Adolescents and Counseling

Topics: Psychotherapy, Psychology, Wilfred Bion Pages: 7 (2202 words) Published: June 16, 2011
Adolescents in Group Counseling
Many children and adolescents face developmental or situational difficulties in areas where they live most of their meaningful experiences—at home, at school, and in the community. While adults who struggle with life events and stressors may look to professional help, young individuals are quite alone in coping with these situations. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most children and adolescents typically do not seek such help, and often resist it when offered. (Shectman, 2006). Adolescents who have a difficult time managing their emotions, such as anger, are often put together in a group setting to help change this behavior. A few of themes for group counseling may include, but not limited to: coping with death or grief, family change (divorce, separation, and adoption), obsessive-compulsive, chemical dependency, anxiety and depression and more. Therapeutic factors in children’s groups

Much like Yalom’s factors, the same therapeutic factors are used in group therapy with adolescents. They include the following (Yalom, 2005): •Universality
The recognition of shared experiences and feelings among group members and that these may be widespread or universal human concerns, serves to remove a group member's sense of isolation, validate their experiences, and raise self-esteem •Altruism

The group is a place where members can help each other, and the experience of being able to give something to another person can lift the member's self esteem and help develop more adaptive coping styles and interpersonal skills. •Instillation of hope

In a mixed group that has members at various stages of development or recovery, a member can be inspired and encouraged by another member who has overcome the problems with which they are still struggling. •Imparting information

While this is not strictly speaking a psychotherapeutic process, members often report that it has been very helpful to learn factual information from other members in the group. For example, about their treatment or about access to services. •Corrective recapitulation of the primary family experience Members often unconsciously identify the group therapist and other group members with their own parents and siblings in a process that is a form of transference specific to group psychotherapy. The therapist's interpretations can help group member’s gain understanding of the impact of childhood experiences on their personality, and they may learn to avoid unconsciously repeating unhelpful past interactive patterns in present-day relationships. •Development of socializing techniques

The group setting provides a safe and supportive environment for members to take risks by extending their repertoire of interpersonal behavior and improving their social skills •Imitative behavior

One way in which group members can develop social skills is through a modeling process, observing and imitating the therapist and other group members. For example, sharing personal feelings, showing concern, and supporting others. •Cohesiveness

It has been suggested that this is the primary therapeutic factor from which all others flow. (Piper, 2007). Humans are herd animals with an instinctive need to belong to groups, and personal development can only take place in an interpersonal context. A cohesive group is one in which all members feel a sense of belonging, acceptance, and validation. •Existential factors

Learning that one has to take responsibility for one's own life and the consequences of one's decisions. •Catharsis
Catharsis is the experience of relief from emotional distress through the free and uninhibited expression of emotion. When members tell their story to a supportive audience, they can obtain relief from chronic feelings of shame and guilt. •Interpersonal learning

Group members achieve a greater level of self-awareness through the process of interacting with others in the group, who give feedback on the member's...
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