativity, emerging moral sensibilities, awakening sexuality, and maturing emotions converge.  Early adolescence is a time when girls and bots may need the help of parents most – yet it is often a time when they are most reluctant to accept it.  And it may be a parent’s greatest opportunity to effect positive change in a child’s life. 


In Our Last Best Shot we meet twelve girls and boys from all across America.  Through their stories, and through Laura Sessions Stepp’s extensive research, we gain invaluable advice about how to bring up well-adjusted children in these difficult times.  Stepp tells how to spot signs of promise as well as signs of danger, and advises parents about when and how they must intervene – to encourage growth as well as prevent trouble.  Filled with wisdom and common sense, based on cutting-edge research, and featuring an invaluable resource list, Our Last Best Shot , is a book parents and educators cannot afford to be without.


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Parents Teens and Boundaries: How to Draw the Line
Jane Bluestein, Ph.D.
How parents set boundaries with their teenagers is one of the most important aspects of the parents-child relationship.  Unfortunately, this ability does not come automatically with parenthood.  Here Jane Bluestein, a former teacher and counselor, looks at 20 relationship-building techniques all parents can use to set limits with their teens:

  • Loving
  • Respecting
  • Empowering
  • Negotiating
  • Supporting
  • Accepting
  • Communicating
  • Motivating
  • Acknowledging
  • Trusting…and more

These practical strategies for boundary setting can teach parents how to avoid conflict, resolve problems and establish the foundation for mutual love and respect.  As a result of learning to set healthy boundaries, parents may even begin to enjoy their children’s teen years.

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Parenting Teenagers: Systematic Training for Effective Parenting of Teens
Don Dinkmeyer, Sr., Gary D. Mckay, Joyce L. Mckay, & Don Dinkmeyer, Jr.
As a parent, you know the challenge of raising a family – especially with teenagers.  One of the country’s most popular guides, Parenting Teenagers, can help you meet those challenges.  It’s filled with easy-to-understand skills that can help you connect with your teens today.
Topics Include:

  • Understanding yourself and your teenager
  • Changing your response to your teen
  • Communicating respect and encouragement
  • Encouraging cooperation and solving problems
  • Using consequences to build responsibility
  • Deciding what to do: parts 1 and 2

 Why Can’t We Talk? What teens would share if parents would listen…A Book for Teens
Michelle L. Trujillo
The teens in this book will show you that you aren’t along in the difficulties you face.  They will also show you new and helpful ways to express your concerns and fears, especially feeling that no one understand you, the expectations you face are too high, your parents don’t trust you, or you aren’t accepted for who you really are.  Each chapter contains contributions from about twenty teenagers and ends with Michelle Trujillo, briefly sharing her observations and encouragement, along with suggestions and challenges for hot to act and what to say in the future.  Mrs. T also shows you how you can use this nook to make your parents listen to what you have to say.


The Roller Coaster Years

The Roller-Coaster Years: Raising your child through the maddening yet magical middle school years
Charlene C. Giannetti & Margret Sagarese

For the 20 million parents to 10- to 15-year olds, The Roller-Coaster years, is a lively guide to mastering to ops and downs of early adolescence.  Every parent knows about the terrible twos and the brooding teens, but few have anticipated the wild ride of these magical yet maddening years that can provide all the thrills and chills of a carnival ride.

Now, drawing together the latest information from experts, supported and advised by the National Middle School Association, and with surprising insights from the authors’ own surveys of parents, teachers, and the children themselves, The Roller-Coaster Years covers every facet of the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development of early adolescents.


The Call Me Coach

They Call Me COACH: Timeless Tips for Teens from MTV Made’s “Life Coach”
Jeff Yalden, CSP
They call me coach gives teens the tools to create a competitive edge.  In a challenging and wonderful world, teens are searching for meaning, looking for direction and understanding, and asking for messengers who not only understand them but also know them.
In an entertaining style, Jeff Yalden provides the answers to the questions most commonly asked of him to help teens improve self-esteem, build friendships, resist peer pressure, achieve their goals, get along with parents, and much more.  This is an indispensable book filled with useful information for all teens, parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, and anyone that influences youth.  In a highly competitive world this book will help put you firmly on the path to purpose.


