Overview of Group Process and Design

As stated above, the group for the first 6 months was scheduled for once a month. Becarrse of continued evaluation from the young adults, their participation and ideas were always considered. Not only did this shape the progression of the group, it also gave the young adults a voice so that it was tailored to then preferences. One key aspect they did not like was the schedule. Since cancer treatment and survivorship can have a multitude of negative side effects, a lot of times the young adults would plan to attend group. But for some medical reason, they were unable to come. If this happened, they would have to wait an entire month to come. So, they asked for the schedule to be changed to twice a month. This was a beneficial consideration and the attendance dr amatically increased.

Three years into the group, we had one young adult relapse who had been a regular attendee. We also had two new young adults that had just been diagnosed come in. Needs for the participants’ change based off of where they are but the need for support is consistent which was when I integrated Zoom for participants that wanted to attend but couldn’t. We used Zoom for over a year, and it was a beneficial solution when participants were in isolation due to treatment. It connected them and allowed the young adults in group to support their members. The most effective way this worked was to pick a specific time for them to connect during the group. Often the young adult on the zoom jirst needed to give and update, get some support and check in. This process usually took about 20 minutes but the zoom participant had the option of participating during the entire session. This additional option of joining with Zoom allowed for more socialization and connection and is highly recommended to offer this additional technology to make the group connections stronger.

The implementation of Zoom was serendipitous when in March of 2020, COVID-19 emerged. Because we were already using this technology, it was an easy adjustment, same dates and times as planned. We were also still able to complete the pre- and post-evaluations on the chat section of the zoom template. I was able to cut and paste the responses into my group research. Zoom also proved beneficial in the chat section where the young adults were able to communicate their personal answers to one another in private. Ironically, Zoom was instrumental for these young adults due to the global epidemic and the additional support it spurred with the group members. In addition, between the regularly scheduled support Zoom groups, I added short psychoeducational Zooms. Some of these were visualization, body scan and stretch classes. These additional Zooms were 30 minutes in time and without pre- and post-evaluations. I implemented these because the young adults were talking about the epidemic taking always their self-care and supports, such as exercising at the gym, going out and socializing. So, they asked to learn more concrete coping skills. This was not something that had been requested in the past and it was comforting to know that they felt confident enough to ask and identify their current needs in this uncertain time.

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