Episode 34 | Girls Empowered Motivated & Strong

The Group Work Podcast. Find out what happens in the space where group therapy takes place.

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Erica Tatum-Sheade, LCSW joins Katie to discuss her girls empowered group where they tackle self-esteem issues that girls 8-18 face. In their conversation, they discuss how children of different ages influence the dynamics of therapy groups, an innovative way to include caregivers in children-based groups, and why some groups are better off held in person than online. 

Erica Tatum-Sheade, LCSW is a certified Daring Way Facilitator and the creator of G.E.M.S.® (Girls Empowered Motivated and Strong). Girls leave G.E.M.S.® with deeper knowledge and greater confidence about who they are.


[00:00] - [00:17] cut out 

[00:18] Who is Erica Tatum-Sheade, LCSW? 

[01:48] Adding BIPOC perspectives to Daring Way facilitation. 

[04:38] Balancing working with teenagers with working with adults. 

[06:50] What is G.E.M.S.® (Girls Empowered Motivated and Strong)?

[08:58] Group’s age range and experiencing groups with mixed ages.

[12:21] Group structure:  letting members set the group’s agenda.

[14:43] The role of caregivers in groups for children (and how it differs by age group). 

[16:47] Why Erica asks her group members to sign a rock.

[19:59] Preferring in-person groups to online groups. 

[21:21] Advice to therapists who want to start a girls empowered group. 

[23:08] How to connect with EricaTatum-Sheade.  

3 Key Takeaways 

  1. When working with high school kids, you might find them to be very filtered and reserved. Working with elementary kids is the opposite experience - they don’t have a strong filter. Middle school kids tend to outwardly want to be helped. 
  2. Instead of sharing with caregivers how children benefited from your group, you can organize a session where children tell their caregivers about their learnings in the group themselves. When you report to caregivers yourself about the progress their child is making in your group, you may not be communicating the true value the child is experiencing. 
  3. There are hundreds of curriculums that you can pick up and model your groups off of. You have to be intentional about what you’re doing. Reflect on what will empower you to show up authentically in your group.

Tools & Resources

Connect with Erica Tatum-Sheade: WebsitePersonal Website | Instagram | Facebook

 Book recommendation: Lifting Heavy Things: Healing Trauma One Rep at a Time by Laura Khoudari


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