Separation_Divorce Group Plans.doc

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					                                                                                        BRANDI JACOBS
                                     Supporting Fifth Graders through the Transition of Separation/Divorce
                                                                                             July 17, 2009

       Daily reality, for many children, includes dealing with transitions related to the separation and/or

divorce of their parents. Hinders (2009), states that 49% of marriages end in divorce in the United States. As a

result of this, children are often forced to deal with the many complexities that accompany this family change.

“Parental separation for children often represents their first experience of transition in close relationships”

(Halpenny, Greene, & Hogan, 2008, p. 313). “Children of divorce are at increased risk for both current and

future adjustment problems” (Wood, Repetti, & Roesch, 2004, p. 122). Research has shown that children of

divorce can have increased external (e.g., aggression and disobedience) and internal (e.g., anxiety and

depression) behavior problems, and parent-child relationship problems (Wood et al., 2004). Divorce is best

described as a stressful process that can last for years. It includes many consecutive complications, not just one

single event. Some complications include changes in lifestyle, redefining roles and relationships, and

restructuring of living arrangements (Zubernis, Wright Cassidy, Gillham, Reivich, & Jaycox, 1999).

“Researchers have suggested that children of divorce are more likely to have problems at school and in

relationships as they mature” (DeLucia-Waack & Gerrity, 2001, p.273).

       Based on this data, helping children learn how to successfully understand and communicate their

thoughts and feelings, control their behavior, and focus on their future is imperative. Halpenny et. al. (2008)

suggests that three important messages have emerged from research regarding children’s perspectives on their

parents’ separation. First, children generally wish to be kept informed about what is occurring in their changing

family context. Second, they wish to have their perspectives/views heard and to be included in some of the

decision making that occurs postseparation. Finally, they desire to have workable yet flexible contact and

visitation with their parents. This research suggests that some children are better able to function when they

have knowledge of what is occurring during the family transition and when they are sometimes a part of the

decision making process. Of course children cannot be involved in all aspects of their parents’

separation/divorce but they may be able to work through this tough period better when they feel informed

instead of isolated.
       DeLucia-Waack & Gerrity (2001), list many benefits of effective group work with elementary school

children whose parents are divorcing. Some children stated that they did not want to upset their parents further

by talking about the divorce and found that being able to communicate in a safe environment was beneficial. It

helped them to be able to better understand what was happening within their family. Others were able to adapt

easier to their family transition just from having access to adequate information about what was occurring.

Some were able to reduce their feelings of isolation through contact with other peers who were experiencing

their same problems. Other children learned about the roles that they can play in affecting relationships in the

family and also demonstrated the ability to reflect upon and look towards their expectations for the future.

       The group plan that I have created will proactively focus on a couple of issues for students dealing with

separation/divorce. We will look at how they can grasp a better understanding of the transition that their family

is going through, positive ways to deal with stress, improving communication and problem solving skills, and

focusing on a positive future. These areas will hopefully help them improve their self confidence in dealing with

separation/divorce and in communicating with their parents about their concerns. Yet it will also be skills that

they will be able to use in the future when other problems arise. My four plans are working sessions. One

introduction session and one termination session would also be completed but they are not listed here.
                                                  References:



DeLucia-Waack, Janice L. & Gerrity, Deborah (2001). Effective Group Work for Elementary School-Age
       Children Whose Parents are Divorcing. The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and
       Families, 9 (3), 273-284.

Halpenny, Ann M., Greene, Sheila, & Hogan, Diane (2008). Children’s Perspectives on Coping and Support
       following Parental Separation. Child Care in Practice, 14 (3), 311-325.


Hinders, Dana (no date). Divorce Statistics. Retrieved July 13, 2009, from
       http://divorce.lovetoknow.com/Divorce_Statistics


Wood, Jeffrey J., Repetti, Rena L., & Roesch, Scott C. (2004). Divorce and Children’s Adjustment Problems at
       Home and School: The Role of Depressive/Withdrawn Parenting. Child Psychology and Human
       Development, 35 (2), 121-142.


