Discussion Responses

**DQ#1** **Darren E** RE: Boundaries and Rules Hello class and Professor The writer believes that the boundaries and group rules should be designed to keep the adolescents and the group safe. Safety should comes first when working with clients, and is does not matter if they are adults or adolescents. The type of rule that the writer believes a counselor should practice is to establish the rules of the group in the beginning before the group sessions begin. According to ACA, (2014) states that clinically there is a duty to ensure the safety of the members. The rules that the counselor set should always be in the mindset of keeping all members of the group safe. According to Ackerman, (2020) states that to maintain confidentiality is essential that everything said in group therapy stay amongst the group no outside conversation about what happened or said in group. This is for the group members as well as the counselor. Failing to abide to this rule can undermine trust within the group members, and hinder members’ attempts to heal (Ackerman, 2020). Safety should safety should be and what is shared in group stays in group and definitely not talked about on social media, because what if one of the adolescents in the group has an order of protection through social services from one of their family members, and the family member did not know their whereabouts. Talking about group members can allow somebody to hear and spread gossip to others which will allow other adolescents to know the vulnerability of the group members, also talking outside of group and social media can alert the family member to be able to find their location and possibly cause them harm. Another group rule that the counselor should establish with the group is to respect everyone in the group at all times no matter how a member might feel about group or other members. Being disrespectful can cause some members to feel intimidated, and this can cause members to be fearful and scared to share with the group and this can cause them not to grow in their healing process. If the group leader allows adolescents to express themselves physically instead of verbally can really put fear in some of the other group members. The goals of the group are to get the adolescents to a point of trust so they will be willing to participate in the group activities to be able to grow in their process. According to Ackerman, (2020) states that Communicate with words, not actions could be considered the exact opposite of the standard advice story tellers receive: “Show, don’t tell!” People have different reactions to physical contact, so expressing yourself through words instead of physical actions is an important rule to follow. According to Ferentz, (2015) states that “although it might seem obvious, it is worth taking the time to oversee the idea that creating a context of emotional and physical safety during group therapy sessions with adolescents is paramount. It is a key component in building a trusting relationship ensuring that the group process is reparative rather than retraumatizing. One of the foundamental ways that we can help the adolescents distuingish the past from their present is to give them the sustained and predictable experience of feeling safe. In their past often nothing felt safe, not even at home where they should be safe and protected, in the present they have a voice and, therefore, more control over the degree to which situations and their relationships are safe for them. According to the ACA. (2014) states that the code of ethics say counselors/therapists must state the rules and limitations around the use of social media. Specifically from the ACA code of ethics, “Counselors clearly explain to their clients, as part of the informed consent procedure, the benefits, limitations, and boundaries of the use of social media” (American Counseling Association, 2014, pg. 18). These rules are going right back to protecting the safety of all adolescents that are members of that group. It’s the counselor responsibility to put in place the rules for the group to follow, and again keep everyone safe, and if any member do not want to respect the rules for safety, they should be removed from the group in a humble fashion not to hurt anyone’s feelings. According to Pattemore, (2021) states that many people know what the word “boundaries” means, but they have no idea what they are. A person might think of boundariesas something like a property line or “brick wall” that are used to keep people on the other side. Boundaries are not rigid lines drawn in the sand that are clear for all to see. Boundaries are a way to take of ourselves. When you understand how to set and maintain healthy boundaries, you can avoid the feelings of resentment, disappointment, and anger that build up when limits have been pushed. Boundaries can take many forms. They can range from being rigid and strict to appearing almost nonexistent. A person with healthy boundaries understands that making their expectations clear helps in two ways: it establishes what what behavior you will accept from other people, and it establishes what behavior other people can expect from you (Pattemore, 2021). Setting boundaries will help the group to develop a respectful and caring relationship between the counselor and the group, but also between the group members. Reference: Ackerman, C. (2020) Your ultimate group therapy guide (+ Activities & Topic Ideas) https://positivepsychology.com American Counseling Association. (2014). ACA Code of Ethics. Retrieved February 16, 2021, from https://www.counseling.org/Resources/aca-code-of- ethics.pdf Ferentz, L. (2015). The need for safety in therapy, part one. www.pyschologytoday.com Pattemore, C. (2021). 