Level 4: Tweens and Teens
The Tweens & Teens group requires social interaction with peers and ability to process exchanges of ideas and opinions with peers. We have noticed that tweens/teens who are learning how to cope with anxiety can really benefit from being with other tweens/teens of similiar temperament; learning about each other can help them learn about themselves, build self-awareness, and foster ego and identity development. Positive peer relationships are important for a preadolescent's/adolescent's social development, ego development, and identity formation. For tweens and teens with a history of selective mutism and/or social anxiety, or other anxieties, socializing with peers can be challening, especially in a culture where more quiet personalities are often misunderstood. Therapeutic goals in our Tween/Teen Group include increasing knowledge about the relationship between brain and behavior, increasing mindfulness of how one reacts to stress/anxiety, and learning how to identify and apply adaptive coping instead of anxious avoidance.
The prerequisites for Level 4 groups are as follows:
- Must have completed sessions at ATS within the last three months, including at least one peer session (1:1 Child to Therapist ratio) or group session (1:3 Child to Therapist ratio).
- Demonstrates the ability to separate from parent(s) after a 5-10 min warm up during individual therapy session and group therapy session.
- Demonstrates the ability to respond directly to Group Therapist in the presence of a peer during the Preview Session.
- Demonstrates the ability to interact verbally with limited assistance by the Group Facilitator at the Preview Session.
Readiness for this group can also be demonstrated by the following:
- Has participated in Adventure Camp or Winter Adventure (1:1 Camper to Counselor ratio).
- Has participated in Social Exposures Group (1:5 ratio) or Social Thinking Group (1:5 ratio) at ATS.
If you are not sure if your child meets these prerequisites, talk it over with your child's ATS therapist. If it has been over three months since your child has been in treatment at ATS, then a refresher session may be necessary to reacquaint your child. If you think an introductory group is more appropriate, then consider Come Play, Courage Club or Social Thinking Group.
If it has been over 6 months since your child has been in treatment at ATS, or your child has never received treatment at ATS, and you think this group is ideal for your child's needs, please contact ATS at 630-230-6505 Ext 1 to set up an evaluation or click here to request an appointment.
FEATURED SELECTIVE MUTISM LINKS
- *Child Mind Institute of NY
- *Hear Our Voices, Young Adults Who Have Overcome SM, Child Mind Institute of NY
- *School Advocacy for Your Child with Selective Mutism, Presentation by Child Mind Institute's Susan Schwartz
- *Selective Mutism Anxiety Research and Treatment Center
- *Selective Mutism Group
- *Summer Plans for Children with SM, Presentation by Dr. Steven Kurtz, Child Mind Institute of NY
- *The Role of Medication in the Treatment of Selective Mutism, Presentation by Dr. Boorady, Child Mind Institute of NY
- *Video of Selective Mutism, ABC News
- *Books about Selective Mutism for Children and Adults
- *Free Selective Mutism e-Learning Website
Benefits of Group Therapy
*Provides a safe space
*Reduces isolation and alienation
*Allows the giving and receiving of support
*Helps with finding individual voice
*Enables the expression of feelings/needs
*Assists in the building of self-esteem and social skills
*Offers a cost-effective approach