Zubernis, Lynn S., Wright Cassidy, Kimberly, Gillham, Jane E., Reivich, Karen J., & Jaycox, Lisa H. (1999).
       Prevention of Depressive Symptoms in Preadolescent Children of Divorce. Journal of Divorce &
       Remarriage, 30 (1/2), 11-36.
Summary of the Group Plan: Supporting Fifth Graders through the Transition of Separation/Divorce

Complete introductory and termination sessions are not listed below but some directions are listed for
these 1st and 6th sessions. Four complete working sessions are included.
These lessons are based on 35 minute sessions with 6 students. Sessions would begin in October and end
around the middle of November.
Sessions   Goals                   Objectives                Topics          Activities          Materials        Evaluation
                                   (NCDPI Standards)
#1                                                                           * Students will     * Pretest for    *Give group
(Intro                                                                       decorate folder     each student     pretest to
Session)                                                                     that will be used   * Folder for     students
                                                                             throughout the      each student
                                                                             group.              *Markers,        (Same form is
                                                                                                 stickers, etc    used for
                                                                                                 to decorate      pretest and
                                                                                                 folders          posttest to
                                                                                                                  chart growth) -
                                                                                                                  form is
                                                                                                                  attached at
                                                                                                                  end of
                                                                                                                  document
#2         * To learn              * 6.04 Work               Families and    * “My Name          * Separation/    * Students will
           separation/divorce      cooperatively with        Change          Is… and             Divorce word     share 1 word
           terms                   others as a team                          Something that      cards            that they have
           * To discover           member.                                   makes me Happy      * Bowl           learned or
           similarities between    * 7.01 Develop a                          is…”                * “Getting to    better
           group members and       positive attitude                         * Separation/       Know You!”       understand
           family situations       toward self as a unique                   Divorce Word        worksheet for    * Students will
                                   and worthy person.                        Game                each student     share 1
                                   * 7.07 Demonstrate                        * “Getting to       * Student        similarity they
                                   cooperative behavior                      Know You!”          folder           have with
                                   in groups                                                                      another group
                                   * 7.11 Consider                                                                member
                                   different kinds of
                                   families.

#3         * Focus on family       * 7.07 Demonstrate        How to Cope &   * Highs and         * Paper          * Students will
           structure and           cooperative behavior      Not Lose Hope   Lows Round          * Markers        share 1 thing
           similarities among      in groups.                                * Family            * Classroom      they learned or
           group members           * 7.11 Consider                           Drawing             Board &
                                                                                                                  discovered
           * Discuss signs of      different kinds of                        * Signs of Stress   chalk or Easel
                                   families.                                 and Ways to         & marker         about their
           stress and ways to
                                   * 8.04 Develop                            Deal with Stress    *Soothing/       family
           deal with stress
           * Practice breathing/   effective coping skills                   * Breathing/        Relaxing         * Students will
           relaxation technique    for dealing with                          Relaxation          Music            share 1 new
                                   problems.                                 Exercise            * Thematic       way they
                                   * 9.06 Display                                                Imagery          learned to deal
                                   techniques for                                                Script
                                                                                                                  with stress
                                   managing stress and                                           * Student
                                   conflict.                                                     Folders
Sessions   Goals                  Objectives                Topics             Activities          Materials       Evaluation
                                  (NCDPI Standards)
#4         * Focus on             * 7.07 Demonstrate        I Have a Voice &   * Poem about        *Separation/    Students will
           developing             cooperative behavior      Deserve to be      Separation/Divor    Divorce         share1 thing
           communication skills   in groups.                Heard              ce -“A Child’s      Poems           that they
           * Practice these       * 7.12 Demonstrate                           Perspective”        * “The Five
                                                                                                                   learned or
           skills                 how to communicate.                          * “The Line         Secrets of
                                  * 8.04 Develop                               Forms Here”         Effective       found helpful
                                  effective coping skills                      Communication       Communicati     in today’s
                                  for dealing with                             Activity            on” sheet       session about
                                  problems.                                    * End session by    * Pencil for    communica-
                                                                               reading poem,       each student    tion and how
                                                                               “To Our Love        * Student       they can use
                                                                               You Forever         Folders
                                                                                                                   that when
                                                                               Child”
                                                                                                                   talking with
                                                                                                                   their family

