March 2017

Hello friends!

Glad to be back after a much needed mental health break=)

I had taken some time to revise the Fifty Steps Closer book. I’m glad to report the revision process was a great success! A 2014 edition of Fifty Steps Closer is now available. The revision process focused on broadening perspectives, clarifying directives, and simplifying group concepts and goals.

New materials have also been added under the Fifty More Steps tab. New classroom counseling activities in grades 3-6 and several support materials can be found under the Miscellaneous heading.

Of the new classroom mental health activities, “Super Car” is an insightful activity designed for students in 6th grade. The activity attempts to shine light on identifying student personality strengths and provides students with guidance on using their strengths in working with others. Learning to recognize how and when to shift into other aspects of personality is a key feature in his activity. “Forward Thinking” is a 5th grade activity designed to help students identify “red flag” behaviors in their peers. Students are then encouraged to take appropriate action/intervention steps. “Secret Measures” is a 4th grade activity created to provide students with tools and techniques for dealing with secrets that friends and family members ask them to keep. “Wrap-It” is a fun and somewhat whimsical activity designed to help 3rd grade students come to terms/wrap their heads around difficult personal events in their lives. The underlying premise and hope in this activity is that appropriately boxed and wrapped “undesired” childhood events won’t continue to be things that “trip them up” moving forward in their lives.

Support materials for both the book and classroom mental health activities have been placed under Miscellaneous tab. Group check-in prompt and skill building (Check-in page 1/page2 -double-sided,) Lesson: Forward Thinking (Toaster and Sewing Machine), Lesson: Secret Measures (Question Cards), Lesson: Super Car (Activity Page), and Book support for Lesson: Sequence Makes Sense (Create-A- Story cards) have been included (*use cardboard stock paper for printing the Create-A-Story cards).

I hope to share some Fifty Steps Closer materials at 1-2 state counseling association conferences in 2017. I’ll keep you posted=)In the meantime, continued success & blessings in all you do for kids.

Dr. Nick

April 2014

Friends, I hope this communication finds you well. I would like to inform you of the Revision project I’ve completed with the Fifty Steps Closer materials. In particular, the book has been re-written; trimmed in some places and expanded in others. I’ve re-formatted the e-book pdf download and included the activity’s corresponding backpack at the conclusion of each chapter. The binder size format makes the materials much more user friendly.

Click on the Table of Contents Tab to access sample chapters from the Revised Edition of Fifty Steps Closer. The price for the 225 page download has also been reduced to just 5.00 dollars.

Be sure to contact me if you have any questions about the materials on the website or book. As always, be active in your compassion and gracious in your actions. Strive to be kind.

Dr. Nick

April 2013

Greeting friends! Hope you’re enjoying the school year as we’re moving forward into Spring.

I’d like to keep you updated on some revisions I’ve made to a couple of the existing activities in the Fifty More Steps curriculum. The 8th grade activity Reflections was revised to significantly improve the student’s ability to evaluate the link between student character/priorities and their behavior/choices. The activity now enlists student’s classmate’s help in determining/evaluating if the student’s choices are consistent with their known character/priorities. The 6th grade activity called Self Defense was given more specific counseling prompts to help student’s develop a broader understanding of the concept of self defense. Largely, the activity focuses on student’s learning and developing a skill set for avoiding conflict. Furthermore, the activity was redesigned to address frequent conflict precursors such as rumors, gossip, perceived slights, disrespect and hurt pride.

Additionally, two videos were added to the video library. A slightly altered version for the 7th grade activity Protecting The Dream was added to the library. The modified revision is called Protecting The Dream 2. The newer version of the original video directly connects/segues (in words) the adult pictures to the pictures of children “…when I was young and unafraid.” Finally, a promotional video entitled “Welcome to Fifty Steps Closer” was developed to serve as an introduction into the project’s mental health curriculum materials. This video allows mental health viewers an opportunity to look at and if willing, participate in some of the activities found on the website. As an FYI, I was unable to find a stunt double for the opening and closing cameo appearances in the video. The same can be said for the narrative. Despite numerous takes and retakes, in the end I was forced to concede that’s just how I look and sound (Yikes!!!) I wonder if I can qualify for special parking privileges?

