Child & Adolescent Workshops & Groups

All groups and workshops are available for both residents and non-residents (NR). Warren Township residents are welcome to apply for needs-based scholarship if unable to afford the full fee. The group therapist may request a pre-interview prior to the start of the group and the family will be contacted in these cases. Please feel free to contact our office if you have specific questions about the group. All groups and workshops are held at Youth Services, 100 S. Greenleaf St, Gurnee, IL 60031 unless specified otherwise.
REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Needs-based scholarships available for Township residents - 847-244-1101, ext. *401.
Some groups may require a pre-interview. 


Study and TeChildren working on homework on a table togetherst Prep Skills

Most of us were never taught how to study properly. Often, it's because we don't know the first place to start. Most students approach studying by "cramming" the day or night before. The good news is these skills can be learned at any time.  Learning a variety of study strategies can help your child prepare for any class, project, job, and lifelong learning. With active study and test preparation, and enhancing planning skills, your child's test preparation process will be more effective and efficient. Your child will learn various techniques that they will be able to apply independently in multiple settings.

Day: Wednesday    Date: 9/28 2022     Grades: 6-8 (5-6 pm) and 9-12 (6-7 pm)      Location: Youth Services (100 S. Greenleaf St. Gurnee, IL 60031)

Click here to register for Study and Test Prep Skills

Time MA clock in the center surrounded by a variety of things that need to be done  anagement and Organization Skills

Effective time management and organizational skills can help students’ complete work, improve focus, and make better decisions. Having good organizational skills allows students to avoid confusion, reduce their stress, and give them the space they need for efficient work productivity. Your child will learn different types of time management and organizational skills, why these skills are important, tips for improvement, and ways to become independent. This class has much to offer!

Day: Monday    Date: 10/3 2022      Grades: 6-8 (5-6 pm) and 9-12 (6-7 pm)     Location: Youth Services (100 S. Greenleaf St. Gurnee, IL 60031)

Click here to register for Time Management and Organization Skills

FRIENDSHIP GROUP - Social skills and experiential group

This popular groupChildren in a circle laughing addresses the needs of children who wish to improve and develop their skills at making friends and communicating. In a fun and interactive environment, the children develop skills such as listening, conversing, compliments, and introductions.

In addition to participating in a social skills group for 60 minutes, group members will also participate in the CHALLENGE GROUP scheduled just before or after the Social Skills group. With many or all of the same youth from the social skills portion of the group, children learn to overcome fear and how to work as part of a team. The Challenge Group will be run by a highly trained experiential therapist.

This group is ideal for children who struggle with making friends or maintaining those relationships. Pre-interview may be requested. We will be practicing safe distancing, checking temperatures and other measures to ensure everyone's safety and well-being.

Grades: 3-5 Day:Time: 5:00 - 6:00 pm (Social Skills) // 6:00 - 7:00 (Challenge) 
Grades: 6-8 Day: M Time: 5:00 - 6:00 pm (Challenge) // 6:00 - 7:00 (Social Skills)  

Location: Youth Services, 100 S. Greenleaf St, Gurnee, IL   Weeks: 8     Fee: $25 R / $70 NR (Non Resident)

***Need-Based Scholarships are available for township residents who need assistance.                                                       

Click here to register                              

Art Expressions

Change can be overwhelming for all of us. Over the past couple of years, children have dealt with changes to their school and social environment, the loss of loved ones, the anxiety of returning to school and so much more. It can be difficult to figure out what feelings are present throughout the whole process. The Art Expressions group will focus on self-expression using a variety of art materials in hopes to gain further insight into their emotions. 

Examples of directives that may be used during this group would be:A variety of brushes and paint

  • Creating a visual “road map of change” that they have experienced using collaged images
  • Use paint to express the feeling that comes along with change. This could be anxiety, excitement, or fear.
  • Create an image using colors that calm you; materials can range from paint, drawing or collage.

This group will be facilitated by art therapist Natalie Wolfe, MA, LCPC, ATR-P. Natalie Wolfe is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Provisionally Registered Art Therapist.  Natalie holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Art Therapy from Adler University.

Grades: 3-5 and 6-8       Day: Wednesday    Dates: 10/12 - 11/16 2022   Time: 6:00-7:00 pm (3rd-5th) - 7:00-8:00pm (6th-8th)   Weeks: 6**

Fee: $30 R* / $70 NR             Location: Youth Services, 100 S. Greenleaf St., Gurnee IL
*Need-Based Scholarships are available for township residents who need assistance.                                                                                                                     

Click here to register

STRESS LESS: A mindfulness-based stress reduction group

It’s a high-stress A group of teens in sitting down in different positions stressedand demanding life for teens today. Using evidence-based material from a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction model and other experiential activities, this program helps teens learn to shift their thinking from an impulsive reaction to stress to a more helpful and mindful response. Teens can have difficulties in some key areas: perceptions and appraisals of stress, emotion-regulation, meta-cognitions, feelings of being out of or lacking control, attachment or pushing away pain and suffering, and attention and focus. The skills learned in this group guide them when they feel emotionally overwhelmed, anxious, stressed, and depressed to face challenges through the lens of mindfulness.