#5         * Focus on             * 7.07 Demonstrate        Making Good        * Sentence          * “Decision     * Students will
           developing decision    cooperative behavior      Decisions & the    Completion          Mountain”       share 1 thing
           making skills          in groups.                Future             Activities          template for    that has helped
           * Practice these       * 8.04 Develop                               * “Decision         each student    them learn
           skills                 effective coping skills                      Mountain”           * Pencils and   more about
           * Discuss dealing      for dealing with                             Activity            Markers         making a good
           with holidays          problems.                                    * Tree Telling      * “Tree         decision when
           * Focus on making      * 9.03 Use problem-                          Activity            Telling         they have a
           the future positive    solving and decision-                                            Activity”       problem
                                  making skills to make                                            sheet for       * Students will
                                  safe and healthy                                                 counselor       share 1 thing
                                  choices.                                                         * Paper         that is positive
                                                                                                   * Student       about their
                                                                                                   Folders         future

#6                                                                             * Give students a   *Posttest for   * Give group
(Closing                                                                       copy of             each student    posttest to
Session)                                                                       “A Child’s Bill     *Student        students
                                                                               of Rights”          Folders
                                                                               *Give students
                                                                               their folder to
                                                                               take with them
**Introductory Session has already occurred.**

                                        Lesson #2 – Families and Change
Goals:

        To learn definitions of words related to separation/divorce and to help students gain a better
         understanding of this process and their changing family dynamics
        Make connections and discover similarities between group members in relation to their family situations
        Discuss and dispute any fears, worries, or anxieties expressed by students that seem “magical” or
         irrational regarding their parents’ based on sharing from activity #3 (if any are disclosed)

Objectives: (NCDPI Standard Course of Study)

        6.04 Work cooperatively with others as a team member.
        7.01 Develop a positive attitude toward self as a unique and worthy person.
        7.07 Demonstrate cooperative behavior in groups.
        7.11 Consider different kinds of families.

Materials:

        Separation/Divorce word cards (12 words) - (word cards are attached after this lesson plan)
        Bowl
        “Getting to Know You!” worksheet for each student (form is attached after this lesson plan)
        Student Folders

Focus:

        Explain to students that today we will be discussing words related to separation/divorce and will also
         discover similarities among group members in relation to their family situations. (1 minute)

Instructions:

        Opening activity: “My Name is…” (4 minutes)
             o Everyone will state, “My name is…and one thing I like to do that makes me happy is…” The
               counselor will model for the group and begin the activity.
             o The next person has to say the counselor’s name and happy activity, then their own name and
               what they like to do.
             o Each student repeats all the names before them and what they like to do. They can ask each other
               for help if they forget a name or an activity.

        Activity #2 – “What do these words mean exactly?” (10 minutes)
             o Counselor will have 12 word cards related to separation/divorce face down in a bowl.
             o Each student will choose 2 cards from the bowl and place the words face down in front of them.
             o Counselor will explain that 1 student will look at their card and say what the word is and the
               counselor will then ask 1 student to volunteer to state what they think the word means.
             o Student with the card will then read the exact definition of the word.
             o This process is continued until all 12 words have been discussed.

        Activity #3 – “Getting to Know You!” (15 minutes)
            o Students will take about 3 minutes to complete the form.
       o Students will break into dyads for about 3 minutes and find any similarities that they have in
         their family situation.
       o The remaining 9 minutes will be spent processing this activity. Counselor will ask questions like,
         “How did it feel to complete the form and talk about it with your partner?” and “What did you
         like about this activity?” Counselor will dispute and discuss any fears or worries that students
         express that seem irrational.

   Evaluation/Closing Activity – (5 minutes)
       o Counselor will ask students to state 1 word that they learned or are better familiar with now.
       o Counselor will ask students to list one similarity they have with another group member.
       o Students will place a copy of the separation/divorce words in their folder. Students will also
           place the “Getting to Know You!” form in their folder. Counselor will keep folders until the end
           of the group.
                                  Separation/Divorce Word Cards
                       Counselor will want to cut and laminate the below cards.


