Frequently Asked Questions
What is The Critical Dialogue PAGETM for Teen?
This PAGE provides a safe platform for teens to connect with their peer groups to share in a free and safe manner the challenges, issues, and concerns they face. It enables through the critical dialogue teens to express in an uninhibited way about their mental wellness, family issues, career plans, study challenges, self-care and self-development, and coping issues.
What can Teen PAGETM offer Teens?
This PAGETM offers a convenient and safe place for you to connect, share stories, and encouragement. Positive social support is a critical component for you to develop and grow into a healthy adult. Many teens find that in addition to the support and services they receive from qualified mental wellness professionals, they wish that they could talk to a peer who has had similar experiences. When asked who is best able to support them emotionally, teens often identify their peers, who can share their experiences.
What can Teens offer other Teens in the group?
- Acceptance – For many teenagers, there has been at least one occasion where they have felt blamed or held responsible for actions which are an outcome of their increased anxiety and vulnerability at that age. It is often only other teens who are living with the same emotional or mental challenges that can truly make them feel that they are not alone.
- Sense of belonging – For many teens, find it difficult to share their experiences with their parents, teachers or elders as either they don’t have time enough to talk or they just don’t seem to relate. That is probably the reason why they look for support from others outside of their circle and in their peer group as they see that others ‘get it’. They develop a sense of belonging that they may not have experienced before with their parents, teachers or elders.
- Understanding – Many teens may not get the kind of support and understanding from family and friends. This can sometimes come from other people’s lack of understanding of the situation, or their fear of what they are seeing happening to themselves in their family or immediate environment. Teens in peer support often get a sense of relief because they don’t have to explain why they are behaving the way they are or why, as a teen why they are not acting responsible. The other teens just ‘get it.’
- Family support – For many teens, keeping their relationships with their parents, teachers and caretakers strong is a real challenge given the strain and stress that comes with having to deal with social, emotional, mental wellness and academic problems. Teens often have no place to talk about these issues or to hear that others are experiencing the same challenges. Peer support groups can provide a space to share these experiences.
- Time for self – With parental anxiety and concern putting immense pressure on teens, for many facing multiple challenges, right from the striking changes taking place in their body as well as brain, to a sudden feeling of vulnerability, or the pressure of school and grades to less empathetic teachers – Teens get very little time to process their emotions. They simply may not have the ways to handle this intense emotional upheaval they experience in their teenage years. Over a long period of time, these can lead to increased sense of anxiety, depression and other mental wellness problems for teens. A peer support group can help teens gain perspective and provide them with timely help and support.
What are the benefits of participating in a Teen PAGETM?
Many teens benefit from sharing information with others in their peer group. A lot of useful information can be exchanged. For example, you might join a peer support group if you want to:
- Talk to someone about the mental wellness problems you are faced with
- Discuss the stress of dealing with increased sense of vulnerability, anxiety caused due to multiple contextual setting including peer-pressure. Learning a whole new vocabulary, and dealing with the aspects of mental wellness problems
- Find support and advice about special classes and services, about how to commuicate or express your challenges and difficulties, without being labeled, and how to remain optimistic
- Learn tips on how some of your peers have managed similar challenges
- Develop confidence in your own ideas and impressions about your needs and wants.
What dimensions of well-being can be taken up in the Teen PAGETM?
There are ten key dimensions of mental wellness which need attention and dealing with each one of them is a challenge in itself. This PAGETM which is often facilitated by experienced professionals focuses on not just diagnosing the potential challenges you could have dealing with the ten aspects but also guide you to responsibly deal with them as well. The ten dimensions are given below:
- Emotional wellbeing – Your Emotional wellness is a cognitive appraisal of satisfaction with life in general and includes a positive balance of pleasant to unpleasant. Well-being and mental health are issues of everyday life and emotional well-being can be considered as a component of positive mental health.
- Defence mechanim – Your defence mechanism points to how your personality traits influence your mental processes to find solutions to stressful episodes in your life. It points to the ways in which your mind will project your negative emotions into thoughts and feelings.