Let me encourage you to stay the course as we come into the home stretch of our school year. Stay focused and be of service to as many kids as you can. Know that you’re in the right place at the right time; you just have to do the right thing=) Continued Success & Many Blessings~

Dr. Nick

November 2012

Hi friends!

Hope the new school year is going well for you. I’m having a terrific school year. Lots of great kids and kids on the verge of becoming great, feeling good about themselves and being successful in school, at home and with their peer groups.

As you most likely know, the original project Fifty Steps Closer turned into a book for counselors to use as a counseling group guide. That ending turned into the beginning of Fifty More Steps. Fifty More Steps is a mental health curriculum designed for classroom use. If you haven’t looked over the Fifty More Steps curriculum be sure to click on that tab and review those on line materials. Many of those mental health activities have corresponding and or supplemental videos found in the Video Library as you scroll down that page.

Something else that is new. Suspension Intervention Services (S.I .S.) Check that tab out! Basically, it’s just another way for the parents of suspended or soon to be suspended students to get help for their son/daughter. Often as a condition of suspension due often to substance related concerns and or anger management, the requirement of a mental health intervention is placed on the student before he/she returns to school. Suspension Intervention Services is a starting point for families beginning the journey of finding help and support for their kids.

350,000 people have visited the Fifty Steps Closer website and a significant number of those visitors have downloaded a ton of the counseling activities. Thank You! I also appreciate your emails regarding specific student cases you have and creating strategies for dealing with your needy kids and their families. As the Holidays approach I am wishing that you all discover the Peace & Joy in your lives. And that my friends will bring you great Happiness. Continued Success & Many Blessings~

Dr. Nick

April 2012- September 2012


School is (or soon will be) back in session=) Hopefully, this communication finds all of you ready, rested & energized for the promise, challenges and successes of the new school year!

Recently, the fiftystepscloser website under went a minor change that has had a huge effect. To date over 300,000 visitors have looked at the website and have downloaded many of the backpacks and mental health activities. The section formerly known as Notes has been changed to Fifty More Steps. This section contains mental health activities designed to be used in classrooms as a way to promote mental health and make positive connections with all kids. The most recent activity added to the mental health curriculum is called “Handles.” Handles is designed to be used in first grade as a way in helping boys & girls understand how counselors help people. The activity has a corresponding video to be used at the onset of the lesson and should be narrated aloud. There are two videos to choose from. The only difference between the two videos is gender related in terms of the counselors identified in each video.

I have been assigned a middle school and four elementary feeder sites this school year. Having a mental health curriculum in place is a huge benefit over a period of time. Many of my students in 8th grade still recall activities we’ve done in their classrooms since first grade! The continuity of having kids participate in mental health throughout their school years makes future transitions into counseling much smoother. With a counseling foundation already in place, the therapeutic journey of taking a student from point A (problem/crisis) to point Z (appropriate coping) allows counselors the luxury sometimes of taking short cuts.

Be sure to contact me if you have any questions about the materials on the website or book. I’m always glad to support your cause. Continued Success & Many Blessings~

Dr. Nick

October 2011-March 2012


What a great school year I’m having! Lots of schools and lots of kids=) I’ve been super busy at the middle school (grades 6-8) and the four elementary schools I provide counseling services to. The real challenge is just keeping up with the schedule of knowing where to be and when.

I want you to be aware of a format change to the website. The section previously known as Notes is being relabeled as Fifty More Steps. Fifty More Steps is designed to provide mental health practitioners (school counselors in particular) with activities that promote and support mental health in the classroom. The mental health activities have been categorized into suggested grade level use beginning with First grade and ending with High School activities. Separation of the activities into these categories is intended to provide practitioners with a sense of curriculum to follow during the course of the year. That is, the curriculum approach may make it easier for the clinician to keep track of the activities he/she has already used and largely prevents duplication of the materials to students who have had that lesson (seen the show) in an earlier grade. Although, sometimes it’s worthwhile to repeat an activity because some kids (people) “don’t get it” the first time! (Maybe that’s why I like re-runs so much!)