The Secret Life of Teens

The Secret Life of Teens: Young people speak out about their lives
Gayatri Patnaik & Michelle T. Shinseki
The book about generation Y everyone has been waiting for – A raw, revealing report from the teens themselves of what they are thinking, feeling, and doing.

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Ten Talks Parents Must Have With Their Children About Sex and Character
Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D. & Dominic Cappellp
Everyone aggress parents must talk to their children about sex, but the questions always arise: how do I start?  What should I cover?  Ten Talks advice on exactly how to begin and what to say – not just about sex, but also safety, character, peer pressure, ethics, meeting people on the internet, and mixed messages from TV.  Ten Talks is based on innovative and proven approaches that the authors are using in parent workshops across the country.  The talks can be adapted for all kinds of families and offer immeasurable rewards, strengthening the relationship of parents and children.  This innovative and illustrated book helps prepare kids for the complex world of relationships, sex, and growing up.


 You and Your Adolescent

You and Your Adolescent: Totally updated to address current parenting issues: A Parent’s Guide for ages 10-20
Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D. & Ann Levine
“Relax! The horror stories you have heard about adolescence are false.”  That is Laurence Steinberg and Ann Levine’s reassuring message.  With their advice to guide you, your child’s teen years can be the very best time to be a parent.  This standard reference on adolescent development will help you understand:

  • Family communication and problem solving
  • The physical and emotional changes of puberty
  • Intellectual and moral growth
  • Cliques and crowds, popularity, and peer pressure
  • Sex and the high school student
  • Myths and facts about cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs
  • The transition to adulthood

This revised edition includes updated findings and modern examples to help you deal with today’s pressing concerns about AIDS, drugs, violence, and academic achievement as you prepare your children for the next millennium.

 What Teens Need Most From Their Parents  

What Teens Need Most from Their Parents
Bill Sanders
Bill Sanders speaks to thousands of young people in schools all across America.  But when he speaks to parents of teens, he has a unique message especially for them.  “I try to have them walk in their teen’s shoes for awhile and to see how much alike parents and teen really are,” he says.  “I also try to make them see that things can change, no matter how bad things may seem in their family.”

In this book, Sanders reveals what teens need most from their parents.  HE should know.  As he counsels with kids, they say time and time again, “When you see my parents, please tell them I need them to…”

  • Help me find my special talent
  • Train me t make good decisions
  • Be my example
  • Listen to me
  • Lean more about my friends and me
  • Give me unconditional acceptance and love

This eye opening feedback from teens-plus Bill Sanders’s practical advice-will help you meet the most important needs of your own not-quite-grown-up offspring.

Awesome Teen 
Chris Silkwood & Nancy Levicki

Risky Behavior:

The following books are available in the counseling office library. Please see the counseling secretary to check out any of our books.  

Preventing Substance Abuse Starts at Home: Safeguarding your children
Informational packets provided by the bureau of Substance Abuse Services

 Shame and Body Image  

Shame and Body Image: Culture and the Compulsive Eater
Barbara McFarland, Ed. D. and Tyeis Baker-Baumann, M.S.

What causes a person to become a compulsive eater?  Is it family?  Is it society?  Is it physical?  McFarland and Baker-Baumann, authors of Shame and the Body Image, believe that people become compulsive eaters because of deep-seated shame about themselves – shame so powerful that it virtually controls their lives.

This book provides mental and physical exercises to help us establish a balance between our masculine and feminine characteristics, become comfortable with our bodies and develop a realistic attitude about body image and societal ideals.  You don’t have to be perfect to be happy.  Learn how to feel good about yourself.

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Cutting: Understanding and Overcoming Self-Mutilation
Steven Levenkron

Cutting takes the reader through the psychological experience of the person who seeks relief from mental anguish in self-inflicted physical pain.  Steven Levenkron traces the components that predispose a personality to self-mutilation: genetics, family experience, childhood trauma, and parental behavior.     

Written for self-mutilators, parents, friends, and therapists, this book explains why the disorder manifests in self-harming behaviors and, most of all, describes how self-mutilators can be helped.

