Helping At-Risk Students: A Group Counseling Approach for Grades 6-9 / Edition 1

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Overview

This book provides a comprehensive, empirically supported group counseling program for youngsters at risk for academic, behavioral, and emotional difficulties. Designed for implementation in the span of a school semester, the curriculum has been shown to foster competence in areas crucial to successful development, including problem solving, violence prevention, and interpersonal skill-building. The book first presents an overview of program goals and methods and describes how to set up groups, select members, and promote a trusting, supportive environment. Step-by-step guidelines for conducting each session are then delineated. Described are a wealth of engaging activities and discussions that facilitate exploration of such vital issues as educational goals, ethnic identity, prejudice and discrimination, peer pressure, and family relationships. Appendices contain reproducible materials in both English and Spanish, including consent forms, pregroup and postgroup assessments, and student game cards, worksheets, and handouts. The book is designed for maximum ease of use with a large format and lay-flat binding.

This innovative curriculum is ideal for use with youngsters dealing with family distress, academic problems, exposure to violence, and socioeconomic disadvantage. It can be implemented by school psychologists and counselors; other mental health professionals and administrative school personnel; teachers; and advanced graduate students in education, social work, and psychology.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Waterman (psychology, UCLA) and Walker (clinical psychologist) provide teachers, school psychologists, guidance counselors, and school social workers the curriculum from their group-counseling program, called SPARK (not an acronym; it refers to sparking greater student achievement and other goals). The program was developed over eight years of work with a group of adolescents who were at risk for academic, behavioral, and emotional difficulties. The activities are designed to build trust and lead to discussions of issues such as education, ethnic identity, prejudice, peer pressure, and family relationships. Consent forms for joining SPARK are included. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From The Critics
Helping At-Risk Students: A Group Counseling Approach For Grades 6-9 provides educators and school counselors with a comprehensive, empirically supported group counseling program for students at risk for academic, behavioral, and emotional difficulties. Designed for implementation within the span of a school semester, the curriculum fosters competence in areas crucial to successful development, including problem solving, violence, prevention, and interpersonal skill-building. Authors Jill Waterman and Elizabeth Walker describe a wealth of engaging activities and discussions to facilitate exploration of such vital issues as educational goals, ethnic identity, prejudice and discrimination, peer pressure, and family relationships. A very highly recommended contribution for Junior High and Senior High counseling reference collections, Helping At-Risk Students is enhanced further with appendices with reproducible materials in both English and Spanish, consent forms, pregroups and postgroups assessments, student game cards, worksheets, and handouts.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572305717
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/28/2000
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 221
  • Product dimensions: 8.08 (w) x 10.02 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Jill Waterman, PhD, is Adjunct Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Coordinator of the UCLA Psychology Clinic. In addition to numerous articles on aspects of child trauma, she is the coauthor of Sexual Abuse of Young Children and Behind the Playground Walls. She is also a practicing psychotherapist in the Los Angeles area.

Elizabeth Walker, PhD, received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2000. As a graduate student, she spent several years working with adolescents in inner-city schools, and she completed her predoctoral internship at the UCSD Psychology Internship Consortium in 2000. Her research interests include the role of religion and spirituality in the lives of young people, and developing and implementing interventions for at-risk youth.

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Table of Contents


Contents
1. Guidelines for Setting Up and Leading SPARK Groups
Goals of the SPARK Program
Getting Started
Selecting Group Members
Structure of the Groups
Group Leaders
Presenting the Groups to Prospective Members
Pregroup Individual Interviews and/or Questionnaires
Group Counseling Techniques
Developing Trust and Understanding Confidentiality
Building Group Cohesion
Group Process
Developmental Considerations
Maintaining Order and Leader Sanity
Uses and Parameters of Check-In and Check-Out
Issues in Ending the Groups
Handling Issues of Child Abuse and Suicidality
Dilemmas for Group Leaders
Balancing the Needs of the Individual Group Members with the Requirements of the Psychoeducational Curriculum
Dealing with Members Who Do Not Participate
Dealing with Chronically Disruptive Members
Parameters of the Group Leader Role
2. The SPARK Curriculum
Overview of Module Content
Recruitment Criteria
Module One: Trust Building and Communication Skills
Module Two: Anger Management and Problem-Solving Skills
Module Three: Ethnic Identity and Anti-Prejudice
Module Four: Educational Aspirations
Module Five: Peer Pressure and Gangs
Module Six: Exposure to Violence and Posttraumatic Stress Reactions
Module Seven: Family Relationships
Termination Session: The Party
3. Effectiveness of SPARK Groups
Characteristics of Participating Group Members
Family Structure and Distress
Exposure to Community Violence
Effectiveness of the SPARK Groups
Time 1 and Time 2 Differences for Those in the Treatment Group
Time 1 and Time 2 Differences for Those in the Control Group
Comparisons between the Treatment and Control Groups
Summary and Conclusions
Information Regarding Data Analyses
Appendices
Appendix A: Sample Materials for Beginning SPARK Groups
Appendix B: Curriculum Materials and Handouts
Appendix C: Sample Materials in Spanish for Beginning SPARK Groups
Appendix D: Curriculum Materials and Handouts in Spanish
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