You will also notice the Fifty More Steps section contains a Miscellaneous Category as well as a Video Support Library. The videos in the library are designed to either be part of an activity and or used to supplement particular activities. Currently, activities incorporating videos have built in links to Youtube.

To date Fifty Steps Closer has had over 260,000 visitors with daily downloads of backpacks, classroom mental health activities with both paperback and ebook orders. Thank you=)

I’m taking a break from presenting at conferences. I’m not much of a traveler you know. However, I am looking into becoming a continuing education provider and turning the Fifty More Steps materials into a formalized curriculum that allows counselors, psychologists and other people in the mental health field the opportunity to obtain credit towards their license. I’ll let you know how that process goes! Many Blessings & Continued Success in all you do~

Dr. Nick

July-September 2011

Greeting Friends!

Hope everyone had a good summer away from school, classes and work. To recap, I presented at conferences in San Antonio and Las Vegas during the summer. I had a really great time and met many of our mental health colleagues from various parts of the country. Conference attendees were pleased as they voiced satisfaction with the Fifty Steps Closer materials through the program sessions.

I worked in Prison again this summer (that’s five years now) providing mental health services to the inmates in need. It’s a good job and largely a good fit for me when all is said and done. As you can guess the prison environment by design is “Spartan” at best and interpersonally toxic. The mental health team has the everyday challenge to interject sunshine, hope & healing into the prison environment yet it requires a ton of courage, persistence & determination to deliver because of the overwhelming oppressive nature of the place. I’m always in awe and totally impressed by the amount of Hope my mental health correctional colleagues bring on a daily basis to the gentlemen within the walls of facility.

New mental health materials were developed over the course of the spring/summer and received a “road test” in several dozen classrooms this fall. The activities surviving the “crowd pleasers” criteria have been placed in the Notes section for your immediate classroom use. As time permits, check out the new additions: Flashback, Hoops & BRT. Flashback deals with memories and experiences clients prefer to forget and it also has a video link to Youtube on the internet. BRT (But Reduction Treatment) is a Powerpoint presentation that deals with helping clients learn how to reduce, trim and eliminate their “BUTs” when it comes to completing responsibilities/goals of daily living. I’ve also made a Youtube music video version of the BRT activity that can be found on Youtube to supplement the lesson. The Hoops activity is about group/mass movement and personal responsibility when moving from place to place on school campus with large groups of people. The activity is designed/written for third grade implementation but has a range from 2nd to 6th grade.

The Fifty Steps Closer website has had over 210,000 visitors to date with lots of materials being downloaded for group and classroom use. Thank you so much for your use of the materials and all the notes of appreciation you’ve provided! In honor of your patronage and support, the e-book version of the 372 page book Fifty Steps Closer has been reduced to only $10.00. Check back in a couple months for new updates and mental health materials!

Dr. Nick

April - June 2011

Hi Friends!

I want to thank so many of you who have visited the website and have downloaded your selections of classroom activities and backpacks. 167,000 counselors and other mental health professionals can’t be wrong! I really enjoyed the Michigan School Counselor Conference in April. I was fortunate to present twice that day. Many thanks are given to the counselors attending the session and for those who purchased materials. Special thanks to my sister Julie and her family (Kent, Mia & Camille) for their hospitality and kindness. I had a great time Coenen family!

My school year ended before Memorial Day and I was glad to get to classrooms one more time with a new activity called “LOST.” The activity is designed to help boys & girls understand how counselors help people get a better handle on their losses in life. The activity is a crowd pleaser largely because the content of the lesson is disguised up until near the very end. By that time the kids are into the activity so much that when the real purpose of the lesson is revealed, it creates a moment of revelation for many of them. Be careful though, this moment of revelation also causes some students to spontaneously shed private tears in a very public place.

