Depression in Adolescents Group
This group aims at aiding participants in modifying their cognitions, maladaptive schemas, and behaviors. Participants acquire a grasp of how to be more relaxed and occupied in more pleasing activities. Such changes to behavior will trigger the succeeding profounder change levels. Participating individuals will be aided in altering their depressogenic and impractical thoughts as well, to thoughts that are more practical, successively decreasing their depression levels. In order to achieve true, longer-term change, as well as to lower the possibility of recurrence of depression, one needs to modify maladaptive schemas. The group is presented with the 'schemas' idea, group members are aided in distinguishing their respective schemas, and efforts are initiated towards altering schemas. However, one must bear in mind the fact that this process of schema transformation is time-consuming and won't be achieved by the time of the group's termination. Participants in the group complete the BHS (Beck Hopelessness Scale) and BDI (Beck Depression Inventory), record their dysfunctional thoughts on a daily basis, and obtain depression-related knowledge (Corey et al., 2011).
Goals: Providing participants with depression-related information, facilitating cognitive and behavioral changes in them, and triggering the maladaptive schema change process.
Target: Students suffering from depression. It must be noted that this group isn't suitable for chronic or severe depression cases.
Length: Eight sessions of 1.5 hours each.
The ASGW (Association for Specialists in Group Work) (2007) states that group counselors are required to complete a core aspect of group training. Both researchers are engaged in group process and counseling skills training, under their postgraduate counseling program. Moreover, ASGW (2007) states that individuals engaged in such group work understand that taking part in ethical practices necessitates ongoing supervision, professional training, and growth. All of this will be incorporated into the counseling group throughout its duration. Additionally, only interventions that lie within group members' skill levels will be employed.
The adolescent group will comprise of between eight and ten female and male high-school goers between the ages of 14 and 18 years, self-identified or diagnosed as suffering from depression. A qualified woman counselor will act as facilitator for the group, whose meetings will be held every Wednesday in the lunch period. The school's counseling department will be the venue for these meetings. The adolescent depression group will be set up in the academic year's third quarter, and the last meeting will be held three weeks before school closes for the summer. Thus, roughly 8 group sessions can be incorporated into this time frame. Members of the group will receive an invitation to rejoin in the next academic year.
Recruitment -- Curriculum of the school can help enhance multicultural sensitivity and awareness (including gender identity), through the conducting of schoolroom guidance sessions pertaining to social and cultural tolerance and diversity. Subsequent to these discussions, the school counselor can announce an adolescent support therapy that can be availed of by depressed pupils and those who aren't clear on their status. Interested adolescents will be encouraged to approach the school's counseling office if they require any additional information. Further, school authorities will design and place written announcements across the school premises, in inconspicuous areas (like the washrooms and counseling department bulletin). The remaining school counselors, administrative staff and teachers can be informed of this group's existence by the counseling personnel involved. These professionals can identify additional potential candidates for the group (Myers et.al, 2011), who may then be invited personally to participate in the group.
Screening/Selection -- Interested candidates will be subject to a 30-minute-long process of screening, wherein they will be allowed to express what they expect from this group, including their concerns or issues relating to it. The group counselor will then explain the group's aim, his/her personal battles with depression, as well as his/her personal wish to act as facilitator for a group of depressed teens. The process of screening is vital for the counselor as well as participants. The former can, to some degree, control dynamics of the group through screening, while the latter can take an informed decision with regard to whether to participate or not. A group will be convened, comprising of members having needs that are in line with group goals, and whose welfare won't be at risk from group experience. Moreover, the counselor can look for members having diverse personalities (for instance, introverted and extroverted), and different motivation levels (i.e. identity acceptance and identity confusion). Consent will be obtaining...
New Mexico laws allow adolescents (aged 14 years and above) to consent to personal treatment/therapy (Corey et al., 2011). Considering the sensitive character of an individual's depression status (particularly in case of teenaged students) as well as concerns pertaining to potential risks associated with seeking the consent of their parents, separate consent forms will be employed by the counselor.
The program will combine a number of therapeutic theories/models, such as: Adler's Individual Psychology Theory, Community Work Model, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT, a form of third wave Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Client-Focused Expressive Art Treatments, and MBCT (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy) (Rogers, 2011). "Indivisible Self" wellness model, centered on cross-disciplinary study of healthy individuals' characteristics and Adlerian individual psychology will be utilized (Myers, et.al, 2011). This model obeys Adler's "holistic" perspective of individuals, promoting a strengths-focused psychotherapy approach which also resembles other programs impacted by Adlerian Individual Psychology in the sense that it emphasizes empowerment of self via identification and proper application of personal connections, assets, and strengths.
Change behaviors -- The depressed adolescent group's members will be taught how to be more relaxed and occupied in more pleasing activities. Such changes to behavior will trigger the succeeding profounder change levels.
Change cognitions -- Group members will be aided in altering their depressogenic and impractical thoughts to thoughts that are more practical, successively decreasing their depression levels.
Change schemas -- In order to achieve true, longer-term change, as well as to lower the possibility of recurrence of depression, one needs to modify maladaptive schemas. The group will be presented with the 'schemas' idea, group members will be aided in identifying their respective schemas, and efforts will be initiated towards altering schemas (this process of schema transformation is time-consuming and won't be achieved by the time of the group's termination).
Empty index cards
big sheets of paper
sentence completion forms to be handed out to every participant
copy of the BDI Instrument for individual participants
copy of the BHS Instrument for individual participants
"Cognitive-Behavioral depression therapy" handout, and "Sentence Stems" handout.
I. Introductions (Duration: 10 minutes)
Group members will be made to introduce themselves. Leaders will then remind them of contract conditions (with emphasis given to the conditions of attendance and confidentiality).
II. Icebreaker (Duration: 10 minutes)
Aim: It enables participants to get to know one another in a way that ensures nobody feels threatened (anxious). This stage enables them to feel more at ease when taking part in group activities.
Participants, minus the leaders, form a circle, with one chair less than the number of members. The activity begins with one member occupying the center of it and stating one personal fact, for instance "I have black hair." Every member possessing this characteristic stands up and every standing individual begins scrambling for a seat (individuals previously seated might not opt for their own seat). The individual who is, at last, left standing makes a similar statement about a personal characteristic of his/hers, and the game continues.
III. Fears and Hopes Exercise (Duration: 15 minutes)
Aim: It enables group members to start sharing more personal facts with fellow group members comfortably. Furthermore, leaders can allay their fears as well as explore their idiosyncratic needs.
IV. Sentence completions relating to depression (Duration: 25 minutes)
Aim: Leaders get to know more about the depression symptoms of members. Members understand that their symptoms are experienced by other people as well, and they aren't alone. They will also understand that depression symptoms can be categorized into three groups. This activity forms the introduction to the session's subsequent stage: Cognitive-Behavioral Depression Model.
V. Cognitive-Behavioral Depression Model (Duration: 20 minutes)
Aim: Members will be educated about the present cognitive depression theory. Common language will be utilized for discussing depression. Members will be given time to mull over how this model explains their symptoms. Members will start to hope.
Leaders present the depression model (schemas or means to understand the world -- thoughts -- feelings, motivation/energy, behaviors-- depression), followed by explaining the depression spiral.
Members' homework will be the BHS scale, which they will be required to complete. Additionally, they will be urged to go through the handout, followed by reflection of how and whether it is applicable to them.
1. BHS (Beck Hopelessness Scale)
1. BDI (Beck Depression Inventory)
1. Daily Recording of Members' Dysfunctional Thoughts
1. Pleasant Activities Handout: (This isn't provided; group leaders will compose a list consisting of typical pleasant…
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