Support Groups for Children and Young Adults
These programs are designed to help children and young adults better understand their feelings and give voice to their emotions in healthy ways as a critical foundation for the healing process. Based on their age and emotional and developmental levels, the children and young adults are guided toward an understanding of what is happening in their worlds so they are able to separate situations that they cannot control from those that they can. As a result, they develop a realistic view of separation and divorce, as well as healthy communication and relationship-building skills, which help them realize a sense of peace and hope throughout their lives.
As part of the program, NFRC Counselors keep parents up to date on their child’s progress and offer advice and counsel on how to reinforce the lessons and coping skills their children are learning. In addition, parents are asked to participate in key sessions. As a result, parents are helped to better understand their children's needs and ways in which they can be supportive.
The Support Groups for Children and Young Adults consist of 10-12 weekly sessions and two additional multiple family sessions which include parents and significant others. Groups are offered twice a year. Each group includes approximately 10 participants, with group discussion and activities led by professional therapists and, when appropriate, NFRC-trained peer counselors.
Middle School Group
The middle school groups for preadolescent boys and girls, ages 11-13 meet for 1 hour and 30 minutes each week over a period of 12 weeks. The last two sessions are multiple family sessions in which one or both of their parents and, in some cases, siblings, extended family members, and stepparents participate.
Activities and topics for discussion are selected based on the developmental stage of children ages 11-13, who are beginning to acquire new cognitive and emotional skills in the midst of major physical maturation. Shared concerns of preadolescents typically lead to discussion about peer relationships, changing schools, and school performance.
The therapists draw upon a wide variety of techniques to meet the unique needs of each child in encouraging them to share their feelings. Techniques include:
- Group discussion
- Creative expressions such as poems, music, or art
- Interviewing parents to examine their relationship from the time they met to their decision to separate and divorce.
The curriculum and framework of the group allows children to:
- Develop skills for constructive, healthy communication
- Receive helpful feedback, support, and acceptance from peers
- Strengthen their trust in themselves and their relationships
- Test out new strategies for talking with a parent
Not sure if your child needs counseling? Click here for information on how to find out.