                 DIVORCE                              HALF BROTHER/HALF SISTER

A legal judgment ending a marriage. After a           A boy or girl born to your parent and
husband and wife get a divorce, they are both                      stepparent.
            free to marry again.


                   JUDGE                                           LAWYER

 An adult with the power to hear disputes in a    An adult trained to help parents proceed with
court of justice and to decide how they should                  getting a divorce.
                  be resolved.


      SEPARATION AGREEMENT                                    CHILD CUSTODY

A written agreement between both parents that     Describes who you will live with and who will
describes the terms by which they agree to end     take care of you. Custody may be granted to
 their marriage and the rules they will observe     one or both parents. Sometimes custody is
               after their divorce.                     given to a relative or foster parent.


             CHILD SUPPORT                                    VISITING RIGHTS

How much money each parent will pay to help       Certain times set aside for you and the parent
           take care of you.                           you don’t live with to be together.


               STEPPARENT                                           LEGAL

 Someone who marries your mother or father                 Having to do with the law.
      after they have been divorced.


                MARRIAGE                                        SEPARATION

         State or act of being married             When two people in a relationship decide to
                                                      spend time away from each other.
                                           GETTING TO KNOW YOU!

1. The best thing about being me is……………...…………………………………………………………..…………

2. One thing that bothers me is………………….…………………….…………………...…………………………..

3. My parents have been separated since ……….………………………………………………..……………………

4. My mother is……………………………………………….……………………………………………………….

5. I am happiest when………………………………………………………………………………………………….

6. At school, I usually feel………..……………………………………………………..……………………………..

7. I dislike…………………………………………………………………………………..………………………….

8. When I wake up, I usually…….……………………………………………………………………………………

9. My father is..……………………………………………………………………………………..…………………

10. The best think about my home is.……………………………………………………..…........................................

11. If I could change one thing about my family it would be
      ………..…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

12. My favorite subjects are……………………………………………………………….…………………………...

13. I worry about………………………………………………………………………….……………………………

14. My friends………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

15. I need………………………………………………………………………….…..………………………………..

16. My life would be better if…………………………………………………………………………………………..

17. I feel angry when…………………………………………………………………..…............................................

18. My favorite activity is……………………………………………………………………………...........................

19. I can always talk to…………………………………………………………….…….………………………..……

20.   I am proud of……………………………………………………………….…………………..………………..

21. I live with………………………………………………………………………………...........................................
                                    Lesson #3 – How to Cope & Not Lose Hope
Goals:

        Focus on family structure and similarities among group members
        Discuss signs of stress and ways to deal with stress
        Practice breathing/relaxation technique

Objectives: (NCDPI Standard Course of Study)

        7.07 Demonstrate cooperative behavior in groups.
        7.11 Consider different kinds of families.
        8.04 Develop effective coping skills for dealing with problems.
        9.06 Display techniques for managing stress and conflict.


Materials:

        Paper
        Markers
        Classroom Board & chalk or Easel & marker
        Soothing/Relaxing Music
        Thematic Imagery Script (attached at the end of this lesson)
        Student Folders


Focus:

        Explain to students that we will be discussing families, ways to deal with stress, and will try a relaxation
         exercise. (1 minute)

Instructions:

        Activity #1 – Highs and Lows Round (2 minutes)
            o Counselor will ask each student to state 1 high (good thing) and 1 low (not so good thing) that
                has happened this past week. Counselor will begin the round.

        Activity #2 – Family Drawing (15 minutes)
            o Counselor will give each student paper and markers to draw a picture of their family. Counselor
                will ask students to draw who lives in their house, whom do they have close contact with that
                does not live in their home, and who provides support and friendship (this last part can include
                more than family members).
            o Counselor will ask students to share any part of their drawing that they would like with the
                group. Counselor will make connections found about various members. Counselor will also ask
                students some questions like, “What did they discover about themselves or their family by doing
                this activity?” and “ What or who provides support for them currently?”
   Activity #3 – Signs of Stress and Ways to Deal with Stress (7 minutes)
       o Counselor will use board or easel for this activity.
       o Counselor will ask students to list signs of stress. Examples are tight throat, sweaty palms,
           headaches, stomachaches, fatigue, nausea, being restless, unable to sleep, etc.
       o Counselor will ask students to list stress tips (ways to deal with stress). Examples are getting
           plenty of rest, good nutrition, talking with someone you trust, reduce your activities (if schedule
           is too full), exercise, keep a journal/diary, favorite activities, breathing/relaxation techniques, etc.

