Loyola University Maryland

Emerging Scholars

Beverly Sargent, Danielle LaSure-Bryant, Ed.D.

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What about the siblings? Capturing the experiences of siblings of children with developmental disabilities in spiritually-integrated group therapy

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Research regarding the efficacy of group therapy for children is minimal. Research regarding the mental/behavioral health of siblings of children who are mentally, physically, behaviorally, or emotionally challenged is even more uncommon.  However, peer-reviewed literature detailing therapeutic outcomes of integrating spiritual practices such as mindfulness meditation and moving meditations such as yoga and Tai Chi with children in groups is growing in popularity.  Even still, qualitative research describing how children experience group therapeutic interventions remains scarce and challenging. This poster presentation highlights the experiences of three siblings of children and their families who were previously served by Speech/Language Pathologists in the Loyola Clinical Center-Columbia Campus.  Each child reported a sense of calm and a positive impact at home and/or school during the nine-week sessions which included 15-20 minutes of spiritual interventions and traditional therapy involving self-esteem and social skills psychoeducation.  This presentation proposes a qualitative research study be conducted with children to capture their experiences of group therapy integrated with mindfulness meditation and movement.