I realized after writing my January post on academic achievement groups, that I didn’t really have a post on group counseling, in general. So, here we are!
Defining the Counseling Group
School counseling groups are generally psychoeducational in nature. Psychoeducational groups are led by a mental health professional, such as a school counselor, who helps members gain information and develop skills for challenging situations through education-based techniques.
Setting Up Your Groups
This week I started planning for my own group counseling which will start in two weeks. The planning process to get my groups up and running is a bit lengthy as there is just so much to do! Check out my Group Prep Checklist to keep track of all the tasks. I will be running four groups this semester: a Social Skills Lunch Bunch, Culture Explorers (two separate sessions for different age groups), and a Boys Group. Below is a short description of each one.
Some Counseling Groups to Run
Social Skills Lunch Bunch- This group meets weekly with students who suffer from lunchtime stress or who need some help building up their social skills. In group, students bring their lunches and a friend (if they want) to play games with the group members in the counseling office. I use the group interactions to address any social skills issues that come up while games playing, eating, etc. For more on the phenomenon of lunchtime stress, check out this CBS News Youtube video.
Goals Make the Man- This group also meets weekly to discuss various issues that adolescent boys struggle with such as friendships, anti-bullying strategies, conflict resolution, the masculine stereotype, and more. We use group strategies such as role plays, art projects, and games. Check out this post that gives lots of details on the specifics of my boys’ group.
Culture Explorers- This group is for students who are new the the USA (1st year Newcomers). We use the Culture Explorers curriculum to help them adapt to American life with weekly activities focusing on the cultural values, laws/rules, holidays, and traditions of America and American schools.
So, those are the groups I am running this semester. As the school year progresses, I’ll be sharing some ideas and resources on each group. In addition, my colleagues will be running stress/anger management groups (bilingual), girl empowerment groups, changing families groups, and more, so I’ll be commenting on those as well.
That brings us to the end of February’s counseling post. Catch up with me again next month when I discuss Growth Mindset as it relates to school counseling! Please leave a comment because I’d love to hear about your experiences in working with counseling groups.