This Guide is a supplement to the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs' (WCSAP) general guide to psychoeducational support groups, Circle of Hope. Circle of Hope provides information about the nature of psychoeducational groups and how they differ from self-help and therapy groups. In addition, there is general guidance on how to select participants, work with a co-facilitator, establish a curriculum, maintain healthy boundaries, and handle the inevitable concerns that arise in the course of running groups. Circle of Hope is available on the WCSAP website.
This Guide expands upon Circle of Hope within the specific context of groups for teen sexual abuse and assault survivors, and is intended to be used in conjunction with it. In this Guide we offer extensive practical considerations for working with teens that will inform your use of the eight-week sample curriculum.
Because of the outstanding outreach and prevention work that sexual assault programs do with teens in the community, survivors may come forward to seek help. Young people are vulnerable to sexual violence and often feel isolated and stigmatized. A psychoeducational support group can offer accurate information, a sense of community, and skills for recovery and growth. We hope that this Guide will support all advocates working with teens (whether in a group setting or individually) by providing information and activities that are engaging and developmentally appropriate. Our goal is to help teen survivors access their own strength and courage to claim a healthy and rewarding life.