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Just Us Girls...

Growing through Change

Allison Morris Spring 2010 Theories and Techniques of Group School Counseling Group Program

Just Us Girls...Growing through Change

Group purpose: For young girls to better understand the physical and psychological changes they are going through that contribute to self-esteem, confidence, communication, relationships, goal setting and leadership skills. The group goal will be to create unity by talking about issues all young girls are dealing with and for girls who struggle in these areas to see positive role models in girls that are more advanced. Target audience: 4th and 5th grade girls identified by their teacher, staff or parent. The group dynamic will be to gather three to four girls who are struggling personally, relationally or academically and bringing in three to four girls who are excelling in these areas. The girls will be told they get to participate in a fun group called Just Us GirlsGrowing through Change to learn about issues all girls face. Group size: 6 to 8 girls. Length of group program: 6 weeks, 45 minutes per session. When: Each week the group will miss one elective class, but will not miss the same class back-to-back if possible. Location: Conference room Objectives: 1. To teach young girls how to deal with physical and psychological changes. 2. To learn how to effectively communicate with peers. 3. Establishing confidence and self-esteem in young girls.

4. Teaching goal setting and leadership skills. 5. For young girls to apply practical life skills to the school setting to ultimately produce healthy, productive citizens.

Just Us Girls...Growing through Change

Session 1 Just Us GirlsGetting to Know You!
The first session will consist of explaining to the group why they are here and that is to discuss issues all girls face and to find out how they can be the best they can be. As the group leader, I will exude enthusiasm about the group and create an atmosphere for trust and rapport to develop between the group members and with me as their leader. Furthermore, I will work to help them feel secure that there is nothing wrong with them, but as girls we all deal with the same issues and were here to discuss and work through them together. Opening Stage: We will talk about how the group will help them be the best they can be and grow through change as a young woman. The expectations of group members, the leader and norms will be discussed. Middle Stage: Group Activity: M&M Game Materials: Bowl of peanut or regular M&Ms The bowl of M&Ms will be passed around and group members will be asked to take as many as they would like. Once everyone has their M&Ms, the group leader will then tell the members that they must answer a question for every M&M they took from the bowl. The questions are as follows: Red: Tell your favorite thing about school Green: Best food you have ever eaten Yellow: Yellow Tell what you think about the Just Us Girls group Orange: Best thing you like about yourself Brown: Tell one thing you value most in a friendship Blue: If you can do anything in the world, what is it? Closing Stage: Group Activity: Group Rule Board Materials: Poster board, marker for every group member

As a group, we will discuss the rules and norms we want as a group. Each group member will be asked to write one of the rules on a poster board until all the group rules and norms are discussed. Separately, the leader will record the rules on the actual contract that will be distributed. Collectively, we will talk about the rules that will make us feel most comfortable in the group. Confidentiality will be discussed and stressed at length. Group members will be asked if they would like to remain in the group and will be asked to sign the group contract and copies will be distributed. Each group member will be given a journal to use during the group. Members will put the group contract in their journal so they always have it with them to remind them of the importance of honoring the group rules. Homework: When I think about coming to this group for the next six weeks, it makes me feel

Just Us Girls...Growing through Change CONTRACT

I, ________________________, agree to confidentiality of keeping all items discussed during Just Us GirlsGrowing through Change private. I agree to participate in the group and abide by the group norms established collectively.

_________________________________ (Sign your name here) _________________________________ (Counselor signature)

______________________________ Date ______________________________ Date

Group Participant Names _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________




Group Rules _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________

Just Us Girls...Growing through Change

Session 2 Just Us GirlsLearning Communication Skills
Opening Stage: As a group, we will review the group rules that were established during week one. Next, the leader will introduce the topic for the session - Learning Communication Skills. The leader will expose the issues of whispering, teasing, gossiping and cliques in school. An open discussion will be introduced by asking leading questions like, How does it make you feel when two people are whispering behind you? or What are ways you can make sure you arent involved in whispering, teasing or gossiping? Middle Stage: Group Activity: Conflict resolution worksheet (see next page) Materials: The group leader will have each group member fill out the worksheet individually. The group members will be assigned a partner (a struggling student with an excelling student) to discuss their answers. Learning healthy conflict resolution skills will teach students how to confront conflict (even when its the unpopular thing to do), learn to be positive with friends, and avoiding mean behavior toward other girls. Talking about possible scenarios and teaching the girls to put themselves in another persons shoes will open their eyes to think about how their actions affect others. The golden rule of doing to others what you want done to you will be discussed. Closing Stage: The group will discuss the connection between actions and feelings and how resolving conflict is up to each individual. The leader will explain that often we cause ourselves to feel bad feelings because of the behaviors we choose and we often blame others for making us feel bad. Individual responsibility for resolving conflict will be taught. Alternative actions will be discussed with particular attention to how feelings change when actions change. Students will be asked, What are some typical reactions to feeling anger, sadness, hurt, disappointment, jealously, and fear?; Do your reactions cause you to feel better or worse?; What situations seem to make you most angry, sad, pained, lonely, satisfied, happy or confident?