- Anger response – Anger is a natural and mostly automatic response to pain of one form or another (physical or emotional). Anger can occur when people don’t feel well, feel rejected, feel threatened, or experience some loss.
- Impulsivity – Impulsivity, or an impulsive behaviour, is broadly defined as actions without foresight that are poorly conceived, prematurely expressed, unnecessarily risky, and inappropriate to the situation. Impulsivity is associated with undesirable, rather than desirable, outcomes.
- Attitudes – Attitudes are your mental state of readiness, organized through your experience which exerts a direct influence on your response to all objects and situations in which you are in. It could include your beliefs, feelings and behavioural predisposition towards socially significant events.
- Self-acceptance – An individual’s sense of self-acceptance is defined as a central feature of mental health as well as the characteristic of self-actualization, optimal functioning, and maturity. It refers to holding positive attitude towards oneself.
- Purpose in life – It relates to one’s ability to feel that there is a purpose to life. It indicates a clear purpose and meaning of life. It relates to your sense of directedness and intentionality. It is about your drive to achieve your goals. It’s your pursuit of making life meaningful or purposeful.
- Autonomy – It indicates your qualities of self-determination, independence, self-regulatory behavior. It is one’s ability to demonstrate autonomous functioning and a strong resistance to inculturation. Autonomy also relates to have a strong internal locus of evaluation, where one does not look at others for approval but evaluates oneself with personal standards. It points to one’s tendency to be opposed to commonly held beliefs, values, fears and law of the masses.
- Positive relationships – It is your ability to have positive relationships with others. It emphasizes the ability to form close union with others, and the guidance and direction of others. It relates to your ability to maintain warm, affectionate, friendly, cordial relations with others. It is an indicator of your social wellness.
- Peronal growth – It points to the ability to develop one’s potential to grow and expand as a person. The need to actualize oneself and realize potential is central to clinical perspective of personal growth. It relates to one’s tendency to continually develop oneself, embrace change and be open to new experiences and ideas.
You will not just be able to get an assessment of your current state on the above dimension, you will be able to discuss, find resources, peer support, and facilitation to help work on them.
What is a PAGETM?
- It’s a unique environment where 8-10 teens, meet monthly to share and learn about ways to manage the anxiety and vulnerabilty which comes with this important transition phase in their life.
- It helps teens to discover their purpose in life and learn ways to work and reach their goals. It’s about personal growth.
- It’s led by a seasoned facilitator who has vast experience in facilitating group meetings.
- The long term objective is to help teens to grow and become positive teens
- It creates an environment of confidentiality, trust, friendship, mutual support and long term accountability….like having your own personal board of advisors.
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Disclaimer: Please keep in mind the guidelines are suggestions from The Critical Dialogue based on years of experience assisting peer support groups to grow and thrive. The Critical Dialogue Peer support groups PAGE, are intended to provide motivation, education, and a supportive community. They are not intended as therapy or treatment for medical or any mental health disorder. Neither The Critical Dialogue, its affiliates, nor peer support group leaders are able to provide medical or psychotherapeutic advice or treatment. The Critical Dialogue PAGE is not a substitute for advice from an expert medical practitioner, clinical counselor, advisor, or related institutions. The Critical Dialogue or its constituent partners are not liable for any financial loss, trauma, physical or psychological harm, or any negative consequence that may arise or cause to the member or anyone using this group. By accepting to take part and be a member of The Critical Dialogue PAGEs, you agree to take complete responsibility for the consequences thereof. The members agree to keep complete confidentiality of all PAGE proceedings and member identities from non-members. Such confidentiality will not be applicable when peer group members feel that any member or its constituents are likely to cause harm bodily or otherwise, to self or others. All disputes are subject to the jurisdiction of an Indian court, in this case, Hyderabad, Telangana state, India.
The above disclaimer is applicable for all The Critical Dialogue PAGEs and those who join as members are deemed to have read and agreed to all our terms and conditions before joining any group.