   Activity #4 – Breathing/Relaxation Exercise (6 minutes)
       o Counselor will quickly explain how it is particularly helpful for students to recognize that when
           they are nervous, stressed, and angry, they should feel the tightening of certain body parts. If
           they can recognize when fists clench, jaws tighten, and stomachs harden, they have the power
           over their bodies to relax and gain control. They can begin to breathe deeply and "send" their
           breaths consciously to relax body parts. When their body is relaxed, they are better able to think
           and plan.
       o Counselor will play soothing music in the background. Counselor will use the Thematic Imagery
           Script with students to show them how using breathing and imagery can help them relax
           whenever they are feeling stressed.

   Evaluation/Closing Activity – (4 minutes)
       o Counselor will ask students to state 1 thing they learned or discovered about their family.
       o Counselor will ask students to state 1 new way they learned to deal with stress.
       o Counselor will compile a list of stress signs and tips from activity #3 and place this in the
           students’ folders.
                                        THEMATIC IMAGERY SCRIPT


Pause
Make sure that you are in a comfortable position.
Pause
Are your feet flat on the floor?
Pause
Are your hands resting comfortably in your lap?
Pause
Now gently close your eyes and let yourself settle into a position that is comfortable.
Pause
For the next minute or so, your body becomes more and more quiet.
Pause for 1 minute
Let yourself begin to settle down and relax as you remain still.
Pause
Now attend to your body.
Pause
Let your breathing be calm and even.
Pause
Let every outgoing breath carry away any tension you might feel.
Pause
Let yourself feel more and more comfortably relaxed.
Pause
And now quietly ask yourself, “What scene or setting is most relaxing to me at the moment?”
Pause for 20 seconds
You might want to picture a quiet beach, or a grassy plain, or a cool mountain top, or a peaceful pond. Whatever scene or
setting is most relaxing to you, let it come to you in whatever way it wishes.
Pause for 20 seconds
And now, quietly let your mind dwell on this scene for the next few seconds.
Pause for 30 seconds
Let the scene become as vivid and real as possible.
Pause 15 seconds
Keep focusing on the way your body is completely relaxed.
Pause
When you are ready, slowly open your eyes while continuing to remain relaxed.
Pause
                               Lesson #4 – I Have a Voice & Deserve to be Heard
Goals:

        Focus on developing communication skills
        Practice these skills

Objectives: (NCDPI Standard Course of Study)

        7.07 Demonstrate cooperative behavior in groups.
        7.12 Demonstrate how to communicate.
        8.04 Develop effective coping skills for dealing with problems.


Materials:

        Separation/Divorce Poems
        “The Five Secrets of Effective Communication” sheet
        Pencil for each student
        Student Folders
    (ABOVE FORMS ARE ATTACHED AT THE END OF THIS LESSON PLAN)

Focus:

        Explain to students that we will be discussing ways to better communicate with family and friends.
         (2 minute)

Instructions:

        Activity #1 – Poem about Separation/Divorce -“A Child’s Perspective” (10 minutes)
            o Counselor will ask students to break into dyads and read the poem. Counselor will ask students
                to discuss and write down feelings that they think the child in the poem is expressing and
                concerns that she may want to talk with her parents about.
            o Counselor will ask students if they can relate to the child in the poem’s feelings and thoughts.
                Counselor will show similarities in group members’ feelings to reiterate that they are not alone in
                their reactions to the separation/divorce of their parents.

