1 Sep 2017

Emotional Skills Group – Students Aged 14 to 18

I am writing to inform you of an Emotional Skills Group that will be offered at Island School by three well known Clinical Psychologists through an 8 week programme.  This is specially designed for female students aged 14 to 18 (Years 10 – 13). It provides them with opportunities to learn skills and strategies to regulate their emotions and navigate different relationships.

The programme was initially due to start on the 1st September. However, it has since been postponed to start next week. The programme will take place on Fridays, 1pm – 2.30pm.

Each week, the group will utilise a different set of key skills, taken from Dialectical Behavioural Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, in order to help with the overarching topics that stretch across the ‘Riding the Big Waves’ group course.

These skills are:

  • MINDFULNESS: having a ‘wise mind’ which is neither totally emotional nor totally logical, learning practical techniques to help to stay in the moment
  • DISTRESS TOLERANCE. learning techniques to help group members to manage difficult and painful situations and emotions in a healthy manner; promoting distraction, self-soothing and helpful rather than harmful ways of dealing with distress
  • EMOTION REGULATION. reducing vulnerability to tricky and strong emotions, finding ways to manage waves of emotion effectively, noticing and learning about emotions and trigger-points
  • INTERPERSONAL EFFECTIVENESS. learning how to navigate relationships of all kinds, communication strategies, finding ways to understand what others might be thinking

All sessions will be a mixture of group discussions and taught activities from the group instructors.  Situations that many or all of the group will have encountered (losing one’s temper, falling out with a friend, feeling incredibly sad, getting into trouble at school, etc) will be used to provide the context for the discussions and skills, so that group members can learn from their own and other’s experiences.  Talking in this way is known to be an effective way of helping teens to understand the things that they might find difficult in context.  The group may be shown videos from films or youtube illustrating particular points, and they will be encouraged to discuss and reflect on these, in the context of the skills.  Between sessions, group members will be expected to practice the skills that they have learned over the previous week in the group, and to talk about whether these were helpful in stressful, ‘big wave’ situations.

  • Group rules will be constructed at the start of the sessions, and will include:
  • Confidentiality – respect that what has been discussed in the group stays in the group
  • Content – an understanding that unhelpful strategies for coping with emotions will not be discussed inside or outside of the group

A leaflet is attached with further details. Please note that there is a fee for the programme, payable to Central Health.

If you would require more information, please contact Island School Counsellor

Shirralee Sisson shirralee.sisson@online.island.edu.hk