The mindfulness based program has the potential to shift and improve these areas in a teen’s life and as a natural outcome improve one’s quality of living. This group not only helps with learning how to better deal with stress in general, but it also creates a safe way to interact with other youth and reduce isolation. This fun and interactive class in partnership with the Warren-Newport Public Library will be facilitated by Warren Township Youth and Family therapist Cindy Cardenas, MA, LPC. Please direct any questions to Cindy - Email Cindy here

Grades: 6-8   Day: Thursday   Date: 10/6 to 11/17 Time: 4:30-5:15 pm  Weeks: 6
Grades: 9-12  Day: Thursday  Date: 10/6 to 11/17 Time:  5:15-6:00pm  Weeks: 6
*No class on 10/27  

Fee: FREE  Location: Warren-Newport Public Library (224 O'Plaine Rd. Gurnee, IL 60031)                                                                              

Click here to register



Experiential programs help children develop specific coping skills or new experiences. The focus is not recreational (although hopefully they have fun) but real-life learning. Because of the potential of injury and the importance of group cohesion, the client must have the ability to actively participate in the activities and manage their behavior. The program is often effective for youth in therapy but may be beneficial to those not currently receiving other services. If you have any questions about the program or if your child is an appropriate match, please call 847-244-1101, ext. *401.


Equestrian Program stock photo of young girl hugging horse from riding positionThe staff at Youth Services is happy to announce the start of our experiential program being offered to youth in our counseling services and teen center. The goal of the Experiential Therapy Program is to provide a safe fun environment to promote skills needed to foster individual coping, problem-solving, and personal leadership through unique interactive activities. Because horses are large, powerful animals, they can be particularly useful in representing big life challenges and for helping people build confidence or overcome fears. Youth will engage in mounted activity on horseback and grooming, while learning to better communicate, problem-solve and accomplish goals. This activity will take place and be facilitated by the staff at Equestrian Connection in Lake Forest, with the assistance and participation of Youth Services clinical staff. Warren Township staff will transport and drop off at Warren Township Gurnee Teen Center, 17801 W. Washington St., Gurnee, IL 60031.

Two Groups:  

Freedom Riders Group: In this program, participants will learn about themselves and other through horses. By engaging in mounted and non-mounted activities with the horse and discussing feelings, behaviors, and patterns. This program is ideal for individuals who wish to better assert themselves, build confidence, learn to work cooperatively with peers and expand their social skills. This activity is limited to 6 youth.

Grades: 6-8    Day: Tuesday      Date: TBD   Time: 5:45 - 8:30 pm

Location: Teen Center-- 17801 W Washington St., Gurnee, IL   Weeks: 8     Fee: $150 R* / $200 NR (Non Resident) 
*Need-Based Scholarships are available for township residents who need assistance.                                     

Registration: Registration for this group is not open. The community will be notified by email, and social media when registration starts. 

Horses for Healing Group: In this program, participants will learn about themselves and others through horses. This program is largely focused on teens who have experienced trauma or loss. By engaging in mounted and non-mounted activities with the horse and discussing feelings, behaviors, and patterns, participants will learn to overcome fear and build confidence. Horses can teach self-awareness, honest communication, trust, healthy boundaries, leadership, patience, assertiveness, nurturance, and more. They have the ability to mirror human body language and provide us with metaphors and lessons about ourselves to help facilitate change. This program is ideal for individuals experiencing grief/loss, parental divorce, and T/trauma. This activity is limited to only 6 youth.

Grades: 9-12          Day: Tuesday      Date: 9/27 – 11/15 2022    Time: 5:45 - 8:30 pm

Location: Teen Center-- 17801 W Washington St., Gurnee, IL   Weeks: 8     Fee: $150 R* / $200 NR (Non Resident) 
*Need-Based Scholarships are available for township residents who need assistance.                                     

Registration: Registration is NOW OPEN. Please contact our office at 847-244-1101 ext. *401. There will be a brief screening to help determine if the program is the correct fit for the child’s needs.  All registrations will be reviewed and assessed to determine if appropriate for the program. 
Based on therapists discretion, priority is given based on clinical needs.

Previous Groups 

WHY CAN'T I GET THINGS DONE?                         

Understanding how clear goals and motivation work together to help teens get through the challenges of being a high schooler.
This three part workshop will help teens identify and create meaningful goals and find the motivation to overcome obstacles.
This workshop is for your teen if: 

  • They struggle to complete simple tasks and fulfill responsibilities
  • They wonder what’s the point of school or even bother doing their work
  • They’re struggling to find motivation in the moment and to plan for the future

**This series will meet one evening a week for three weeks.
The group will be facilitated by Julie Crowe-McCarthy. Julie is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Career Counselor with over 10 years experience working with teens and young adults to develop success strategies in school and life.

Grades: TBD  Day: TBD Date: TBD Time: TBD  Weeks: TBD  Location: TBD
Fee: TBD 


Mindset, Motivation, & Action Plans for a successful school year
This workshop will kick start the school year with fun activities and strategies related to goals, motivation and mindset. Participants will be asked to think about what a great school year would look like for them while learning tips and tricks to staying connected and focused during the year, even when the thrill of a new year wears off! Everyone will walk away with specific goals, personal values related to school and friends and strategies to manage time and avoid procrastination.

The workshop will be facilitated by Julie Crowe-McCarthy Ms. Ed, NCC, LCPC and Becky De Rosa, LPC, R-DMT, GL-CMA. Julie is a Professional Counselor and Certified Career Counselor with over 10 years’ experience working with teens and young adults to develop success strategies in school and life and Becky De Rosa is a Youth and Family therapist at Warren Township.
Grades: TBD  Day: TBD   Date: TBD  Time: TBD Fee: TBD
Youth Services, 100 S. Greenleaf St., Gurnee