        Activity #2 – “The Line Forms Here” Communication Activity (15 minutes)
            o Counselor will explain that communication is not just talking with others (verbal) but can also be
                thru facial expressions, body posture, using hands, etc. (nonverbal).
            o Counselor will ask students to, without talking, form a line according to height, from the shortest
                to the tallest person. Once kids have mastered this challenge, repeat the activity, having them
                form a line according to birthdays or other criteria.
            o Counselor will then ask students to discuss what was difficult about communicating without
                talking? Why is it important to be able to communicate effectively with people?
            o Counselor will then use the chalkboard or easel and ask students what are good ways to
                communicate with our families or friends? Examples could be focusing and really listening, eye
                contact, being respectful, etc.
            o Counselor will use the list already created and discuss “The Five Secrets of Effective
                Communication.”
            o If time permits, counselor could try to use role plays to reinforce this concept.
   Evaluation/Closing Activity (8 minutes)
       o Counselor will ask students to list 1 thing that they learned or found helpful in today’s session
           about communication and how they can use that when talking with their family.
       o Counselor will close the session by reading the poem, “To Our Love You Forever Child.”
       o Counselor will place copies of poems and Five Steps of Effective Communication in student’s
           folders.
To Our Love-You-Forever Child           A Child's Perspective
Sometimes, no matter                    Daddy rages, Mommy cries,
how very hard we try                    "What about me?"
we find that we aren't laughing,        the little child sighs.
as often as we cry.
Sometimes, no matter                    No home for my own
how very much we care,                  yet I have two.
we wake up and find                     Never alone
there's sadness everywhere.             but always lonely.
It’s hard to know just what to do       Mourning for one
to make the sun come shining through,   while with the other.
so sometimes                            Never enjoying
some grown-ups                          without feeling guilt.
start again.
Each time we think of you               They have their spaces.
our hearts kind of tear in two.         Their objects surround them,
We so want you happy,                   yet I don't remember
and know this is hard.                  where my teddy tear is.
But always, the sun                     Is it here
will follow the rain.                   or there?
And there's always rainbows
that show up again.                     I want two kisses goodnight
Though some things must change,         from two people-
some will stay much the same.           not the bemused, exhausted
We're not broken.                       brush of one's lips
We're just different                    on my brow.
yet the same.
And one thing is certain;
                                        No one asked me
we'll love you forever,
                                        when the choice was made.
our Love-You-Forever Child.
                                        I got the leftovers.
By Lisa H. Warren                       Small wonder I am scared,
                                        so angry I want nothing more
                                        than to strike out
                                        at the ones I love most.
                                        Hear me . . .
                                        when can I speak?

                                        By Debbie Kerr
              5 SECRETS OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION



                                    LISTENING SKILLS

 1. The Disarming Technique – You find truth in what the other person is saying, even if it sounds totally
                                         unreasonable or unfair.


2. Empathy – You put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to see the world through his or her eyes.

                       Thought Empathy – You paraphrase the other person’s words.
                                                
                  Feeling Empathy – You acknowledge how he or she is probably feeling.
                                                

 3. Inquiry – You ask gentle, probing questions to learn more about what the other person is thinking and
                                                   feeling.


                                 SELF EXPRESSION SKILLS

4. “I Feel” Statements – You use “I feel” statements (such as “I feel upset”) rather than “you” statements
                         (such as “you’re wrong!” or “you’re making me furious!”)


5. Stroking – You find something genuinely positive to say to the other person, even in the heat of battle.
       You convey an attitude of respect, even though you may feel very angry with the other person.
                               Lesson #5 – Making Good Decisions & the Future
Goals:

        Focus on developing decision making skills
        Practice these skills
        Discuss dealing with holidays
        Focus on making the future positive

Objectives: (NCDPI Standard Course of Study)

        7.07 Demonstrate cooperative behavior in groups.
        8.04 Develop effective coping skills for dealing with problems.
        9.03 Use problem-solving and decision-making skills to make safe and healthy choices.

Materials:

        “Decision Mountain” template for each student (form is attached at the end of lesson plan)
        Pencils and Markers
        “Tree Telling Activity” sheet for counselor
        Paper
        Student Folders

Focus:

        Explain to students that we will be discussing ways to make decisions and talking about holidays and the
         future. (1 minute)

Instructions:

        Activity #1 – Sentence Completion Activities (5 minutes)
            o Counselor will ask students to break into two groups of 3 and discuss the following sentences.
            o Counselor will ask students to complete the following sentence: “One thing that has changed for
                the better in my family is…”
            o Counselor will ask students to complete the following sentence: “When thinking about holidays
                or the future, I worry about…”
            o Students will discuss their answers and thoughts within the groups.
            o Counselor will ask students to talk about what it is like to focus on upcoming holidays or the
                future.