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Afraid to Eat: Children and Teens in Weight Crisis
Frances M. Berg

Afraid to Eat explains what social pressures are doing to kids, how they’re hurting themselves emotionally, intellectually and physically, and how we as parents, teachers and friends can free our children and help them fulfill their potential as generous, capable, unique individuals.

 The Addictive Personality

The Addictive Personality: Roots Rituals Recovery
Craig Nakken

Alcoholics and drug addicts are not the only victims of addiction.  There are tens of thousands of compulsive eaters, compulsive gamblers, sex addicts, workaholics and compulsive spenders who may have never used any mood-altering chemicals in their rituals of getting high.  And yet, the emotional isolation, shame and despair of their lives testify to the power of addiction.      

This book brings depth and dimension to addiction as it related to individuals.  Going beyond the definition that limits addiction to the realm of alcohol and other drugs, chemical dependency specialist Craig Nakken uncovers the common denominators of all addiction and how, over time, an addictive personality develops.

The addictive Personality examines how addictions get started, how our society pushes people toward addiction, and what happens inside the people who become addicted.  If you are one of the thousands of people addicted to something, this major new book will substantiate your struggle and legitimize your suffering.



The following books are available in the counseling office library. Please see the counseling secretary to check out any of our books.

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School Girls: Young Women, Self-Esteem, and the Confidence Gap
Peggy Orenstein

“School Girls is a fascinating book. Hopefully it will be read by the right people – parents and educators who could change the experience of young girls in the future.” –Los Angeles Times Book Review

“School Girls cautions those of us who educate and mold young people to wake up and see the social and intellectual consequences of simply letting girls be girls’ and ‘boys be boys’.” – New York Newsday


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Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul
Jack Canfield, Mark Hansen, and Kimberly Kirberger
101 Stories of Life, Love, and Learning

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The Wonder of Boys: What Parents, Mentors and Educators Can Do to Shape Boys into Exceptional Men
Michael Gurian

In this insightful and practical book, Michael Gurian describes what boys need to become strong, responsible, sensitive men.  Instead of encouraging us to stifle boys’ natural propensities for competition and aggression, Gurian offers effective and practical guidelines for channeling them.  He shoes how the evils boys are susceptible to, including gang activity, sexual misconduct, and crime, become necessary outlets when positive role models and adults support are not available.  Most important, Gurian explains what a boy really needs – a primary and an extended family, relationships with mentors, and intense support from his school and community – and details how we can provide these things for the boys we love.


Fighting Invisible Tigers: A Stress Management Guide for Teens
Earl Hipp

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed, frustrated, inadequate, tired, or stressed out by the challenges in your life, you’re not alone.  In Fighting Invisible Tigers, you’ll find that other young people feel the same way.  You’ll also learn what to do about the stress you fell. Proven, practical advice covers everything you need to know about stress management and life management from coping with stress to being assertive building supportive relationships, taking risks, making decisions, staying healthy, dealing with fears and misconceptions, recognizing perfectionism, using positive self-talk – even growing a funny bone.

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Ophelia Speaks:Adolescent girls write about eh search for self
Sara Shandler

At age sixteen, Sara Shandler read Mary Phiper’s Reviving Ophelia the national bestseller that candidly explored the unique issues that challenge girls in their struggle toward womanhood.  Moved by Pipher’s insight yet driven to hear the unfiltered voices of today’s adolescent girls, Shandler yearned to speak for herself, and to provide a forum for other Ophelia’s to do so as well.  

A poignant collection of original pieces selected from more than eight hundred contributions, Ophelia Speaks, culls writing from the hearts of girls nationwide, of various races, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Ranging in age from twelve to eighteen, the voices here offer a provocative and piercingly real view on issues public and private, from body image to boys, politics to parents, school to sex.  Framing each chapter are Shandler’s own personal reflections, offering both the comfort of a trusted friend and an honest perspective from within the whirlwind of adolescence.  In these pages you will see your best friend, your daughter, your sister – and yourself.  At once filled with heartbreak and hope, in these pages Ophelia speaks.