I’m off to prison again for the summer (talk about shedding tears!) I’ll work for eight weeks as a psychologist with incarcerated adults. Among other things, it gives me a chance to better understand their relationships with their kids. It’s my hope that this understanding will help me be more effective with many of the boys & girls I often work with. Fifty Steps Closer is being presented at conferences in both San Antonio and Las Vegas this summer! That’s the great news!!! The less than great news is that I have to travel to both places and I’m not so much for travel! Yikes!!! Stay well friends and continued Success & Blessings in all you do~

Dr. Nick

January - March 2011

Hello friends!

There are lots of activities going on and planned with the Fifty Steps Closer project. In January, a colleague and I provided a FSC presentation to the Bay Area Recreational Therapist Association in San Francisco, California. It was a great experience getting to share mental health activities and demonstrating how much of what we do as mental health professionals can be interwoven into other specialty fields of healthcare service. We received very good feedback and all those attending received hours towards their mandatory continuing education requirements.

I’m presenting a FSC skill building workshop at the Michigan School Counselor Conference scheduled for Monday, April 25th. I’m very excited to have two hours to present, demonstrate, encourage and be inspired by my colleagues in the school counseling profession. For more information on the Michigan conference go to:

In June I’ve been invited to present at the National Conference for Innovative Counseling Strategies in San Antonio, Texas. I’m scheduled for the 17th of June at 2:30. I think it’s going to be great! Great people, great programs, great conference…great fun! For more on that conference go to Hope to see you there! If you are unable to attend either conference and would like the FSC power point presentation, it will be available on this website under the Notes section.

I’ve added some new classroom mental health activities to the Notes section since December. Reflections, EzOrigami and Responsible Retaliation are the latest additions. Among other things, Reflections is intended to help students become aware of the frequent “disconnect” often seen between their decisions and their stated priorities and endorsed character traits. EzOrigami is designed to help students understand that everyone’s road to success is littered with obstacles but the difference between success and failure is in how we learn to turn (fold) our obstacles into our successes. Responsible Retaliation is largely a “pick–n-pull” of already existing resources. These materials were put together to create a program raising “Bullying Awareness” without intending to raise or create any new bullying issues. It’s put together as a series of five 10-15 minute sessions.

At the time of this writing the website visitation number is up over 130,000! Thank you for downloading and using all of the back backs and classroom mental health guidance activities. I feel it’s an honor to contribute to the work you do with kids as mental health professionals. I also appreciate your supportive comments and variety of questions regarding specific student (client) challenges that I receive through email. One special acknowledgement (shout-out!) to a school district in Nebraska for purchasing FSC books for their entire counseling department! Go Big Red!!!!

October - December 2010

Season’s Greetings Friends!

Life in the middle school this year has been a challenge! I’d forgotten about all the non direct student job requirements involved in middle school counseling!!! Too much time with transcripts, academic tracking and attendance issues take up time better used with kids. Still, it’s been a good year and I’m making the most of this opportunity. The student’s of middle school present with similar issues (family & friendship) as elementary kids do but their coping abilities and strategies are developmentally different. This makes for both greater and more restrictive interventions at times (kids are way more concerned about their image & reputations now in middle school!) I’ve added three new classroom guidance activities in the last couple months to the Notes Section. They are: Stuck, P.A.T. and Zingers, Ding Dongs and Ho Ho’s. The Stuck activity helps students understand how feelings of being trapped can lead to panic and then desperate behaviors. P.A.T. stands for Positive Attitude Training and it’s an activity that addresses sadness, depression, pessimism and optimism while encouraging the development of a positive attitude. Zingers, Ding Dongs and Ho Ho’s is a fun activity designed to help students understand how feelings of like, excitement and infatuation can be mistaken for love.

