Mari Hoaglund

Social media has stripped our society of genuine, meaningful face to face interactions. This is a common problem my co-worker, Stefanie Palmer, LPC, and I have noticed since we have started providing outpatient therapy. We both come from a strong background in providing intensive therapy for adolescents. We wanted to bridge a gap in our community, a lack of support groups for mental health and teens. Reminiscing on our childhood, we came up with the group idea of Girl Talk, modeling it after our favorite board game as teens.

This group is close to my heart as it focused on teaching Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, practical skills these teens girls could use to cope with the struggles they face, not just in high school, but everyday life. During the 5 evening sessions at our Racine office, the group focused heavily on mindfulness, learning to cope through distressing moments, effective communication, grounding techniques using the 5 senses and much more.

The benefit of using a group model allows members to feel validated and supported in the struggles they face. They learn they aren’t alone in their journey. While this group was specific to adolescent teen girls, Stef and I look forward branching out to adults as well!