10 ways to build and preserve better boundaries. https://www.psychcentral.com Isabela R RE: Boundaries and Rules Dr. Nichols and class, According to Berg, Fall, & Landreth (2013) adolescence stage development is characterized by conflict, questioning of values, array of choices, confusing physiological changes, and an overwhelming need for approval by peers. Many adolescents may feel they are alone in their struggles and strive to seek approval from others while also struggling with independence-dependence relationships. This stage of development has a huge amount of peer pressures and individuals can even begin to question their values and traditions when influenced by friends. Therefore, adolescence is an appropriate time to use group counseling to process individual’s feelings of isolation, change, and decision-making (Berg, Fall, & Landreth, 2013). Because adolescents have a strong need for peer approval, group counseling is an excellent manner to addresses concerns and challenges because it provides a supportive atmosphere where they are able to feel safe enough to risk sharing their concerns. However, it is important to set boundaries and rules at the beginning of group in order to avoid any issues in the future. First and foremost, this writer believes confidentiality is of the upmost importance—members and group leaders need to be bound both ethically and legally to not disclose the contents of the sessions in any manner that could potentially identify members of the group. This if for the trust and safety of each group member involved and also includes the use of social media outside the group. Group members need to be aware of the seriousness of this rule and the consequences involved if it is violated. Another important rule this writer feels needs to be enforced is no cell phones or other electronic devices during group sessions. This writer would ask members to turn off their phones before sessions begin in order to avoid confidentiality complications, distractions, and other issues. Learning to set and maintain boundaries during group is an important aspect because it helps foster relationships that are supportive and respectful and can help members make more positive therapeutic change (Price-Mitchell, 2019). However, during adolescence, individuals face a lot of issues and choices and sometimes boundaries can be crossed without any malice involved. For example, there may be group members who speak their mind in a way that is disrespectful and offends other members in the group and violates emotional boundaries. These issues can include sexuality, self-identity, values/beliefs, obesity, and more. It is important for the counselor to help adolescents become more aware of themselves, others, and their environment and how their words can hurt others. Another boundary issue that is likely to arise in group counseling with adolescents is the use of social media. Nowadays, social media is a big part of individual’s lives, especially adolescents. It is the way they express themselves, communicate with others, and can even be part of their self-identity. Therefore, as relationships develop in group, members may be tempted to reach out to members through social media outside of group sessions and this can easily interfere with confidentiality. This writer would find it challenging to enforce the first rule outside of group; therefore, it would be important to keep reminding members of group rules. References Berg, R. C., Fall, K. A., & Landreth, G. L. (2013). Group Counseling : Concepts and Procedures: Vol. 5th ed. Routledge. Price-Mitchell, M. (2019). Teach your teen to set emotional boundaries. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-moment… **DQ#2 Josseline R** RE: Resistance Building trust is an important aspect of establishing a therapeutic relationship. Since adolescents usually joining group therapy because their parents, teachers, or the court system obligated them to, resistance is expected (Berg, Fall, and Landreth, 2013). Counselors should not only expect resistance but also roll with it, meaning that counselors should accept the resistance and work through these issues with the clients. Counselors can build trust with resistant adolescents in a few different ways. Counselors can use the pre-screen interview as a time to get to know the client and help them find a reason for being in the group (Berg et al., 2013). Additionally, counselors should not try to be cool, instead, they should go slow (Berg et al., 2013). There are counselors that try to act cool in