If you like the materials on the website, you may enjoy the book as well. You will notice that the book is available for purchase on the website in both paperback and e-book formats. The website has had over 103,000 visitors to date! October and November site visitation exceeded 25,000 hits! I appreciate the support from so many state associations that shared the Fifty Steps Closer website information with their members through their fall conferences. I’m really encouraged by the amount of materials being downloaded for use in groups and classrooms. I’m hoping to participate as a presenter and or sponsor in the Michigan School Counselor Association in April and the Innovative Counseling Strategies Conference this summer in San Antonio. Both conferences will be exceptional in content and very well organized. Wishing you all the very best of the holiday season!

Dr. Nick

June – September 2010

In recent years I’ve been working my summers as a psychologist in a nearby California prison. This summer was no different. I learn a lot while I’m working with my colleagues, custody staff and more importantly, the inmates. Most of the inmates I work with never graduated from high school and many dropped out of school by the time they were 16 years of age. So, it’s not surprising that in a counseling group setting, it feels like I’m working with junior high kids. No disrespect intended it’s just that many of these gentlemen missed out on some traditional experiences growing up and need to catch up emotionally, socially, mentally and behaviorally. Several new activities have been added to the Notes section on this website since last spring and each of those originated from my work this summer with the fathers, uncles, cousins and brothers of the students we work with in our school systems. Specifically, those activities are: The Shoe Box, 3-D and Illusions. The Shoe Box is an activity about developing character and keeping it in a time capsule as you would a treasure. 3-D is an activity on how counselors help people create a perspective on current as well as past issues. And finally, Illusions is a crowd pleasing activity that represents how counselors help students learn how to look closely at the people they are inclined to call friends and spend their time with.

I’m working with boys & girls in a middle school this year and that gives me an opportunity to help assist those kids with advanced social, emotional and family issues. Fifty Steps Closer is participating in several autumn school counseling conferences including those in: Delaware, Maryland, Idaho, Nebraska, Utah, Ohio, North Carolina, Indiana and New Jersey with the possibility of even a few more during November. Congratulations and good luck to all of you attending those conferences. The programs look terrific and the keynote speakers will be dynamic! Also, visitors to the Fifty Steps Closer website continue to download backpacks and lesson plans for school use on a daily basis. The book is now available on the website in both paperback and e-book formats. Check the website periodically as additional classroom guidance activities are placed frequently under the Notes section.

Dr. Nick

April - May 2010

The book Fifty Steps Closer; Group Counseling Guide in Reflections of School-Aged Boys & Girls has been making some progress in the worlds of school counseling and school psychology. Website visits are over 70,000 since the publication of the book and visitors to the website have been downloading backpacks and classroom guidance activities at a steady rate! For first time website visitors, the Notes section not only reflects activities that Dr. Nick shares with colleagues at conferences, but they’re also the same materials he uses for classroom guidance activities in each of his ten schools. In the last few months, Fifty Steps Closer has supported school counseling conferences in Kansas, Delaware, and most recently in Pennsylvania. It’s always great to hear from our colleagues in various regions across the United States and Canada! I enjoy sharing information with colleagues and would like to extend an offer to come to your state association and present the Fifty Steps Closer Program. I’ve presented in ten states to date and hope for the opportunity to present in all fifty states eventually!

My respect and admiration of counselors and psychologists continues to grow as the demands of our jobs increase in the wake economic hardships to our schools. Here in the central valley of California, several of my counseling colleagues have been given “pink slips” or notification that their jobs will not be available for the upcoming 2010-2011 school year. Those of us remaining in counseling positions are doing more and more with fewer resources available to us. Let’s encourage and support one another in keeping counseling at the top of our ever growing list of things to do. Providing general classroom guidance, addressing specific issues designed for group work, and crisis intervention are our top priorities. As the school year comes to a close, I hope you’ll finish strong. Take care of your kids while you still have the opportunity to do so. Take care of yourselves too. I’d like to thank everyone for your support of Fifty Steps Closer this past year and let me encourage you to visit the website during the summer for updates on conferences and new classroom guidance activities.