Homework: Write one page in your journal about a time you were being talked about. How did that make you feel? Write another page in your journal about a time you were gossiping about someone. How can you do things differently in the future?

Just Us Girls...Growing through Change

Successfully Resolving Conflict Worksheet Write down how you imagine feeling and acting in the situations listed below. A is an example of possible feelings, actions and reactions a person might experience. There is not a right or wrong answer. Situations My Feelings
Hurt, left out, angry.

A. B.

Classmates tell you that you cant be included in their game at recess. You notice a group of friends whispering about you. You are being teased for wearing a certain clothing item.


My Action (because of my feeling) action) I sulk in the corner by myself.

My Feelings (because of my
Lonely, rejected.

A. B.

Learning to change your actions will also change how you feel. List the changes below and discuss.

Changed Action Feeling I tell a girl or group of girls

that they hurt my feelings and I find someone else to eat

Confident, satisfied, care-free.

A. B. C.

Just Us Girls...Growing through Change

Session 3 Just Us GirlsLoving the skin were in!
Opening Stage: Session three will begin by asking members to share something they learned about better communication skills in session two. The leader will then start the discussion about body image and how that affects self-esteem, confidence and self-talk. The leader will explain that all girls are going through physical changes, especially girls in 4th and 5th grade. The girls will be put at ease by the leader by explaining the changes healthy manner will help them to become more accepting of their changing bodies. The leader will also discuss that what the girls see in Hollywood and on magazines is fake. It is important to identify what seems normal in society is not normal. The leader will identify that as our bodies are changing, this affects self-esteem, confidence and positive (or negative) self-talk. Group members will be asked, What can you do differently to feel better about yourself?, How can you help others build up others?, and What can you do differently to increase how you feel about yourself? The goal will be to evoke conversation about insecurities, and recognizing that other girls feel the same way. This will create unity and teach the group to learn to build others up and accept themselves and each other. Middle Stage: Group Activity Materials: Index cards, markers Practicing positive self talk and accepting self and others. From the list of affirmations (see page 8), each group member will pick three and write on a 3X5 card and read them aloud to the group. From there, group members will take their positive affirmations home and are instructed to read aloud every morning for one week. Closing Stage: The leader will close by asking each member to share how saying positive affirmations will help them to be confident? Group members will be encouraged to fully engage in group sessions in order to really learn something new. Homework: Answer this question in your journal: One thing I would like to change about myself is ________________. Why? List the three positive affirmations you chose in group? How can these apply to the thing you would like to change about yourself?

Affirmations for Self-Esteem, Confidence and Acceptance Group Excersise for Session 3 Pick three affirmations and write on a 3X5 index card.


I am loving and capable. I fully accept and believe in myself just the way I am. I am a unique and special person. There is no one else quite like me. I accept all the different parts of myself. My feelings and needs are important. I have many good qualities. I am a valuable and important person, worthy of the respect of others. When people really get to know me, they like me. I am positive about life. I look forward to and enjoy new challenges. I love myself just the way I am. I dont have to be perfect to be loved. I am learning to love myself more every day. I am learning to believe in my unique worth and capabilities. I am learning to trust myself and others. I am learning that others have feelings and needs just like me. I am learning to take better care of myself. I am learning to let go of worry. I am learning that others respect and like me. I am learning to be more comfortable around others. I am learning that its O.K. to make mistakes. I am learning to accept myself just the way I am.

Just Us Girls...Growing through Change

Session 4 Just Us GirlsFriendship

Opening Stage: The leader will open the group by reflecting on the last group session. Group members will be encouraged to share their affirmations again and will be asked how that helped them through the week. Next, group members will be asked what their definition of a friend is. As they discuss, the leader will share that cliques can be okay as long as everyone is included, and also that each person is different, which makes each of us special and unique. Middle Stage: Group Activity: The Friendship Maze Materials: One spool of yarn The group will stand in a circle. The activity will begin with the leader calling out a characteristic of friendship (faithful) and passing the spool of yarn across the circle. The group members will continue calling out one characteristic of a good friend and passing across. Every person will share two times. After the Friendship Maze has been created, the leader will ask the group what they see. The conversation will be directed toward seeing that a friendship is interwoven and without each person doing their part, then the Friendship Maze wouldnt have formed. Closing Stage: Group members will be asked to reflect and share what it means to be true to themselves and their friendships. The leader will lead the discussion to center on the topic of expressing their thoughts and feelings honestly and respectfully. Homework: In your journal, write three things about yourself that make you a good friend and explain. Journal entry should be one page.


