Therapy for children and teens focuses on personal issues and also on how they relate to each other and communicate with adults. A good therapist will work to address the concerns, while helping the teens and their families to grow and heal. Group therapy provides a unique setting, in which teens can learn coping skills and also support each other, while dealing with their problems. Group therapy consists of a small group of teens with similar issues and a therapist who facilitates the therapy process. Group therapy may be offered as an open support group, with no specific issues planned for discussion. Or it may take a format of semi-structured environment, where during each meeting a group leader provides a brief educational information of some topic common in adolescent life, and then encourages teens for voice their opinions and discuss the issue.
Since most teens enjoy interacting with peers, group therapy is an effective way for teens to learn about their problems and find possible solutions, while getting connected to people of their age. It is not uncommon that teens would rather talk about feelings and experiences with peers than adults, and this is why adolescent group therapy offers a unique value. Specific teen topics addressed in group therapy include issues that are developmentally common during this age period, such as self esteem, depression, social issues, anger management, cutting, drugs and alcohol abuse, sexual issues, building friendships and dealing with bullies. Group therapy is also a good choice for a teen dealing with a recent trauma such as the death of friend or family member, sexual or physical abuse or parental divorce. It is also a great choice for teens who are shy and don’t find it easy socializing with people of the same age. At the safe environment of the group, they will find it easier to connect with others, while learning some helpful topics. Conversing with others, while using prompts provided by the group leader, in a semi-structured format is a very helpful place to resolve issues of shyness, reduce loneliness, and improve social skills.
There are also many other social and personal benefits to teens participating in group therapy. They get comforted by meeting other teens struggling with the same problem, feeling more connected and less alone. Group therapy experience can also teach teens new skills and gives them some unique benefits such as: learning new ways to cope, finding out they aren't alone in their problems, meeting new people to talk to when feeling the urge to cut, drink, smoke or use other negative behaviors, gaining a broader perspective of their problem, understanding what makes their problem worse and how to make it better. In addition to many gains described, the cost of group therapy is usually less than of individual or family therapy. If you carry a major health insurance policy, it is likely to be covered by your policy. We are looking forward to welcome teens to our group therapy sessions offered at GreenPath Clinic in Wheaton. Our next group starts in October 2014.
Coming Fall 2014: Group Therapy for Adolescents, 14-18 y.o.
- OCT 6: SELF ESTEEM
- OCT 13: STRESS: SELF-CARE & COPING
- OCT 20: BULLIES
- OCT 27: DATING
- NOV 3: ONLINE/CYBER SPACE SAFETY
- NOV 10: PARENTS & HOME ISSUES
- NOV 17: SELF INJURY
- NOV 24: SUBSTANCE ABUSE
- DEC 1: COMMUNICATION SKILLS
- DEC 8: ANGER & HANDLING CONFLICTS