Small group counseling is an effective and efficient way to deliver tier 2 social/emotional support to students. You will have learned the basics of dynamics and techniques as part of your graduate works but working out the logistics of providing groups in the school setting can be challenging. It is well worth the effort however and with a little planning, you can transform the lives of your students in 30 minutes a week. Small group counseling topics can range from study skills and friendship groups to grief groups and divorce groups. School wide assessment can help determine which needs your specific student population could benefit from. Small group counseling on different topics is an effective way of meeting the needs of several students at once.
- School wide assessment can help you to determine which groups may be best suited for your student population.
- Some years you may find yourself running several groups and some years you may run less. This will ebb and flow with your students’ needs.
- Small counseling group topics can be reactive and you may find yourself needing a specific group after an issue has surfaced in your school community.
- Small counseling groups can also be preventative in nature, such as with groups for “at risk” students.
- You may sometimes need to refer students out for some groups if their need is very great or if you do not have enough students for a small group, but a student could benefit from one, such as the grief groups offered by Brooks Place.
- Adoption Group Format and resources (contributed by Laura Samide, Sept. 2017)
- Middle School Boys Small Group resources and “Building Champions: a small-group counseling curriculum for boys” by Carol Miller, available from IYI’s Virginia Beall Ball Library, Man Up curriculum presented at ISCA 2017 (responses from Counselor Talk, December 2017)
- Breaking the Boy Code by Dr. Poppy Moon
- Operation: Breaking the Boy Code Lesson Plans
- Beat the Odds Drumming Program- Helping Kids Cope- One Drumbeat at a Time
- Banana Splits Resource Center support groups for children with divorced/deceased parents
- SALVAGING SISTERHOOD A Small Group Counseling and Classroom Curriculum for Relationally Aggressive Girls (Grades 5-12)
- Small Group lessons for Grief/Loss – Middle School
- Small Group lessons for Grief/Loss – High School
- Parent/Student Group – Who Do You Think You Are? College and Career group for high school (from ASCA 2020 Conference)
- I’ve found the Salvaging Sisterhood curriculum to be a great one for “mean girls.” (See resource below)
- Carol Miller has a really good book for boys. I think its called Building Champions.
- First-generation college students: I created a 1st Gen group for 12th graders. We met once a week, for 6 weeks. I rotated the time of the group, so students would miss a class only one time. (We have 6 periods in a day) Each week, I presented a topic and then used the rest of the time as a work session to complete applications. For example, we set up their Common Application, applied for the FAFSA Pin, filled out the local community college application, filled out our school scholarship application, etc. I also had some guest speakers from a state university come and present their programs for 1st Gen students. (ASCA Scene, February 2020)
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