Dr. Nick

February - March 2010

The last few months have been busy with the book. The conference in Las Vegas had a tremendous turn out. I was glad to have a full room of counselors to present to for the Fifty Steps Closer program. People seemed receptive to the activities and certainly could relate to the ideas guiding the activities too! I want to thank all of those counselors who so graciously participated in the session=) I’ve been in contact with several dozen graduate school psychology programs in the last few months. The book has been requested for review by nearly forty school psych programs! To date, the book has been sent to over two hundred school counseling and psychology programs for consideration as a text, recommended reader, or practicum guide. New classroom guidance activities are being added to the News section on the website menu list often. As time permits, check out this section and remember these activities are the ones I refer to as “crowd pleasers.” These activities seem to get student’s attention and help them remember how counselors can of service throughout their lives. As spring takes hold, let me encourage everyone to stay well and continue to reach out to as many kids as possible. We do make a difference!

Dr. Nick

October 2009 - January 2010

It’s been a very good school year up to this point: lots of kids being counseled in classrooms, small groups, and individually. Having ten schools is a bit of an organizational feat, however, I believe after several years I’m finally getting it together. I’d like to thank the following state counseling associations for their support of Fifty Steps Closer in the last few months: New York, Utah, Maryland, and Michigan. Those were all tremendous conferences with great turn outs. The conferences I presented at in Nebraska and Idaho were both outstanding as well! Well organized, lots of good presenters and many, many, supportive counselors. I’m really pleased with the amount of positive feedback and number of requests I've received for the book as a result of those conferences! Here at the end of January, I’ll be presenting in Las Vegas at the Nevada State School Conference. I’m really excited for this opportunity to share materials with our colleagues in Nevada. I’ve got some old favorites and some new activities to share. Hopefully I’ll be able to do my part in making the conference a great success for all those attending. In regards to the website, I’ve added several new lesson plans to the Notes section. Feel free to look the Notes section over for possible activities you may like to conduct with your students. All activities are geared to increase student awareness of mental health professionals and how we are able to help students of all ages for a variety of concerns. As time permits, feel free to check out the video I placed on both this website and on You tube. If you go to the you tube site, type in fifty steps closer. I hope you’ll enjoy the video. I think it speaks towards what we do as counselors.

May – September 2009

The spring and summer have passed by so quickly! Some good news about the book and related topics: *The book has been requested for review by over 100 colleges & universities in the past year. *Website hits have exceeded 52,000! *More conferences have been planned for the fall.

I’ve been in contact with many school counseling department faculty and chairpersons in the last 12 months. I’m thankful that so many faculty members have been receptive towards considering Fifty Steps Closer as a supplemental reader, practicum guide, or as a text in their counseling programs. It’s been interesting to hear from staff members about their various counseling programs and how the book is being, and or being considered for use. Since the website has been up and running, there have been over 50,000 visitors who have checked out the on-line materials! Many of those are first time viewers. However, many more have been using the book and downloading backpacks and lesson plans from the Notes section. More counseling lesson plans will be added as the school year progresses. Remember, I’m only adding the tried & true classroom activities known as “crowd pleasers” to the list of materials.

September, October, and November are going to be busy months for the book. I’m presenting at the Nebraska Counseling Association conference in Omaha on the 18th of September. I’ll be in Nampa, Idaho presenting at the Idaho State School Counselor’s Conference in early October and back to Nebraska a few weeks later to present at the Nebraska School Counselor Academy in Lincoln! I’m not so much for traveling however, at least it’s not too dark or cold out yet =) The book will also be represented at several other conferences in November in the form of promotional flyers and exhibit books. November appears to be a popular month for our colleagues to get together, share information and be supportive of not only one another but our profession.

