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Group Counseling for Children of Addicted Parents Essay

Presenting the First Two Group Sessions

The sample involves children of addicted parents under the age category of 14-17 years. This group has been chosen because such children are the most psychologically vulnerable due to the hormonal changes that occurred to their organisms. During the first two sessions, the groups will undergo interviews and questionnaires both individually and in their parents’ presence. Observational processes will also be involved to define behavioral patterns and deviations (Kimmel, 2007). During the preparation sessions, the participants will have the possibility to learn about the scope and importance of the study and ask questions concerning different stages of observations and treatments.

During the first session, when group focus discussion will be conducted, some of the participants can be reluctant to participate in the discussion and respond to questions posed by the researchers. To alleviate the problem, I will interview the participants separately and ask the questions to figure out why the child feels uncomfortable about group discussions. As soon as the reason is clarified, I would talk once more with the participant to persuade him that the group sessions are important stages that would allow the child to adjust to a new environment and uncover the concerns and problems.

Moreover, I would enumerate the benefits of group discussion, such as the opportunity to listen to other people’s concerns and understand that his/her problems are not unique and that other people suffer from addicted parents’ attitudes and behaviors. Finally, I would assure the child that no measures will be taken to contradict the established instructions mentioned earlier.

Handling Challenging Issues During the Next 3-4 Sessions

While carrying out observations and exploring behaviors during the next group sessions, such challenging issues as sexual abuse, religious preferences, and the use of illegal drugs can be raised. These issues are of great significance due to the group peculiarities because the sample population involves children of addicted parents. Because this group has an increased feeling of fear of being punished or sexually abused, they become more suspicious and, as a result, these issues should be tackled more carefully.

While handling the matters of sexual abuse, the role of a counselor is confined to the necessity to introduce information about the rules and frames of heterosexual interactions for the adolescent to understand what social skills must be acquired to adjust to a social and cultural environment (Ottomanelli, 1995, p. 102). In this respect, as a group leader, it is imperative to convince children that they should not bear the burden of guilt for their addicted parents.

This measure is important because children suffering from different abuse types are more likely to consume alcohol or threshold the law (Lines, 2006, p. 176). More importantly, children should realize that their behavior and perceptions should depend on their parents’ perceptions and attitudes. A counselor should explain to children why parents behave in a certain way and determine how children understand and feel in these terms.

Religious and social beliefs can affect adolescents’ behavior and distort their perception of sexual identity (Ottomanelli, 1995, p. 102). In particular, the group counselor’s role is to explore the emotional readiness and psychosexual development of children and define the level of children’s vulnerability. Hence, as a group leader, I should be more focused on spirituality-based counseling, which implies studying existing prejudices and opinions about addiction-related issues. In this respect, the counselor should have a deep understanding of spirituality and consider ethical issues in religious minorities (Lines, 2006, p. 186). Most importantly, because spiritual and religious issues are closely related to the cross-cultural phenomenon, the counselor should pay special attention.

Because children of addicted parents often fail to receive sufficient education at home, these children are of particular concern to educators in the school. During the group session, I will try to define the probability of using illegal drugs among children. This issue should be taken into the deepest consideration because children of problematic parents often face psychological and physical pressure where drugs constitute the only solution to a situation.

In this respect, my role as a leader and group counselor is to explain to the children other ways of relieving grief, angriness, and hatred. Also, a counselor should bear in mind that children of the addict are more likely to become addicted as well. The point is that “addictive patterns are closely tied in with a person’s sense of identity” (Brazier, 2009, p. 239).

Just because children stay within a psychologically oppressed environment, “…layers of grieving, disappointment or other unhappiness are added to the earlier factors which may have precipitated the addiction in the first place” (Brazier, 2009, p. 239). Therefore, most of the children should be convinced of the harm that drugs can do to their health and future life. The counselor should provide children with bright examples and explain to them the consequences of drug overuse.

Developing a Plan of Transition

Once all preparation and other sessions have been conducted, it is high time to make specific conclusions and transfer to the final stage of group therapy. At the end of the session, I hope to find significant shifts in children’s behavior and attitude. If one of the participants wants to refer to the ongoing services, I believe that this step will first be discussed with me before he/she decides to enter another therapeutic treatment.

Hence, at the first stage of this referral, I would like to accompany the child to track whether all my recommendations are properly used. Hence, I will also recommend a participant record all his perceptions and views on how the services are provided to make sure that he/she has the right outlook on purposes and perspectives presented at the ongoing services. The second phase will be asking a participant to reflect on the experiences and lessons he/she learned while attending the new sessions. My task here will be listening only without giving any recommendations. In such a manner, I will be able to make a person make personal decisions and conclusions.

Besides, a child will have the possibility to make personal outlooks and realize the changes that occur to his/her life (Shulman, 2010). During this stage, I will also keep tracking the children’s understanding of attending ongoing services to define whether there are some problems in adjusting to new environments and backgrounds.

At the final stage of the transition plan, I will decide whether the services the participant attends are relevant or not with regard to the results. During the final visit, I will also provide a participant with a sequence of final recommendations concerning what therapists and services should visit and how frequently these services should be used.


Brazier, C. (2009). Listening to the Other: A New Approach to Counselling and Listening Skills. US: O Books.

Kimmel, A. (2007). Ethical issues in behavioral research: basic and applied perspectives. US: John Wiley & Sons.

Lines, D. (2006). Brief Counselling in Schools: Working with Young People from 11 to 18. US: SAGE Publications.

Ottomanelli, G. (1995). Children and Addiction. Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group.

Shulman, L. (2010). Dynamics and Skills of Group Counselling. New York: Cengage Learning.

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