Gerina Davis aka “Ms. G” is the Youth and Community Clinician of the Crown Heights Mediation Center. From the month of November to the end of May, she conducted a girls group at Clara Barton High School. The purpose of this group was to create a safe space for young girls to explore their emotions and empower them to be their best selves. The group had approximately ten (10) young ladies primarily from the tenth grade with a splash from the 9th grade. To accomplish the goal of this group, there were dynamics that transpire and can be explained through stages of development. The length of the stages varies per group (individual or members collectively), but these are stages that all groups will need to endure them. A brief recap of the groups time together will be done in the framework of the five stages of group development. The group started off the way most groups do when people do not know one another- they were quiet, skeptical, and guarded.
- Forming- The dynamic of the group, initially, were the girls answering with what sound good, they made light of situations that were serious, or did not speak at all
- Storming- There was a shift of schedule and some issues with girls that took place outside of the group causing there to be inconsistent attendance and tension within
- Norming- The group began to take shape- the group of girls attending were consistent, they began to form an identity, and were collectively able to reach a new level of vulnerability that could only happen if the girls felt they were in a safe and supportive space
- Performing- The ladies began to self-report how the lessons they have drawn from the group and one another has assisted in their lives and decrease the instances of altercation in and out of school
- Adjourning- As they reflected on their time together, they practiced mindfulness techniques and lessons that were learned and will take with them
Some of the topics that the ladies discussed are as follows:
- Safety, Emotions and Experiences
- Family/Parental Connections
- What does it mean to be Weak or Strong
- Loss and Expression
- Healthy Relationships
- The importance of Support Circles
- Evaluations of relationships/ discovery
- What would you do?
- and more!
Based on a survey the young ladies were given at the close of their group, they found the group impactful and expressed wanting to continue their group during the summer and next school year. The hope is that Ms. G will be able to return to Clara Barton High School to connect with more students starting Fall 2018.