Group Counseling for Children: 8 Week Counseling Plan

Week One

The first week may be difficult with little progress as the children are still adopting to the new environment. These children are still strangers to one another, and they also view the counselor as a stranger. This week, therefore, will feature activities that will ensure the children get comfortable. This is important because unless they feel comfortable, they will not be able to open up (Garza, Kinsworthy & Bennett, 2014). This, therefore, will be the first goal for this week; all children should be comfortable with the counselor and amongst themselves. Second, each child is expected to have warmed up and made friends with at least one of the other children in the group.

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Play therapy will be used abundantly this week. This is because the feelings of comfort are achieved once the children play and relate to each other without feeling the pressure. Therefore, the third goal is that each child should feel accepted, supported, validated, safe and empowered when in the group. Playing without being chased or shouted at is important for children. Using a harsh approach makes children to feel unwanted and exposed to danger.

Week Two

In week two, the next step in counseling will now be applied. This step will involve starting to engage the children in activities to help them express their feelings. Children who are experiencing a kind of depression or emotional trauma will find trouble acting in an acceptable way (Ojiambo & Bratton, 2014). Play therapy will be used this week, alongside reading stories of individuals experiencing the same issues as them. These activities are supposed to encourage them to express their feelings without actually having to say they are the one’s feeling them (Garza, Kinsworthy & Bennett, 2014). In the second week, the counselor should not expect the children to be in a position to directly express what they feel. this is because they are just starting to feel comfortable.

The goals for this week will include; the children being able to identify and express character feelings. Second, they should start showing an understanding of their own feelings and thoughts, and be able to identify how these operate in certain situations. Third, they should be able to determine whether or not their feelings and thoughts are operating as expected.

Week Three

Hurt feelings and the inability to control emotions is usually aggravated by low self esteem. For a child suffering from both issues, a small remark can easily make them feel depressed for weeks (Ojiambo & Bratton, 2014). For instance, a child can be rejected by a person he wanted to befriend, not for any negative reasons, but this ends up making him feel depressed and unwilling to go to school. The play activity in week one is a strong foundation for the success of this week as it ensures that the children get to know each other and make friends.

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Coloring using color pencils, water colors, crayons and paint will be used this week. first, the children will be asked to paint on anything they like. after completion, they will be asked to share their painting with others. This way, the children will be aware of what others like. Next, the children will be asked to paint on their fears and worries before sharing with others. A bucket filling activity will also be used, whereby each child will be expected to decorate a bucket that will then be filled with positive feedbacks from the rest of the group.

The goals for this week will involve identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each child. Each child must learn how to use their strengths to overcome their weakness. Children must have learned ways of not stepping on each others, but instead ways of boosting each other’s self esteem.

Week Four

Dealing with grief is a major issue leading to emotional problems in children. One reason for this is that the young ones become so worried that they will forget the people close to them who have died (Thompson & Trice-Black, 2012). This week, therefore, will involve activities of encouraging children to remember their loved ones, but not to let this affect their day to day life. The activity used will involve blank 3 by 5 note cards. The children will then be asked to write the names of their lost loved ones and explain some of the special memories about them. They will then be given files to save these note cards so they can review them frequently. Next, the children will be expected to prepare special cards, for their loved ones. This can be for the departed or for family members who are still present. In the cards, each child will be asked to express their feelings to the person. Thereafter, the children will be given the opportunity to share the cards with friends, but only if they want to. No one should be forced to show it to someone else.

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The goals for this week will be to help children deal with grief in a more positive manner. First, a bigger percentage of the children should be able to express themselves freely in the cards and let go of the people they lost without having to forget them. Second, the children will understand the importance of confiding in a friend when faced with such a challenge in future.

Week Five

Divorce is yet another issue that may affect children leading to them needing counseling. The activity for this week will involve the use of blank note cards, moldable dolls and coloring. First, the children will be asked to mold their new family structure to enable the children to express their new structures without having to speak about it. The children can also relate to one another and accept that they are not the only one’s undergoing the situation (Thompson & Trice-Black, 2012). Pictures will be used to help them express how they feel about their new families.

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The goals for this week will be; first, children will understand that they are not the only people experiencing divorce. Second, they will able to understand that they were not the cause for their parents’ divorce. Third, children will be able to express themselves more openly to friends or others.

Week Six

            This week will cover the area of anger management in children. The activity will involve coloring and painting whereby each child will be asked to draw what their calmness looks like. They share it with others. Next, they will be asked to draw what they look like when angry. In most cases, the calm look is happy and beautiful while the anger look is bad and ugly, some students may even express their looks like monsters (Thompson & Trice-Black, 2012).

The goals for this week will be to help students understand that anger is bad. Second, they will be presented with methods for managing their anger so it does not get out of control.

Week Seven

            This week will involve each child being given an opportunity to state what they want from others (Ojiambo & Bratton, 2014). No child will be forced to speak, others can write on a paper. This week’s goals are to enable a child to communicate their expectations and feelings more effectively to others in the society.

Week Eight

This week will involve a review of what has been done since week one. The progress will also be reviewed, and the children will be congratulated for achieving so much. All children will be recognized. A small party where children are given little gifts will be held.

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