Will these groups be offered just for girls? There will be different groups offered at Alive Center for girls and boys. The development of these groups is strategic because the research supports that relational aggression is found more with girls. In the UniGirlOlogist Friendship Leadership group, these relational aggression themes are discussed in an age appropriate manner, using a tangible craft to go home with the children/adolescents as a reminder of what was learned during the group. The group for boys and girls will be called Creative Arts group and this will be for authors, illustrators, and ANYTHING with the creative mind. The children/adolescents are learning many different topics and will also take home a tangible object or creation as a way for these themes to resonate when they get home and in their community.
You are a clinical psychologist; will this group be therapy? No, this group will not be therapy because we are working on prevention and protective factors. Our groups are a conversation starter and building leadership skills. They are building resiliency and teaching our youth to find their voice through their innovation and creative minds. Insurance companies will not pay for prevention or building resiliency skills. Our 9-year-old daughter identified all of the gaps and mixed messages in the world, and it was so inspiring, that we decided to create leadership programs that promote conversation starters. If your child is in therapy, they are more than welcome to join our group, in addition to their supportive system that you created for them.
Why are the groups combined for 2-5th grade? During our pilot groups, we found that the children learned from each other. It was amazing that our 5th graders became leaders and owned that relational aggression and feeling left out also happened to them too. The groups added value to this dynamic and I feel comfortable facilitating this type of dynamic because I was a teacher before becoming a clinical psychologist. The dynamic was powerful and helped raise the leadership skills with each grade level. It was being a part of group and the connection that made this so successful. Although 5th graders have nothing in common with a 2nd grader at first glance, there was an unbelievable protective factor that was established and the 5th graders reported to loving the group and wanting to come back week after week.
As a parent, may I sit in the group? ABSOLUTELY! I will invite the parents to join the group! There are a few variables that may pose a problem for parents with multiple children (I have 4 children…. SO I GET IT!!!!). If you can join the group, I would be MORE THAN honored to have you be a part of it. There will be a few rules if you join us. NO PHONES! You will want this time with your child and your undivided attention. They will cherish this time with you, as you are part of our group. IF you have younger children, I am so sorry, but they cannot stay if they are not registered. If you do not have a sitter and want to organize a plan, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will schedule a time to talk over the phone and develop a plan that works for your family!
What if my child cannot attend each group and only can attend a few of the groups? I strongly believe that we need to proceed in this thing called life with A LOT of flexibility. Ideally, you will want for your child to attend every monthly group; however, I understand as a mommy of 4 and a full-time job as a clinical psychologist, sometimes, this is not possible. On the website, you will see that you will be able to sign up for the classes individually and that was done because we too, understand that you will not able to attend every month. If you can…… AMAZING because we facilitated these groups as a pilot and the girls LOVED it. My daughters begged for me to begin them again and we are so honored to have found our marketplace partner, Alive Center.
Why are the groups $30? I think as a parent, this is a valid question and I would ask the same thing. As a company, there are a myriad of costs to sustain the LLC (limited liability company). The fee is for materials for the group, renting the group room, IRS taxes, website, online payment processing, accounting, and MOST importantly because I want for the children to pick a nonprofit that they will donate to each month. I hope these groups spread and we need to develop more because that means we raise leaders in our communities and teach them to give back. I can absolutely do this in my own private practice, but it would not be for prevention. I cannot legally meet with clients and bill insurance companies for children who “may have anxiety in the future.” That is not how mental health works and everyone says we need to change the world, but how do you do it? You say you want to decrease mental health and yet, the world creates more of a “one-upping society.” As Dr. Brene Brown stated, “We live in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol.” These groups will have an outline where parents will know what their child discussed and they will bring home a craft to allow for these themes to resonate. Please start talking to your child about what is a nonprofit and what charities would be amazing for them to contribute to. We will invite your family to participate in charity events and this will be ultimate level of gratitude for our children. Giving back is an enormous part of UniGirlOlogist.
Will you start more groups in the future? Absolutely! Please follow our social media accounts and website to see all of the groups that will be developed as our needs assessments continue in the community! My daughters and I are architects with building programs in our community filled with innovation, creation, leadership, and spreading kindness!