order to get the adolescent members to see him as different from every other adult, but adolescents see through this (Berg et al., 2013). Counselors should relax and take it slow, give adolescents some time to explore the topic, and allow the group to process at a deep level (Berg et al., 2013). Lastly, activities have been found to work well within group settings however they should be chosen wisely since they can have a big impact on the group if processed correctly (Berg et al., 2013). Two additional concerns that this writer has working with adolescents are confidentiality and building rapport. Confidentiality is important for the therapeutic relationship and adolescents have the right to privacy (National Association of Social Workers, 2003). However, there are federal, state, and local legal requirements that override confidentiality; counselors can share information only with the informed and signed consent of the youth, family, or both (NASW, 2003). Additionally, confidentiality cannot be maintained if there is suspicion of child abuse or neglect or suspicion of danger to the youth or to others (NASW, 2003). This is a concern because some adolescents may fear the repercussion of disclosing information and will not do so and this writer fears that it will break the therapeutic alliance. Building rapport is important for the therapeutic process so this writer is concerned that she may fail to do so with adolescents that are very resistant. References Berg, R. C., Fall, K. A., & Landreth, G. L. (2013). _Group Counseling : Concepts and Procedures: Vol. 5th ed_. Routledge. National Association of Social Workers. (2003). Standards for the practice of social work with adolescents. Washington, DC: Author. **Larisa L** RE: Resistance Resistance is any conscious or, more often, unconscious attitude on the part of the patient that conflicts with the goals of therapeutic treatment. The exploration of mental areas involving intrapsychic conflicts generates anxiety or depressive experiences. Resistance can be manifested in the fact that the patient does not think of anything that could be said, or he avoids certain topics, or he begins to talk on general topics (including psychoanalytic theory), or the patient is constantly irritated by the psychoanalyst, or falls in love with him, or is constantly late, or forgets about sessions, or suddenly quits psychoanalysis (Fusu, 2016). According to Freud, the patient avoids analyzing anything, because he wants to escape from some painful or unacceptable feeling. Initially, Freud saw resistance as a simple opposition to the authority of the psychoanalyst. When Freud realized that resistance is a defense against the identification of forgotten (repressed) memories, and the experiences associated with them, which expressed in symptoms, he emphasized the recognition and interpretation of resistance as the main task of psychoanalytic technique. Since that time, resistance analysis, including transference analysis, has become central to psychoanalytic techniques (Fusu 2016). Gregory (2015) has led therapists who have worked with adolescents for many years. He argues that adolescents are a difficult group to treat. He often heard the phrases, “I don’t need to be here”, and “This is stupid” and “Let’s get this over with.” According to Gregory (2015), few adolescents come to therapy voluntarily. Because most come to therapy at the request of parents / guardians, officials and government agencies who work with minor students. Some adolescents feel that they forced to attend therapy. Gregory (2015) writes that one teenager came to his first group therapy with headphones in his ears and a smartphone glued to his hand. He told the therapist “they can get me to come, but they cannot get me to participate.” The teenager was right, that no one could force him. The author writes that most adolescent clients are reluctant to participate in therapy. He notes that engaged clients are more likely to benefit from group therapy. The therapist’s job is to establish contact and maintain interaction with clients. Gregory (2015) argues that adolescents can be seduced into participating, but not forced, and in his work to engage clients in therapy, he uses creative measures that specifically designed to meet the needs of adolescents. Gregory (2015) shares his experience and writes that boredom is the biggest enemy of teenagers because they want to have fun. The author describes a substance use group for adolescents, in which they will receive information about the negative effects of substance use. To this end, the doctors of the agency distributed to the teenagers several papers per group to discuss the material. Realizing that it would be boring for teenagers, he took the information and created quiz games. Gregory (2015) notes that the teens worked in groups. They answered questions about the legal, medical and psychological consequences of using psychoactive substances. He saw that teenagers love competition. Moreover, even a teenager (Cliff), who could not be forced to participate, got carried away and started shouting, “Lie, this must be a lie!” Gregory (2015) says he