In the United States, over one million children go through their parents' divorce each year (Rich, et. al., 2007). Divorce is very hard on children, and is a process that can go on for years, causing children to be more likely to engage in delinquent behaviors, and are more likely to display depressive symptoms (Franklin, Janoff-Bulman, & Roberts, 1990). In my personal experience, my parent's divorce contributed greatly to depression, anxiety, and a variety of relationship problems later in my life. Although I went through individual counseling for depression, I think more generalized counseling about how the divorce affected my everyday life and relationships would have been very helpful as well.
[...] among group members Activity: The leader will introduce a round activity where each member shares their name, how old they are, how old they were when their parents divorced, and one way that the divorce affects them today. (Time: 10-15 minutes) Following this round, the leader will choose a topic that was mentioned by several members and lead a discussion about it. The leader will be responsible for taking the members through different topics regarding how divorce affects their lives today, such as the parent-child relationship with the absent parent, feeling different from peers in intact families, or changes in their primary parent. [...]
[...] After five to ten minutes, the group will reconvene in a circle and discuss the imagined relationships or lack of relationships. Session 4 Goal: To teach members how to view the divorce as a learning experience by creating and setting goals to overcome the hardships the divorce has brought. Activity: After a review of the previous session, members will be given a piece of paper and a writing utensil. The leader will instruct the members to draw a timeline, beginning with the present time, and ending with the ideal situation discussed in the previous session, ten years in the future. [...]
[...] The leader can ask questions to specific members of the group to encourage talking from other members, ask for contribution from quieter members, or break the group into dyads. If these methods are not effective enough, the leader can directly point out the behavior to the member, ask for group feedback, or simply talk to the member in private. The method of choice will depend of course upon the group's current level of trust, and the member's emotional stability. In an adolescent group, it is likely that talking to the member privately would be best. [...]
[...] Consent Because the participants will be minors, their parents will be required to sign the following consent form: LDS Family Services Consent Form Purposes and goals of this group To create a safe and trusting environment for your teenager to discuss his or her feelings regarding divorce To resolve emotional concerns surrounding divorce To learn goal-setting skills, responsibility, and decision-making skills. Group Services Each week for four weeks, a group of adolescents will meet together for 1.5 hours to discuss issues surrounding divorce. [...]
[...] Confidentiality means that what is shared in the group stays with the group. The limits of confidentiality include: Threat of harm to self or others Disclosure of neglect or abuse of minor, elderly or handicapped persons. For purposes of supervision. An adolescent's thoughts and feelings will not be shared with his/her parents unless the limits of confidentiality are met. Risks of Group Participation in group has the potential to provoke uncomfortable feelings for your adolescent. The leader may recommend further counseling or help for your adolescent if he/she feels it would be beneficial. [...]
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