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child on therapists couchMental health is an issue that has moved into the forefront of public awareness. Increasing numbers of suicides and depression among young people have launched numerous initiatives and campaigns aimed at promoting mental health.

What is a Homework Therapist?

A growing facet within the education and psychology fields is the emergence of a new breed of tutor. Traditionally speaking, a tutor was a person, generally a current or retired teacher, whose primary goal was to help a student obtain better grades. Today, however, tutors have morphed into a new role as ‘homework therapists’. As the name suggests, this newer occupation combines schoolwork, mental health, and focuses on the connections between the two. Homework therapists like Bari Hillman represent a growing movement many parents and educators are utilizing.

Bari Hillman

Bari Hillman has a day job as a New York clinical psychologist, but he also has another role as a homework therapist. During his homework therapy sessions, he focuses on the stress and anxiety that many students fall prey to.

Dr. Hillman imparts coping skills to students who have poor organization and whose grades might be suffering as a result. The main concern, however, is not just suffering grades, but the effects that poor academic performance can have on self-esteem and mental health. Deep-breathing exercises, to-do lists, and visual reminders are a few of the techniques employed by Dr. Hillman to move his students/patients towards calm empowerment through scholastic progress.

Homework Therapy Sessions

While these homework therapy sessions do not come cheap, they are highly accessible and available on a number of platforms such as in-person, phone conversations, or Skype sessions. The melding of therapy and academic tutoring speaks not only to the stress that many students feel in the scholastic arena, but it also calls into question the root cause of mental-resilience issues.

Emotional Wellbeing

In sessions with young people, homework therapists don’t just want to improve grades and scholastic performance; they want to get to the crux of why students seem to be struggling so much. The ultimate goal is to empower young people through the feelings that accompany academic success such as mastery and control. Resilience is a concerning issue with young people who are struggling with the ups and downs of daily life.

The Accessibility of Homework Therapists

While homework therapists are an excellent option for some, one has to wonder about the thousands of other struggling students whose parents cannot afford such individualized help. Perhaps in the future, homework therapists will be as commonplace within public and private schools as guidance counselors.

An interesting angle on the subject is whether or not the necessity and emergence of ‘homework therapists’ represent positive changes or a further decline in the mental health of our younger generations. With alarming increases in suicide rates, depression, cases of extreme bullying, and school violence, the world at large is wondering what can be done.

When it comes to the mental health of young people and their ability to deal with the stresses of every-day life, homework therapists work tirelessly to try and get to the root cause of why so many fall prey to stress and anxiety. As efforts are being made to study and subvert the effects of stress and pressure on students, one has to hope that the tools of empowerment and control are well within reach for the majority.

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