As for me, I’d spent my summer in prison! That is, I worked as a psychologist in the California department of corrections. This marked my third 11 week summer of being a prison psychologist. I continue to learn many things from these experiences, particularly as it involves understanding people, their goals, values, and lifestyle choices. So, taking what I’ve learned so far from the CDC and applying to my position as school counselor, my modest goals for the year are quite simple: *Help keep kids connected to their schools. *Encourage/promote an unwavering standard of “Right Behavior and Right Choices.” *Be visible and enthusiastically active and involved with kids in classrooms, groups, and 1:1. Continued Success and many blessings throughout the school year!

Dr. Nick

March & April 2009

It has been a busy couple of months with the book and website. In the last two months the website has been visited by over 11,000 viewers! Wow! I need to thank everyone for looking at the website and sharing it with our colleagues. In that same time period, approximately a dozen graduate school counseling programs have taken up the offer of receiving a complimentary copy of the Fifty Steps Closer book for review as a potential resource for the students in their respective programs. In the last two months the book has been promoted by the following state counseling conferences: Virginia, Delaware, Montana, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota. I’ve been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with some really supportive people in each of those organizations. I appreciate their efforts in having provided book promotional flyers to each conference attendee as well as displaying a sample of the book for all to see.

In May, I’ll be presenting at the Texas state school counseling conference. I’m very excited and proud not only to be a presenter, but also a representative of California. I’ve been told that the Texas conference is always a great success and the people in Austin are as friendly as they come. It’s going to be a quick trip; arrive on Monday the fourth, present on the 5th, and fly out later that day. I’m not much of a traveler, however the honor of having been selected to present is greater than my anxiety and the hassle of traveling. The website continues to be updated. I’ve added some new materials under the “Notes” section. The new materials include activities I’ll be presenting and or have recently presented at conferences. So for example, instead of having to take notes while attending one of my sessions, all you’ll need to do is go to the website and download the notes! I hope this not only proves to be a time saver and convenience for conference attendees but that it may also allow attendees to enjoy and participate in the sessions even more.

I’m also very appreciative and thankful for the new book review provided by Dr. Albert Ciri of Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts. I’m really pleased to hear that so many counseling interns are finding the materials to be a practical and insightful resource in the development of their school counseling programs. Once again friends, thank you so much for all the support you’ve shown in your use of the book and website materials. Remember to check back every now and then for updated news, notes, and lesson plans.

Dr. Nick

January & February 2009

Since the release of Fifty Steps Closer: Group Counseling Guide in Reflections of School-Aged Boys & Girls in the spring of 2008, I’ve been busy sharing! I’m been blessed to have been selected to present material from the book at several state counseling conferences including North Dakota, Minnesota, and twice in California! North Dakota was freezing in February of 08!!! I now have a much better appreciation for the term “wind chill factor” having been Bismark for a weekend of winter weather. The people, however, were kind, polite, friendly, and warm hearted. The Minnesota conference held in May of 08 was tremendous as well and much warmer. Lots of exhibitors, enthusiastic counselors, and I also spent some time with a special person or two. In November of 08 I presented at the California School Conference held in Disney Land. What a great conference and cool place to be! It was a long drive but I really had a great time and the people were incredibly kind and gracious. I should have brought more books and my swim goggles!!!

2009 is off to a good start too: my kids are in high school, doing really well and growing faster than I’d like. The book is being used in several graduate programs across the United States. Several state conference committees are currently reviewing my presenter proposals for potential presentations in the spring and fall. In February, the states of Nevada, Hawaii, North Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin have school counseling conferences underway. I feel fortunate to have provided those conferences with Fifty Steps Closer materials to share with our colleagues in attendance. There’s also a Leadership conference in Murfreesboro, Tennessee for School administrators and counselors who are being supplied information on Fifty Steps Closer. To top it all off, the Fifty Steps Closer website is receiving a bit of a make over too.

Thanks for all the support over the past 9 months and feel free to contact me with any questions, suggestions, or ideas you have on the materials. Know also that I wish the best for you and your families as the year unfolds. I also wish you continued success & many blessings in all you do for kids. Home Author The Book Table of Contents Backpacks Reviews Fifty More Steps SIS News Buy Contact *NEW*


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