        Activity #2 – “Decision Mountain” Activity (14 minutes)
            o Counselor will ask students to think about their worry from activity #1. Counselor will ask
                students to think of an exact problem that they need to solve regarding the upcoming holidays or
                their future. Examples could be “How to create a new tradition with each parent?” or “What can
                I do to make my future happier, brighter?”
            o Counselor will explain that to make a good decision, we need to think about what we would like
                to do before we make a decision. Distribute copies of the Decision Mountain worksheet. Inform
                the students that they will make a decision by climbing the "Decision Mountain." Tell the
                students that by climbing the mountain they will learn the steps involved in decision making.
            o Counselor will ask students to identify the problem and write it at the foot of the mountain in
                their worksheet. Ask students to identify possible options for resolving the problem, and to list
         negative and positive options. Have the members to identify the consequence (positive or
         negative) for the specific option. Explain that they have to list the consequences with the
         corresponding option number. Ask students to decide which options and corresponding
         consequences are best. Have students write their decision at the top of the mountain.
       o Counselor will ask students what they found helpful about this activity? What was difficult? Did
         these steps help them see how to solve problems by thinking them out?

   Activity #3 – Tree Telling Activity (10 minutes)
       o Counselor will give students paper and markers. Counselor will explain to students that they
           need to listen carefully as she describes what they need to draw on their paper. Counselor will
           state that students will not have to share what they place on their tree if they don’t want to. This
           will be something that they can keep for future reference. Counselor will state step #1 and give
           the students time to complete the step. Counselor will continue with steps 2 through 8.
       o After the activity is complete, counselor will ask students how it felt to complete this activity and
           think about things from the past but yet focus on what they would like to happen in the future.
           How did it feel to write down things that you have never shared with anyone else? Did it feel
           good to just let those things out a little? How does thinking about your future make you feel
           and/or what thoughts come to your mind about your future?

   Evaluation/Closing Activity (5 minutes)
       o Counselor will ask students to share 1 thing that has helped them learn more about making a
           good decision when they have a problem.
       o Counselor will ask students to share 1 thing that is positive about their future.
       o Students will place their decision mountain form and tree telling activity in their folders.
                                Decision Mountain

                                      Decision:

                           ______________________________

                         ___________________________________

              ………………………………………………………………………….

                                  Consequences:

             1.____________________________ 2._________________________

             _ ____________________________    _________________________

             ____________________________     _________________________

             3.____________________________ 4._________________________

             ____________________________     _________________________

             ____________________________     _________________________



         …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

                                      Options:

    1.__________________________________________________________________________



    2.___________________________________________________________________________



    3.___________________________________________________________________________



    4.___________________________________________________________________________

  …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

                               What is the problem?



______________________________________________________________________________________
                          Tree Telling Activity


1. On 5 branches, write 5 things about myself I would tell almost anyone.


2. On 4 big branches coming off the trunk, write 4 things about myself I would
   like to tell someone I trust.


3. On the trunk, write 1 – 3 things about myself that I have never told anyone.


4. Underground, write 1 – 5 things that have happened to me that I wish never
   happened.


5. In the air, write 3 feelings I have had today.


6. In the cloud, write 1 fear that I have.


7. In the sun, write 1 hope for tomorrow.


8. In the moon, write 1 hope for a year from tomorrow.
           A Child’s Bill of Rights (foR final #6 session)


1. i hAve A Right to feel the wAy i feel ABout my pARents’ sepARAtion/divoRCe.
2. I have a right to say what I think and speak up when things are bothering me.
3. i hAve A Right to Ask questions And get AnsweRs ABout ouR fAmily’s stRuCtuRe.
4. I have a right not to feel guilty about the divorce.
5. I have a right to have a continuing relationship with both of my parents.
6. i hAve A Right not to tAke sides. i’m fRee to Be loyAl And loving to Both
   parents.
7. I have a right not to hear my parents say bad things about each other.
8. I have a right to say no to a parent who tries to use me as a messenger.
9. I have a right to feel safe.
10. I have a right to celebrate big days and holidays without worrying.
11. I have a right to find help if I need it.
12. I have a right to be proud of my family and to look forward to a happy future.
13. I have a right to have someone I trust to talk with about my worries.




