A lot of things go on behind Mr. Kuczynski’s doors . . . shouting, crying, talking, finger-pointing, and yes, the door slamming. Students, families, teachers, friends, enemies—they all contribute to the often complicated and heart-wrenching drama that plays out in hearts and minds behind those closed doors. Sometimes the stories turn out poorly, but sometimes they end in unimaginable joy.
Kuczynski’s goal in writing this book is not to create a “reality show in a book,” but to use the stories that have unfolded before him as a teaching opportunity. It is to engage teenagers mentally and emotionally so that they develop better choice-making skills and cultivate their ability to succeed despite seemingly unsurmountable obstacles and challenges.
In Behind the Counselor’s Door, Kuczynski opens the doors just enough for us to peer into the cauldron of emotional turmoil within and experience some of the events of his many years of high school counseling: family chaos, the regret of a one-night-stand, the mind-erasing effects of partying too hard, an unexpected pregnancy, and the crushing impact of drugs and alcohol. And, of course, there are still the suicides, the abuses, peer pressure and more to confront. Yet, this is not a book about just the dark side of life and it’s not about making lemonade out of lemons, either. It’s about finding the seeds, planting a tree and making lemonade for the rest of life.
Teenagers will empathize with the trials and tribulations in the students’ stories, but behind those doors are also ingre- dients for making life a success: perseverance, achievement, inspiration, accomplishment, affirmation, self-confidence, and so much more. When teenagers take the journey with Mr. Kuczynski, don’t be surprised when they come back people of character and conviction, ready to climb mountains and achieve greatness.