What is Quit Trip’n?
In late 2009 a girl I was counseling was sexually assaulted by her best friends dad. This girl really wanted a safe place where she could be around other teens who have also gone through hard times but she didn’t want it to be exclusive to sexual assault victims because she felt it would help her if she could learn to be comfortable talking about what she had been through with peers who haven’t had the exact same story. She also wanted other teens to have the same opportunity and get support from whatever they might be going through.
There where a couple other request that she had that she felt would make this exactly what she believed teens needed now a days:
- It needed to be more social and not so clinical or therapy feeling. So she wanted to know if I could make it so that it was not actual group counseling but helped people in a similar way.
- Also, she said for teens to feel like it was their place it had to not be a place were courts, probation officers or authority figures were forcing teens to go. They had to want to go so that meant they had to be invited by someone they trusted like a friend.
- She said that she felt it needed to be at a regular public place were teens would normally hangout and it had to be free so there was no fee for teens to have to burden their parents with.
To be honest after my conversation with her I was like, ”Uh…Okay..sure!” Then I thought to myself how the hell am I gonna do that. But when looking at the hope that came to this girls eyes during this conversation there was no way i was gonna tell her no.
You see in the three months prior she had two suicide attempts, been to the psychiatric hospital and went from being an honors student and on the cheerleading squad to failing all of her classes, getting kicked off the cheer squad, dropped out of high school and started to abuse drugs and alcohol.
So I called a number of parents that trusted me with their teens and that had teens that had been through tough times. Then told them my idea and they were all very open to it and felt it could really be a good thing.
Fast forward 6 and half years later the groups have done more than we could have ever imagined to help young people struggling from all sorts of life stress. The thing that I’m amazed by is that the group has constantly evolved in those years to meet the needs of teens right now. It doesn’t have to catch up to what is happening in their lives it is a part of their lives and therefore is able to be side by side with all the latest things that a young person needs help dealing with. The connections these teens make with each other are so powerful that it helps them innovate new ways to handle the on going struggles that they are faced with.
I counsel teens everyday in my private practice and I’m still surprised how much more i see and learn from just observing them in their own peer environment when they feel safe to be vulnerable and share their hardships. While at the same time giving support for others going through tough times. I say support because we focus on supporting each other and not trying to save one another. The last thing these teens need is to feel responsible to rescue one another form hard times.
This blog will serve manly as a way for me to share with you what I have learned and am continually learning from having the privilege to observe these teens figure out the best ways to help one another through stressful times.
Finally we call the groups and named the organization “Quit Trip’n” because the teens figured out after attending these support groups and being able to express themselves freely without judgement and feeling others have your back. That all the stuff in their life they were Trip’n on (slang expression for; stressing out, freaking out or being emotionally overwhelmed with) they just kinda of Quit Trip’n. So my hope is that this blog can help you connect with new ways to figure out how to Quit Trip’n.