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Adolescent divorce group

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  1. Introduction
  2. Four session outlines
    1. Session 1 (To establish ground rules)
    2. Session 2 (To bring out emotions surrounding the divorce)
    3. Session 3 (To explore members' thoughts and feelings about marriage and relationships)
    4. Session 4 (To teach members how to view the divorce as a learning experience)
  3. Marketing and screening
  4. Divorce affects everyone
  5. Theory
  6. Consent
    1. Purposes and goals of this group
    2. Group services
    3. Confidentiality
    4. Risks of the group
    5. Outcome survey
  7. Problem solving
  8. References

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. [...]

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