Just Us Girls...Growing through Change

Session 5 Just Us GirlsResponsibility
Opening Stage: The leader will open session five by asking the group members to recall each session and name their favorite session so far. Next, the topic of responsibility will be introduced. The leader will ask the group to define responsibility. If the words being prepared, staying organized, or thinking ahead arent shared then the leader will introduce these ideas. The question will be proposed, Have you ever told your teacher you didnt hear her or him given an assignment, or You didnt know an assignment was due? Middle Stage: Group Activity: What is Responsibility? Materials: Potting soil, seeds, clay pots, healthy plant, withering plant, permanent markers. For this activity, the group leader will bring two plants. One is healthy, green and blooming. The other is wilting and the soil is dry and hard. The leader will show the students both plants and ask, Which one do you think is being taken care of? The leader will use the healthy plant as a visual aid of what it looks like to be responsible. Responsibility is the small, every day details of turning in assignments, being on time, bringing the necessary supplies to class, taking folder home to parents, and taking care of yourself (i.e. eating breakfast and getting enough rest). When youre responsible, you look good, feel good and are confident.. The withering plant, on the other hand, represents what it looks like when you are irresponsible. There isnt any life and its not very pretty to look at. Students will then decorate a clay pot and plant seeds. They will be asked to take it home and water it every day and see what happens. The goal will be for them to take responsibility to water the plant and as it starts to grow they will see that responsibility leads to growth and good things for their life. Closing Stage: Taking responsibility means taking action. The group will be asked, What action can you take in your classes that demonstrates responsibility? In closing, discussing what it means to avoid responsibility will be talked about. For example, expecting someone else to do it for you, feeling powerless or inadequate and hopelessness are all ways to avoid responsibility. The session will end with sharing that being responsible feels good and will lead to the members feeling more confident.

Homework: Write one page in your journal to answer this question: The one thing I want to be able to say about the changes I am making at our final session is

Just Us Girls...Growing through Change

Session 6 Just Us GirlsGoals for the future
Opening Stage: The final session will begin with the leader asking each member to share something they have learned in Just Us Girls. Then, the leader will share that the final session topic is about goals and dreaming for the future. To begin, members will be asked to close their eyes, take two deep breaths and to clear their minds. Next, the leader will ask the group to think about one fear they have. They will be told to imagine life without that fear and that fear no longer existed. They will then be asked to imagine themselves do anything in the world they wanted to. The leader asks the members to open their eyes. Middle Stage: Group Activity Oh, but to Dream Vision Clipboards Materials: Magazines, clipboards, modge podge glue, small brushes, ribbon, scissors, worksheet Each group member will answer questions on the Oh, but to Dream worksheet (see page 12). From the opening exercise and worksheet, members will cut clippings out of magazines that define who they are and what their goals are for the future. The purpose is for the group to dream for the future and envision themselves living productively and accomplishing success in life. Closing Stage: Members will be asked to share about their vision clipboard. The leader will talk to the girls about how they can better accept the changes happening in their lives. Members will be encouraged to always be the best they can be, to care for others and work hard. The leader will ask if any member has any final questions about any of the topics. Continued confidentiality will be stressed even though the group is ending. Members will be told to keep writing in their journal as a safe place to record feelings and changes theyre dealing with. In closing, the girls will be

encouraged to talk to a trusted teacher, counselor or parent if they are unsure about changes happening in their life. An evaluation will be distributed for the girls to fill out and submit in a special mailbox (page 13). They can remain anonymous.

Oh, But to Dream! Worksheet List 3 things you have learned in Just Us Girls: 1.____________________________________________________________ 2.____________________________________________________________ 3.____________________________________________________________

If you could do ANYTHING, what would that be? ______________________________________________________________ _ What do you want to be when you graduate from high school or college? ______________________________________________________________ _ In the space below, write down anything and everything you are good at. This can be anything from painting, to playing guitar, cleaning or being a good listener. ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ __

In the space below, write down any hobbies/interests you have. This can be something you have done before or something you are interested in doing/learning about. ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ __


On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the BEST and 1 being the WORST rate each of the following statements. 1. I found Just Us Girls to be very helpful? _____ (Rate from 1-5) 2. I felt that what I talked about was confidential? ____ 3. I enjoyed the other group members?____ 4. My favorite Just Us Girls session was __________________________ Why? _________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ 5. My least favorite Just Us Girls session was______________________ Why? _________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ Feel free to add any additional comments: ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___