In our work with children and teens, we have found that they have a remarkable propensity to heal and recover if provided a safe place to express thoughts and feelings.
Children might struggle with:
Domestic violence in the household
Improving social skills
Issues with body images and eating disorders
LGBTQ related issues
Grief experienced with losing a loved one due to death or incarceration.
We use musical, artistic, visual and creative writing techniques as well as mindfulness and eco(Nature) therapeutic tools, to promote a sense of self-confidence and freedom of expression.
Some children and teens wish to talk about their lives and others prefer play and creativity or a combination of these modalities. Our groups are often designed to target general problems such as anxiety, depression and the related stressors or challenges that might go with these, that are specific to the child or teen.
While we respect specific issues, we have found that specific groups limit or even encourage learned behaviors that do not serve the clients. Variety allows for different ideas, solutions and allows for the many cross symptoms that might crop up. An example would be a child with a body image struggle might learn considerably from a child who is suffering loss. Both might experience anxiety or depression. Both could benefit from the empathy, compassion and learning experiences of the other. It opens their worlds and opens their ability to see solutions as a way of life.
Groups focus on improving social skills, or helping our young clients cope with a range of challenges such as low-self esteem, emotional regulation, shyness or a recent loss.
Our groups include girls only, boys only, teen females, teen males, and on occasion, LGBT teens, and blended groups.
Benefits of Group Therapy for Youth
Belonging: Youth often feel a sense of isolation in their struggles, creating sometimes, chronic loneliness. Being a part of a group of people who have similar problems make children feel validated, supported, and understood.
Sharing: Through the use of developmentally appropriate activities, children and adolescents will be able to appropriately articulate feelings and social feedback that they would have difficulty expressing to adults.
Bonds: Groups provide a safe and structured environment that allows kids form bonds.
Increased coping skills
Does Group Replace Therapy or 1:1 Coaching?
This is a personal choice. Group can be a standalone or, an adjunct to therapy or 1:1 coaching.
Research tells us that group programs are very effective. We know that most inpatient and outpatient facilities, for more critical situations, rely on group programs as the backbone of their success.