While volunteering at the local community center, I was asked to run the basketball program for ages 10 – 13 which included both girls and boys. Out of the 37 children who participated, 5 were girls. These girls felt awkward being the only ones in the league which reminded me of when I was their age. Even though I continued to play basketball well into my adult years, I remembered being the only girl and being picked last. Never wanting to complain and not knowing who to talk to about it, I just held in the anger and disgust which made me a better player. These girls I wanted to provide them an outlet to talk about whatever they wanted to and feel comfortable.
Girls Basketball Club meets every Monday and Wednesday at the community center from 6 – 7pm. All 5 girls have continuously attended and even recently have brought guests who are also interested in joining the group. In forming this group, it was intended to be a closed group to young teenage girls who are looking for a safe place to speak openingly about any and everything going on in their lives and participating in the basketball program. One aspect of the group which I did not intend on implementing but rather it implemented itself, individual counseling. After each group session there were always girls who wanted to talk to me about issues they are not open to discuss with the group.
Girls Basketball Club is in Stage 3: Transition Stage – Dealing with Resistance. The girls all know each other but some are “enemies” and are afraid to open up and then have to worry about the other girls telling their business. This is the main problem in the group. They are all open to talk about certain problems and issues going on in their lives but most times it seems they add to the stories to make their story better than the last. Due to this ongoing issue, I will start the sessions off with asking everyone to choose a topic out of a pile of cards which I have pre-written. Each member then has to concentrate on that word and apply it to their own lives. I have found this to be successful in getting a group discussion going and also keeping the members honest and open. The members all show me a lot of respect and the only challenges have been them walking out if something is said they do not like. However in these instances they have always came back and apologized for leaving (whether the same day or the next meeting time).
As the Human Services professional, using a mix of Humanistic and CBT made my leadership very successful. Cognitive behavioral approach is the main approach I use as the group leader. This therapy is successful with a wide range of problems and there are many different ways to utilize CBT. I like structure and goals but have learned to be flexible as needed. As a leader personality and character is valued the most. My personality has always been bubbly, open, and uplifting. Friends always say I am “the life of the party” and easy to talk to due to my honesty. Being able to develop bonds with group members and being a positive voice is where my personality comes into play as a leader. My character I highly value. I live and die by “my word”. I am called upon frequently by family and friends when advice is needed due to the fact I am very upfront and honest. Living in the truth will always lead to better things. Having trust is key in getting the members openly participating and being honest about what’s going on so the group can discuss and give appropriate feedback. The director of the center told me the girls really look up to me and she can tell the difference in their attitudes and moods when I am around them. I found it interesting working with this group and CBT/Humanistic therapy encompasses almost everything. This allows all members involved in the treatment to gather the same understanding. The members of the group are all girls ages 10 – 13, come from single parent homes, and live in the…