Divorce: A Case Study

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Divorce is a phenomenon that affects a significant number of children across the country. The current divorce rate is 50% (Wong, 2014). This means a large number of students in schools will have or be experiencing the negative side effects of divorce. These effects vary.
“Children’s reactions to divorce seem to be of three types. The first type are those reactions that appear to be normal reactions to the crisis, such as fear, anger, grief, and yearning for the departed parent, and for a family in general. The second type are those reactions that appear to be age-specific, exaggerated behaviors, such as increases in obstinate behaviors, masturbation, and aggression in younger children, and strategic physical, and emotional distancing,
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Increasing protective factors for children and young people addresses the child’s ability to explore their own strengths and identifying support systems in immediate family members, friends, school staff, counselors and other community youth support groups or networks. This strategy increases the child’s ability to remain resilient despite very little control over their circumstances. Identifying likes, goals, coping mechanisms and personal strengths decreases the likelihood of maladaptive behaviors and other risks associated with parental divorce. (Hopt, S., 2010)
This curriculum helps provide children with the opportunity to develop social interpersonal skills, problem solving, and coping skills in the group setting. The goal of this curriculum is to increase emotional, behavioral and social competence while learning from their peers in a safe, small group experience. This curriculum is shaped to help children build resiliency in their lives through strength based counseling
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The first thing we will do to get these referrals is contact all the middle school teachers and ask them to refer any students who they think may be experiencing behavioral problems at home due to divorce or conflict in the home.
The next step that we will take in order to get referrals is soliciting the parents. We will do this by making a detailed sheet about our group curriculum goals and sending it home to parents/ guardians.

In order to ensure that this group curriculum is beneficial to the students we will conduct screening interviews for each student that is referred to group counseling. Screening will help us identify the students that are compatible for our group counseling and if they are not compatible, it will also help us see what types of counseling services other students may need.
Screening Questions
Are you parents currently divorced or in the process of getting a divorce?
What has this process looked like?
How do you typically work in a group?
What is helping you cope with the divorce process?
What goals might you have for therapy?
Would you be interested in a group counseling

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