realized his clients were enjoying the conversation and absorbing the information. However, he notes that it is not necessary to create all the games yourself. Therapist can buy and use some of them according to their needs. For example, Grace Wilhelm, creator of Counselor Games, says she mixes counseling techniques with every day, familiar games. She recommends using pickup sticks to teach relationships or using Don’t Break the Ice to teach stress management. The likelihood that teens will actively participate in-group activities if they have fun and enjoyment (Gregory, 2015). References Gregory, A. (2015). Tackle teens’ resistance to group engagement. _Addition Professional_. https://www.psychcongress.com/article/tackle-teens-resistance-group-engagement Fusu, L. (2016). Presentation “Defense mechanisms in psychoanalysis”. Own notes. **DQ#3 Darren E** RE: Groups with Adolescents Hello class and Professor Working with adolescents can be challenging, especially in a group setting. Most adolescents struggle with identity crisis and trying to be apart of something. They want to do adults things, but at the same time when difficult times present itself, or when it is time to handle responsibilities they want someone else to take care of their situation for them. According to Berg, Landreth, & Fall, (2013) states that groups with adolescents tend to work best with group members around five to tenmembers. The smaller the group the more they will express their feelings openly and will differentiate the group from a class. The life of the group depends on the type of group as well as the setting. For example, facilitating a group with the topic being criminal thinking and behavior, instead of discussing the physical participation that the members have took part in, the counselor might get more cooperation if they have the group members to think about what happened that lead up to the action they committed. Trying to mix group members of different ages and different thought patterns that developed their actions and consequences, would be a hard or impossible task to be successful with. Unless a younger group member around the age of 13 was living the life of a group member around the age of 17 to get the members to recognize that they have similar thought patterns and behaviors. When talking about the length of time that the facilitator conduct their group should vary depending on the age group as well as gender, the age, and the maturity level of the group members. The facilitator should take in consideration that adolescents tension spand are not the same as adults. According to Berg, Landreth, & Fall, (2013) states that in general adolescent group sessions should last between an hour to an hour and ninety minutes. Anything less than an hour makes it very difficult for the adolescents to process their deep thoughts and feelings. Berg, Landreth, & Fall, (2013) expresses that when dealing with adolescents it may take up to ten minutes for them to get settled and focused on the group session, and at the end of the session it might take up to ten minutes for them to get ready to leave the group. Some members will sense that it is almost time to leave and get distracted. According to Watkins, (2015) states that skills used to have successful group sessions are; have psychoeducational groups to teach the teens about their issues, use skills development groups to help the teens use the skills necessary to break free from their issues, Cognitive- behavioral groups will encourage the teens to rearrange their thinking and actions that lead to their issues, support groups where the teens can get rid of excuses and support constructive change, interpersonal process groups to enable members to re-create their past and rethink their issues and the solutions that led to their issues. Having groups where the adolescnts have a common denominator can help the group to become successful, because of the identification they will have with each other. For example, if you have a group of teenagers the age of 13, and the discussion was about how would they feel about being neglected. This gtroup of teens with only five members will help each other to gain the courage to be honest with the group and themselves without worrying about somebody making fun of them. This group of teens will be able to think about their lives and if they were ever neglected in their past, and how the neglect made them feel. Once the facilitator help one group member to open up the other members will be willing to think about their life and share their feelings and thoughts with the group, and not be afraid to show their emotions like their peers. According to Berg, Landreth, & Fall, (2013) staes that role-playing can be an effective means of gaining practical experience of expressing their feelings. This informal here-and-now reality dramatization allows adolescents an opportunity to take on various roles and in the process to develop insight into how another person thinks, feels, and experiences. It is a learning-through-experiencing activity and thus and thus can have a significant impact on experience-prone teenagers. Role playing