Abstract for: Systems Thinking in Psychological Counseling: A Pilot Study in a Middle School

A pilot study has been carried out to explore how to increase self-awareness in middle school students experiencing academic difficulties in 7th grade by exposing mental models with systems thinking tools in guidance and psychological counseling. School counselors play a vital role in shaping student behavior by interacting with various systems and using stock-flow diagrams to visualize mental models during activities. By exposing mental models using these visualization tools, students can change their behavior due to changes in their mental models. The study used brainstorming and input from 7th-grade teachers to create a conceptual model to identify the elements that facilitate or impede learning. Weekly studies were conducted with volunteer students to explain systems thinking, relate stories to the model, and write stories. Behavior Over Time Graphs (BOTG) were prepared about the elements that affect the flows in the model and interpreted by the students. Students were asked to write stories about the skills that affect their academic success. Overall, the pilot study shows that the systems thinking approach has the potential to improve the effectiveness of counseling interventions and contribute to the development of the field of psychological counseling.