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QuBees & Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends & Other Realities of Adolescence 
(The basis of the movie MEAN GIRLS)
Rosalind Wiseman


 Do you feel as though your adolescent daughter exists in a different world, speaking in a different language and living by different laws?  She does.  This groundbreaking book takes you inside the secret world of girls’ friendships, translating and decoding them so parents can better understand and help their daughters navigate through these crucial years.  Rosalind Wiseman has spent more than a decade listening to thousands of girls talk about the powerful role cliques play in shaping what they wear and say, how they feel about school, how they respond to boys, and how they feel about themselves.  In this candid and insightful book, Wiseman discusses:

  • Queen Bees, Wannabes, Targets, Torn Bystanders, and others: how to tell what role your daughter plays and help her be herself
  • Girls’ power plays, from birthday invitation to cafeteria seating arrangements
  • Good popularity and bad popularity: how cliques bear on every situation
  • Hip parents, Best-Friend Parents, Pushover Parents, and others: examine your own parenting style, and get insight into how you relate to your daughter

Enlivened with the voices of dozens of girls and parents and a welcome sense of humor, Queen Bees and Wannabes is compelling reading for parents and daughters alike.  A conversation piece and a reference guide, complete with a carefully annotated resource section, it offers the tools you need to help your daughter feel empowered and make smarter choices.

 The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
Sean Covey

Being  a teenager is both wonderful and challenging.  In the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, author Sean Covey applies the timeless principles of the 7 Habits to teens and the tough issues and life-changing decisions they face.  In an entertaining style, Covey provides a step-by –step guide to help teen improve self image, build friendships, resist peer pressure, achieve their goals, get along with their parents, and much more.  In addition, this book is stuffed with cartoons, clever ideas, great quotes, and incredible stories about real teens from all over the world.

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Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons From the Myths of Boyhood
William Pollack, Ph.D

Based on William Pollack’s groundbreaking research at Harvard Medical School for more than two decades, Real Boys explores this generation’s “silent crisis”: why so many boys are sad, lonely, and confused although they may appear tough, cheerful, and confident.  Pollack challenges conventional expectations about manhood and masculinity that encourage parents to treat boys as little men, raising them through a toughening process that drives their true emotions underground.  Only when we understand what boys are really experiencing, says Pollack, can parents and teachers help them develop more self-confidence and the emotional savvy they need to deal with issues such as depression and violence, drugs and alcohol, sexuality and love.


What is a Lip Dub?

A lip dub is a type of video that combines lip-synching and audio dubbing to make a music video. It is made by filming individuals or a group of people lip synching while listening to a song or any recorded audio then dubbing over it in post editing with the original audio of the song . . . Lip dubs are done in a single unedited shot that travel through different rooms and situations within a building. Lib dubs are often created to show spirit, to convey a positive message, and to express unity. For these reasons, the Hopkinton Middle School filmed two of its very own lip dubs!

In 2013, a group of eighth-grade students came together to form a Lip Dub Club and worked enthusiastically to create our first video event. The song chosen was “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga. The song was chosen to convey the song’s message of acceptance, as “United We Stand” is quickly becoming a middle school motto. In 2015, the students chose Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off" to convey the best remedy when facing typical middle school angst ... and what better way to stand united in support of everyone under the HMS roof than to bring everyone together for a lip dub?



Contact Us

Debby Arienti

Titles: Adjustment Counselor
Locations: Hopkinton Middle School

Christine Brown

Titles: School Counselor Grade 6
Locations: Hopkinton Middle School

James Casey

Titles: Psychologist
Locations: Hopkinton Middle School

Erin DiPalma

Titles: Adjustment Counselor START
Locations: Hopkinton Middle School

William Meehan

Titles: School Counselor Grade 7
Locations: Hopkinton Middle School

Keith Verra

Titles: School Counselor Grade 8, 8th Grade Boys Soccer Coach
Locations: Hopkinton Middle School

Post Secondary Planning

Navigating the College Process in the Digital Age

More on Post Secondary Paths Less Traveled

Resources for any student considering prep school, taking a gap year or attending a two-year program with the goal of transferring to a four-year college...

