1st Edition

Strengthening Social Connections and Individual Resilience in Adolescence The Belong and Be You Curriculum

By Peter Mortola, Diane Gans Copyright 2024
    172 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    172 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book introduces a group counseling curriculum that provides both a foundation to confidently lead a counseling group for adolescents and inspiration for how a group leader can adapt and modify the text in a range of settings.

    The curriculum is three-fold, corresponding with the three major sections of the text. In Part One of the text, the authors provide a conceptual and practical way of understanding two matters: first, the critical leadership challenges faced by group counselors as well as the skills they need to navigate those challenges successfully, and second, the critical developmental challenges faced by adolescents and the skills they need to navigate those challenges successfully. Part Two introduces a nine-week social skills curriculum – Belong and Be You – designed and modified over ten years of use to help adolescents be better socially connected as well as confidently independent. Part Three provides an additional resource which is meant to be used in tandem with the curriculum: 40 strategic stories on four different themes contributed by faculty and students.

    This book will benefit school counselors and group counselors working with adolescents to successfully navigate group leadership and help students embrace themselves and find belonging.

    Part One: Conceptual & Practical Preparation  1. Navigating Four Important Dialectics in Group Leadership  2. Navigating Three Important Dialectics in Adolescent Developmental  Part Two: Belong & Be You Group Sessions  3. Session 1 - Opening the Group  4. Session 2 - Joining as a Group  5. Session 3 - Being Similar and Different  6. Session 4 - Managing Feelings  7. Session 5 - Addressing Bullying  8. Session 6 - Exploring Belonging  9. Session 7 – Being Unique  10. Session 8 - Giving and Receiving Appreciations  11. Session 9 - Closing the Group  Part Three: Strategic Story Examples  12. Managing Emotions: Strategic Story Examples  13. Addressing Bullying: Strategic Story Examples  14. Finding Belonging: Strategic Story Examples  15. Being Unique: Strategic Story Examples


    Peter Mortola, PhD, is a professor of Counseling, Therapy and School Psychology at Lewis & Clark College’s Graduate School of Education and Counseling in Portland, Oregon.

    Diane Gans, MA, LPC, is a psychotherapist and educator who has served children and their families for over 25 years as both a classroom teacher and counselor in private practice.

    'Flush with creative ideas and expert guidance, this book is an excellent resource for any helping professional working with adolescents in a group context. The dialectical view is innovative and specifically adaptive to engaging, therapeutic, and fun work with adolescents. I would want to both lead a group using this approach or be a group member.' Professor Matt Englar-Carlson, Department of Counseling, California State University, Fullerton, co-author of Learning Group Leadership: An Experiential Approach (2014, Sage Publications)

    'Mortola & Gans draw on their vast experience of group leadership to guide clinicians through the delicate art of creating developmentally and relationally attuned group spaces. Groupwork is so powerful for young people and this compelling and practical guide demonstrates why. A must-read for group leaders with this age group.' Bronagh Starrs, Programme Director of Adolescent Psychotherapy, Dublin Counselling and Therapy Centre, Dublin, Ireland

    'This is a unique counseling group curriculum which provides a dialectical framework and guided sessions based on the authors’ shared experience leading hundreds of counseling groups with adolescents. I wholeheartedly recommend it to teach social and emotional skills in schools and professional settings, deepening a teen’s sense of belonging and sense of self.' Laura Barbour, PhD, LPSC, Lewis and Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling; Past President of the Oregon School Counselor Association