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Unplug, Connect & C.O.P.E. (Community, Outdoors, and Personal Empowerment)

This group was designed for teen boys who struggle with social connection and the related negative effects of technology.

Our focus of this group is to meet the developmental, social, and psychological needs of teen boys who struggle with social connection, healthy coping and interaction with the world in general. We currently have the group opened up to 13-18 year olds, however we will assess each potential member for appropriateness  (e.g. median age of members, maturity, ability to follow group leaders direction, and most importantly, willingness to participate) to facilitate the primary goal of engaging in healthy social connections with peers and adult mentors.

The teens will participate in experiential activities and mindfulness exercises, along with structured time to connect with the outdoors and their peers. The group leaders will introduce creative discussions and assign observational, reading, and writing tasks between group sessions throughout the 8-week group which incorporates the concepts of the “Hero’s journey”, which was developed by Joseph Campbell.

According to Campbell, “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” The Hero’s journey follows a series of stages, beginning with the departure and initiation, and ending with a return. The hero’s challenge is to excel beyond his perceived limitations and leave his childhood behind to bring forth a future that is richer, wiser, and more beneficial to the world around him.

Most teens who engage in the fantasy world of video game play or engage too much in the Internet are searching for a sense of self and to be recognized and acknowledged by others. In the video games they take on the persona of a “hero” (or in video game lingo, “avatar”) which can be a reflection of what they think they want to be and portray; such as strength, wisdom, confidence, and respected and looked up to by others.

This group will creatively work with the teens regarding their own, personal “Hero’s journey” and “ Call to Adventure” by engaging in Rites of Passage activities, which marks the transition from one status to another. One of the primary goals of this group is to facilitate hope and excitement about connecting with “real-life others” and the teens will find positive emotion and feeling by doing so, therefore decreasing time on the Internet and video games.

We find that most teens we work with who overindulge in computers rarely venture outside to engage in the healthy benefits of nature. This group will offer the teen group members opportunities to connect with nature while connecting with others.

If someone you know struggles with the following signs and symptoms this group will be helpful.

The Signs and Symptoms of Technology Dependence

Sleep disturbances

Mood changes

Sleep deprivation

Significant weight-gain or weight loss

Avoiding friends and family members

Lying about the time spent playing video games or on Internet 

Poor hygiene  

Skipping meals 

Poor academic performance

Poor work performance

Group Details

Start Date:The group begins on Wednesday, June 5th from 5-7 pm.

End Date: The final group occurs on Wednesday, July 24th.
The Parent Support Group will occur on Wednesday, June 5th, June 12th, July 3rd, & July 24th from 5:30-6:45 pm.

Locations: Most of the teen groups will occur outdoors at local parks and hiking trails. A list of locations will be made available to parents and teens 2 weeks prior to the start of the group. The parent support groups will occur at the Collegiate Coaching Services offices; 2299 Pearl St, Ste 310.
Fee: The fee for this 8-week group, including the parent support group is $720.00. Sliding scale fee may be available. Contact us for information.

Contact us for more information: 303-635-6753 or info@collegiatecoachingservices.com


Group Leaders

Our teen group leaders Kris and Nathan have years of experience working with teens in various capacities. Kris brings an extensive background of work in the addictions field with teens and young adults. He has a strong interest in working with young people with Internet and video game dependency issues.

Nate brings a background of wilderness therapy and years of experience working with the Youth Core. His creative approach to working with young people both indoors and outdoors allows them to feel empowered and curious about themselves, which provides them the opportunity to create the changes necessary to lead a more satisfying, healthy life, both individually and socially.

The Parent Support Group leader, Tracy Markle, has worked in a variety of therapeutic settings with teens, adults, and families for over 20 years. The areas she specializes in are, recovery from addictions and mental illness, improved relationships, and academic and employment success. Tracy provides education, psychotherapy, and intervention support to teens, young adults and their families who are impacted by the effects of technology dependency and drug and alcohol addiction.