  • Some schools, like Dean College (, offer both two- and four-year programs, where students earn their associates degrees and have the option of earning their bachelors degrees in some areas. Another common pathway, is students who earn their associates degree, or attend one college for a few semesters, and then transfer to another four-year school with a strengthened academic profile.
  • Other schools that are know as four-year schools, like University of Hartford, may also have a school for associate degrees that students can graduate from or transfer from into the four year colleges. ).
  • In addition to two and four year degrees, Mitchell College has Thames Academy (, a residential post-graduate program for students with academic challenges, documented learning disabilities, or other learning differences who can benefit from a structured learning and living experience that prepares them for the transition to college or a career.
  • Find other schools that offer associates degrees by using the "School Type" tab in the SuperMatch college search within Naviance Student

Prep schools, which are also called preparatory schools, are available around the country and around the world. There are some key factors that make a prep school different from a regular public school beyond the name. Among the differences are the high costs, educational standards and small class sizes.

  • Check out and their Top 10 Reasons to go to Boarding School
  • Think you may be interested? Click here for a list of Prep Schools and Post Grad options
  • A few notes on taking a Gap Year from TeenLife's 2018 Guide to the Gap Year:

  • This can be time well spent that leads to students gaining confidence, a strong sense of personal responsibility, heightened resilience, and a level of maturity about learning, work, the world, and themselves.
  • Gap students do go or return to college! In their survey, 90 percent had returned within a year, and 80 percent returned within six months. Further, some colleges have tracked these students' GPAs and they report higher GPAs than their peers.
  • Gap students report a (re)ignited passion for learning and are able to connect formal education with real-world experience; 60 percent say their gap year experience impacted their choice of major and career.
  • Year of Community Service Check out these videos of City Year Volunteers to find out why they serve...

    How can the Military be a part of my four-year degree?

  • One pathway is to join the ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) out what schools offer ROTC through theSuperMatch within Naviance Student (
  • Admissions into one of the United States Service Academies is highly selective and there can be an extensive application process. If successful, cadets/midshipmen receive taxable pay, free room and board, and pay no tuition or fees. There is also a minimum term of duty, usually five years plus another three in the reserves.  
  • The academies include: The US Military Academy (USMA) in West Point, NY (Army), The US Naval Academy (USNA) in Annapolis, MD, The US Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) in New London, CT, The US Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) in Kings Point, NY, and The US Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, CO.

The Changing Admissions Landscape at Massachusetts Public Colleges

Admission to the University of Massachusetts is handled separately by each UMass campus. UMass has four campuses for undergraduates and graduates, each with its own identity and academic and research specialties. In addition, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, located in Worcester, includes a School of Medicine, Graduate School of Nursing, and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. UMass also offers continuing education at each campus and accredited degrees or certificates online via UMassOnline. Learn more about the wide range of UMass academic offerings.    (from

Learn about the Admission Standards for Massachusetts State University System and the University of Massachusetts and take a look at a Map of the Massachusetts' Public Higher Education System .

MassTransfer ( has two main purposes:

  • Provide community college students who complete associate degrees and enroll in linked MassTransfer programs with the full transfer of credit, guaranteed admission, and a tuition discount (each based on final GPA); and
  • Provide any student in the Massachusetts public higher education system who completes the MassTransfer Block with the benefit of satisfying the general education/distribution/core requirements at any other public higher education institution

Commonwealth Honors Programs

Massachusetts is the only state in the country to offer an integrated network of honors programs throughout the public higher education system. There are Commonwealth Honors Programs in community colleges and state universities and on the campuses of the University of Massachusetts. (

LGBTQ Students:

Check out College Choice for a list of the 50 best colleges for LGBTQ students.

 An Introduction to College Athletics

Let us first set the tone with the Estimated Probability of Competing in Athletics Beyond the High School Interscholastic Level and then remember that there are more than 380,000 student-athletes and most of them go pro in something other than sports.  So while college athletics may be a factor in the college search, for some, much more than others, it is still just one factor and students should choose colleges that fit their other factors as well. Remember, a career-interrupting or ending injury could happen to anyone, you want to make sure you'd be happy at that school without athletics too.

Students who may have the opportunity to play at the Division I or II level in college, need to be sure to register with the NCAA Clearinghouse ( The Clearinghouse determines both academic eligibility and amateurism status.

Be sure to check out the 2018-19 Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete for help registering and to find out more about recruiting timelines and guidelines.

Grief and Bereavement