                                                      I have a right…
                I have a right…
                                  EVALUATION PLAN


   GROUP TOPIC: Supporting Fifth Graders through the Transition of Separation/Divorce


   OVERALL GOAL:

       o LESSON 1: Introduction & Group Purpose; Pre-test given to students

       o LESSON 2: Discover similarities among group members and family situations; learn
         separation/divorce terms

       o LESSON 3: Focus on similarities in family structures among members; discuss and learn
         ways to deal with stress

       o LESSON 4: Focus on developing communication skills

       o LESSON 5: Focus on developing decision making skills; focus on making the future positive

       o LESSON 6: Close the group; review things learned in group; Post-test given to students

   MEASURE:
      o Evaluation is completed at the end of each working session. Students are asked to share
        something learned in each group based on the topic.
      o Evaluation for the overall group is completed by the pre-test and post-test taking during the
        1st and 6th sessions.
                                                Group Questionnaire
                                                      (Pre/Post Test)


Date: _________________________________
Name: ________________________________
Group Topic: Separation/Divorce

On a scale of 1 to 5, rank your answers to the following questions.
1 = Strongly disagree                               4 = Agree
2 = Disagree                                        5 = Strongly Agree
3 = No opinion
                                                                                          Scale

1. I feel comfortable being a part of this group.                          1       2      3       4      5

2. I feel comfortable sharing my opinions and concerns.                    1       2      3       4      5

3. I feel connected with other classmates regarding this topic.            1       2      3       4      5

4. I feel like I am the only person living with my concern.                1       2      3       4      5

5. I feel comfortable expressing my feelings.                              1       2      3       4      5

6. I feel comfortable expressing my thoughts.                              1       2      3       4      5

7. I feel comfortable talking with others about my concerns or worries.    1       2      3       4      5

8. I feel comfortable making good decisions when I have a problem.         1       2      3       4      5

9. I have someone that I trust that I can talk with about my concerns.     1       2      3       4      5

10. I feel my future can be positive.                                      1       2      3       4      5



This section is to be answered at the end of the group. If you feel comfortable, answer the below questions.
1. What did you like most about this group?


2. If you could change one thing about this group what would it be and why?


3. What advice would you have for future group members?
                                      ABC SCHOOL DISTRICT
                          PERMISSION TO PROVIDE INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING

Date: ________________________________

Dear Parent/Guardian,
My name is Brandi Jacobs. I am a School Counseling intern in the School of Education master’s program at The
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I will be working in the school three days a week during the
2009-2010 school year.

At 123 Elementary we offer a broad range of supportive services to students. With your permission, I would
like to offer, ________________________________________________, the opportunity to participate in a
confidential small counseling group. I will be leading this group weekly for 6 weeks and the topic is supporting
fifth graders through the transition of separation/divorce. This group would give students the opportunity to
express their feelings, thoughts, and concerns with other students who are living with similar circumstances. As
part of my internship requirements, I may occasionally need to audio record my counseling sessions with the
students.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at___________________________________.
You can also contact my site supervisor, _________________________________________,
at ______________________________.

Please return this form by the following date ________________________________.

Thanks for taking the time to consider this request to support and serve your child.
Sincerely,
Mrs. Jacobs
__________________________________________________________________________________________
                                 Please check one of the three options below:
Student’s Name: ____________________________________________________________
Parent/Guardian Name: ______________________________________________________
Teacher’s Name: ____________________________________________________________

______ I give permission for my child to participate in a supportive confidential small counseling group on this
topic. I also give permission for my child to participate in audio recordings when needed.

______ I am not interested in allowing my child to participate in a small counseling group, but I am interested
in his/her participation in individual counseling on this topic. I also give permission for my child to participate
in audio recordings when needed during individual counseling.

______ I am not interested in allowing my child to participate in a small counseling group or individual
counseling sessions on this topic.

Parent/Guardian Signature: _________________________________________________________
Additional Comments:

				
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