also afford teenagers the opportunity to practice their skills they have developed and is highly recommended communication with their parents, teachers, peers, siblings, and friends in their environment. Based on this information, this is a type of group that can definitely be effective with teens. Being able to help adolescents express themselves in the group setting will help them and other members to relax and become comfortable sharing with each other to help free themselves. According to Ackerman, (2020) states that it can be easy to slide into isolation when we are feeling down, especially for those suffering from an invisible illness or problem, but this is the exact opposite of the action that is most likely to help us climb out of that pit. Loneliness and isolation tend to bring more loneliness and isolation, but making the (often difficult or exhausting) effort to connect with others is just the thing we may need to start feeling better. As uncomfortable as it may sound, sometimes sharing difficult thoughts and feelings in a group setting can be extremely helpful in facilitating healing. “Some of the most comforting words in the universe are ‘me too’. That moment when you find out that your struggle is also someone’s elses struggle, that you are not alone, and that others have been down the same road.” Reference: Ackerman, C. (2020). Your ultimate group therapy guide (+Activities & Topic Ideas) www.positivepsychology.com Berg, C., Fall, A., & Landreth, L. (2013). _Group Counseling: Concepts and Procedures: Vol. 5th ed_. Routledge. Watkins, T. LMFT (2015). Group Counseling for Adolescents: knowledge and techniques for effective group leadership. https://dbhdid.ky.gov>ksaods[pdf] **Josseline R** RE: Groups with Adolescents Adolescence is a stage of development that is characterized by conflict, questioning of values, decisions, confusing physiological changes, and need of approval by peers (Berg, Fall, and Landreth, 2013). During this stage, many adolescents feel alone in their self-doubt so this stage is great for adolescents to utilize group counseling to deal with their feelings of isolation and other overwhelming factors in their life (Berg et al., 2013). Groups of five to ten members tend to work best with adolescents, though the smaller the group the greater feeling of intimacy which makes it seem less like a class (Berg et al., 2013). In general, adolescent session last between an hour to 90 minutes since it can take about 10 minutes for everyone to get settled and focused and another 10 to get ready to leave (Berg et al., 2013). Adolescents have a strong need for peer identification and approval so counseling is great because it gives them a safe space to risk sharing their concerns (Berg et al., 2013). Through group counseling, adolescents experience having other kids to relate to and realize that they can even be helpful to another person (Berg et al., 2013). An example of a group that would be acceptable for adolescents is a group that consists of 7 adolescents aged 11-14 that meet once a week for 80 minutes. This is acceptable because the group is small enough where all of the adolescents can get to know each other and feel close and the sessions give time for some small talk before and after sessions. The age group also doesn’t have a big age gap since the youth are between 11 and 14 years old and are likely to be in middle school. This gives the adolescents something to relate to and encourage support from one another in this transitioning period. This writer believes that a 13-year-old is not suitable for a group that consist of eight 17-year-olds because not only are they at different stages of their lives but the 13 year old may feel isolated in group. Some challenges that a counselor can face when providing group therapy to adolescents is resistance and disclosure. Adolescents usually come to counseling as involuntary clients because of teachers, parents, or even the court system (Berg et al., 2013). Since they are coming to therapy as involuntary, more often than not they will be resistant to treatment so this can be a challenge for counseling (Berg et al., 2013). This writer would build a therapeutic relationship with the client in the beginning by getting to know the client and validating their feelings. Resistence should be expected so its best to take it one step at a time (Berg et al., 2013). Another challenge may be disclosure of personal information in therapy. This writer believes it can be a challenge because as mandated reports, we must report any disclosures of abuse or neglect of a child. This writer has had to make reports in the past and found that it can be difficult to regain the trust of a minor client due to the fact that they disclosed information that they did not want parents to know. This writer lets clients know at the beginning that this writer is a mandated reporter, what that means, and what this writer would do if a client shared information. References Berg, R. C., Fall, K. A., & Landreth, G. L. (2013). _Group Counseling : Concepts and Procedures: Vol. 5th ed_. Routledge.

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