Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2020

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Counseling

Department

Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Jessica Brown

Keywords

group therapy, group manual, counseling, out of home placement

Abstract

Within the United States, each year there are 428,000 children in foster care and 135,000 children who are adopted (Adoption Network, 2016). This is a difficult population to treat due to social, emotional, and behavioral deficits as a result of early abuse and neglect. The research identifies an increase of mental health symptoms and emotional and behavioral difficulties. Complex trauma occurs frequently within this population which increase the difficulty in treating mental health symptoms. As a result, treatment approached need to be tailored to the client’s unique background and needs. There is a gap in the research regarding the effects of early disruption in attachment and changes in caregivers and environment due to out of home placement. In turn, this highlights the need for early intervention. This group manual was created for children aged five to six-years-old to provide them with emotion identification, coping skills, trauma exposure, regulation, and a support system of peers. Materials are provided in a developmentally appropriate manner, thus utilizing play and activities. Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, and the Bounce Back program were the theories and programs that drove the creation of this manual. This manual was developed as research suggests that children prefer peers to be involved in their treatment, therefore, a group intervention seems very fitting (Ingley & Dobel, 2013).

Keywords: group therapy, group manual, out of home placement

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