My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Groupworks for Education Inc, Brooklyn, NY, USA
Participating with GroupWorks as a senior facilitator of student
groups allows me to bring the expertise and wisdom gained over more than 25 years of study and/or practice of psychoanalytic clinical social work to NYC inner city school children and their guidance counselors. By co leading groups of children at risk with their guidance counselors, I am not only able to train the counselors in the highly effective model of modern group process, but I am also able to touch in a positive way the lives of the children themselves. For one period a week it is okay for these children to talk about their fears of getting shot in the neighborhood, the shame of a parent’s incarceration, the death of a beloved sibling, the absence of a mother, or the difficulty of having parents from an entirely different culture than New York American. Giving the children permission to have all their thoughts and feelings about the situations in their lives and respecting those feelings fosters self - respect and self- esteem, which they take back to their classroom with them. Children who feel good about themselves have a better chance of learning and doing well in school so that they may have better lives in the future.
For me, GroupWorks is personally enriching. Hearing the children call out my name in the hall to greet me as I arrive for my weekly morning at the school and listening to them talk about themselves in the safe environment of the group sessions stays with me throughout the whole week. Conducting a supervision group for counselors and psychologists gives me first hand knowledge, an insider’s birds eye view, of the challenges everyone in the Department of Education faces on a daily basis. It is important for me to be there for staff so that they can be there even more fully for the children.
The structure of GroupWorks provides for its facilitators so that we can better do our job, too. Monthly meetings with our peers who work throughout the school system also as part of GroupWorks give us an opportunity to problem solve and have our feelings heard and understood. Our meetings are models of what we are trying to teach the children to do in their groups. Monthly supervision by the director of GroupWorks with facilitators working in the same school further supports the work we do and helps prevent burnout that germinates in a sense of isolation. GroupWorks is a healthy model for any service providing or mental health agency.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
I have experienced the children and their guidance counselors benefitting from the group sessions provided bu GroupWorks.
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
I would make sure that Group Works was in every school in NYC