I love facilitating group therapy for teens! There is something to be said for teens providing feedback for other teens. We accomplish great things in teen therapy. We can accomplish quite a lot in family therapy.
But in group therapy there is a power and influence that comes from feedback and input from same age peers. When another teen provides constructive feedback to another teen,
it tends to carry more weight.
As parents of a teenager, you have probably already experienced this. Your teen may have come to you for advice. You provide your advice and they may have blown it off.
But when their friend gives them the same advice, suddenly, it is the wisest piece of advice because it came from their friend. During the teen years, teenagers find comfort in friends more so than their parents.
The same is true for advice and feedback. This is why it is so important that your teenagers have a healthy, strong, positive group of friends. They will carry more influence in many ways than parents can 0ffer. And this influence will carry with them throughout their life.
What is Group Therapy for Teens & How Can It Help?
Group therapy is a type of psychotherapy where a therapist works with a group of teenagers. Group therapy can be a standalone psychotherapy intervention.
Group therapy for teens can also be an adjunct form of therapy in addition to the teen receiving individual and/or family therapy.
Group therapy has been shown to be highly effective for teenagers. Group therapy for teens capitalizes on the power of peer relationships. At this age, teenagers will listen to and take feedback from same aged peers more so than receiving the same feedback from adults.
There are various types of group therapy for teens. In general, a group should be around 5-8 teens and a teen therapist to facilitate the group. Here we will define the different types of groups that can be offered for group therapy.
An open group simply means that anyone can join the group at any given time. The advantage of an open group is teens are able to experience a wider variety of teens to support and be supported by.
Open groups can be open ended in terms of time commitment. Instead of having a group for "x" number of weeks, open groups may be ongoing with no end date. When the teen and their family are able to observe noticeable changes and improvements, they can simply inform the therapist and stop coming to group.
Closed groups are time specific and limited to a certain number of teens. Usually, closed groups range from the first 5-8 teens who register for the group.
The advantage of a closed group is that each week, the same teens will attend the group. This allows for the group to develop, to develop trust between the group members, and have an ability to relate to one another due to a shared struggle.
Process Groups for Teens
Process groups can be open or closed groups. Process group therapy for teens is usually general in nature. Process group therapy for teens welcomes a wide variety teen struggles and challenges to be explored in group. These groups can be single gender or co-ed.
Process group is open to group members to discuss, explore, and seek input for their unique and individual struggles. There may be other group members who experience similar struggles. There may also be group members who experience other struggles but can give an "outsiders" perspective.
The advantage of having a topic specific process group is that the teens may be able to relate to those experiencing similar struggles. It's quite often the case that your teen may hear suggestions and feedback that they hadn't thought of before.
This feedback can help your teen implement changes in their lives to help them overcome the current struggle they are facing.
Psychoeducational Groups for Teens
Psychoeducational groups are usually closed in nature and topic specific. In psychoeducational groups for teens, the teens will learn the psychology behind their struggle and develop skills to manage their challenges.
Psychoeducational groups can be for parents and family members as well. Here they will learn the psychology behind the struggle, skills they can use to help their teen, and receive support from other families who experience similar challenges.
There is power in groups for family members of teens who may be struggling. Parents and family members hear from other family members who are experiencing similar struggles. To hear another family tell your story helps to decrease the feelings of isolation that parents and family members can feel.
Other families who do not have teens who are struggling simply cannot empathize and relate to your struggle. Family members who are experiencing struggles with their teen find comfort and support from other family members who also experience similar struggles.
Skill Building Groups for Teens
Skills groups for teens can be open or closed groups. Skills groups are topic specific as the therapist leading the group will help the teens learn, practice, and develop skills. These skills can help your teen learn to manage or overcome their struggle.
Skills groups can include learning things like:
Coping skills for anxiety
Coping skills for social anxiety
Coping skills for panic attacks
Coping skills for depression
Coping skills for challenges with body image
Coping skills for self-harm
And more . . . .
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Groups for Teens
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for teens is one of the most researched therapy approaches in treating a wide variety of teen struggles. It has been shown to be highly effective and is a go to for many therapists.
CBT groups for teens can be open, closed, and is usually topic specific. Although some CBT groups may not be topic specific.
CBT group for teens includes helping teens identify and changing:
Negative core beliefs about oneself
Negative and/or irrational thoughts that lead to their current struggle
Emotional responses and
Behaviors that stem from negative core beliefs and the resultant negative/irrational thoughts
Katy Teen & Family Counseling: Providing Group Therapy for Teens in Katy, Tx & Houston
Your teen may be in individual teen therapy with a specialist in teen therapy already. Group therapy for teens can serve as a powerful adjunct to individual therapy.
You may have a teen who isn't in therapy and group therapy may be able to serve the function of helping them to learn to overcome their challenges.
Or you are a family member who would like to join a support group with other families experiencing similar struggles. This can help you gain the support, education, and skills needed to better help your teen through their challenges.
If your teen is struggling and group therapy can help, all you need to do is follow these three simple steps:
Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling
Speak with one of our caring therapists
Let us help you work through the grief and loss to help you find joy and meaning.
Other Therapy and Counseling Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling
At our Katy, Tx location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we use counseling approaches that are time tested and shown to work. These approaches have been supported by research and shown to work in the shortest amount of time possible.
Board Certified Neurofeedback Therapy
Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)
Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Couples Therapy & Marriage Counseling
We also provide couples counseling and marriage therapy. Parents need support. At times, the stress of a child who is struggling can inadvertently cause stress and strain in a marriage or relationship.
Parenting support for teen success
Parent counseling for support managing blended families with teens
Co-parenting counseling for divorced parents for teen success
Couples counseling for communication improvement
Marriage counseling to improve trust in the relationship
Couples therapy to address infidelity, unfaithfulness, and more
About the Author
Jason Drake is a Licensed Clinical Worker. He specializes in teen therapy, family counseling, and counseling young adults. He has provided therapy to teens, young adults, and families since 2003.
Jason is also a regular contributor to various magazines, publications, and news outlets lending his expertise to various mental health related topics. You can check these articles out on our "Featured Articles" service page on our website.