The youth-written stories in YCteen give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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Teacher Lesson Return to "Get Outta My Head!"
Get Outta My Head!
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Should Therapy Be Mandatory?

In “Get Outta My Head!” by Charlene Carter, p. 10, and “I Don’t Talk on Demand” by Autumn Bush, p. 11, we hear from teens in foster care who do not want to be required to go to therapy. Autumn, for example, closed up about her feelings when she was forced to go.

Prompts for discussion and/or writing:

—Should therapy be mandatory for youth in the system? Why or why not?
—What are the advantages of making therapy mandatory? What are the disadvantages?
—What makes therapy frightening?
—Write about a negative experience you had in therapy. Then, write about a positive experience you had.
—Write a short note to the authors, telling them whether you agree or disagree with therapy being mandatory. Explain why you feel that way.

Activity: Youth can work in pairs or in small groups. Have the young people make a list of the reasons why young people may not want to go to therapy. Then have them come up with a second list of things that the system can do or that therapists can do to make therapy more appealing and less frightening. Go around the room, list the suggestions on the board, and discuss.
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