Respond to at least two of your colleagues by providing constructive feedback concerning their presentations of their client groups and by recommending alternative therapeutic approaches that may be used with the groups. Support your feedback with evidence-based literature and/or your own experiences with clients. Support your responses with evidence-based literature with at least two references in each colleague’s response with proper citation.
Colleagues Response # 1
Chief Compliant : Pt A.Y. 16 years old African American female, resides with biological mother. She never knew her biological father. Client reports that mother has left her home alone since the age of 10 to go out and party. She reports feeling neglected since birth, She reports that she never had a great relationship with her mother, and that she has always isolated herself from others due to her lack of trust. She reports that her mother brings home a different man every other month and that she has always distrusted them all. She reports that she gets nervous when her mom introduces her to her male friends. Client reports no inappropriate sexual conduct between her and her mom’s male friends have ever happened, however states that some of her mom’s male friends have made lewd comments to her. She denies any homicidal or suicidal ideations at this time.
Colleagues Response # 2
Child and Adolescent Group Therapy
The child and adolescent group I am currently counseling is a substance abuse therapy group. It consists of 8 adolescents dealing with different behavioral issues and substance abuse. It is an open group; thus, participants are at different stages of group development and progress. Their ages range from 13 to 17 years. Adolescents are referred to this group if they present substance abuse, which contributes to behavioral issues. The group’s primary goal is to ensure each group member attains and maintains abstinence from substance use by the end of the 12-week program. The sessions are conducted twice a week, and all participants are required to attend 24 sessions. Each session runs for 60 minutes.
Group therapy is an effective therapeutic approach for individuals experiencing different psychological symptoms, including substance use disorders. Since children and adolescents can easily express themselves while in groups, group psychotherapy can be an effective therapeutic intervention for this client population. Moreover, the grouping is an automatic occurrence for young people. Peer feedback in such settings often plays a critical role in the process of change for a group client (Arias-Pujol & Anguera, 2017). Therefore, it is expected that clients presenting for child and adolescent group therapy should progress adequately as the group progresses. However, there are cases where a client from the group may fail to progress according to expected clinical outcomes.
At the moment, all group participants, apart from MJ, are progressing as expected. MJ is a 16-year-old African American female. She was referred to the group therapy by her social worker. She was supposed to attend all the 24 sessions as part of her probationary requirements. Before being initiated into the group, an evaluation was done due to continuous smoking of cannabis and recent experimentation with Percocet and heroin, running away from home, and always hanging out with peers who influence her negatively. She was diagnosed with F12.20 (ICD-10) (active) cannabis dependence, uncomplicated, and F91.2 (ICD-10) (active) conduct disorder, adolescent-onset type.
She has been smoking cannabis since she was 13 years old. Her mother had sent her to an adolescent program after she caught her smoking marijuana. However, she ran away with one of her friends after being in the program for two and a half months. They stole one of the worker’s car and drove off to another state. She reported that she was on the run for approximately one month. She stated, “My mother posted a picture on FaceBook, and someone responded to her,” and she was picked up and taken to a detention center. She was discharged one month before beginning the group therapy. She is on probation.
The client began group therapy on June 23, 2020. She has only attended four therapy sessions so far. She always seems resistant, distracted and engaged on her phone. When asked to talk, one is bound to hear her say she doesn’t need to be in therapy. She was forced to come, and she feels like it is a waste of her time. During the first session, she stated that she is only there because her social worker required her to attend the session. She claimed that group therapy was a ‘stupid’ idea. She has barely contributed nor participated in any activity since she started group therapy. Last week, her mom reported to the therapist that she had run away from home and had texted, claiming that she was safe and will come home when ready. This violated her probationary requirements.
She didn’t progress as it was expected. The primary therapeutic technique used to manage substance abuse symptoms manifested by all the participants, including MJ, was cognitive-behavioral therapy. CBT has been proven to treat substance use disorders among adolescents effectively (Belendiuk & Riggs, 2014; Wendt & Gone, 2017). Participants are taught how to contemplate the possibility of problems and the development of functional coping tactics. They are also given room to traverse the negative and positive outcomes of using drugs. They learn how to keep track of their feelings and thoughts and also identify distorted thinking patterns and pointers that set off their substance abuse, identify and be prepared for high-risk situations and apply a series of self-control skills. By targeting participant’s learning process, it was expected that every individual within the group would actively participate in their recovery process from substance abuse and addiction, which, in turn, would boost their ability to resist substance use.