Group Therapy Services
What is Group Therapy?
Group therapy is when a therapist, or multiple therapists, work with a select number of clients, in the same age group. These groups typically target a specific problem that the clients share, such as anxiety, trauma, or depression, or they focus on improving certain skills such as social skills, emotional regulation, or self-esteem. Group therapy is designed to instill the client with the necessary tools and coping skills to use when faced with their specific problems. Clients can either participate in group therapy in accordance with individual therapy or a part from it.
What Are the Benefits of Group Therapy?
There are multiple benefits of group therapy, aside from individual therapy, that can be very valuable for children and adolescents. Here is a list of group therapy benefits:
- Group therapy provides children and teens with the sense of comfort in knowing they aren’t alone in the struggles and emotions that they're dealing with. Children and teens experiencing mental health issues can often feel isolated, and being surrounded by peers who share similar problems, allows them to feel supported and understood.
- Group therapy gives children and teens the space to share their feelings among their peers in a way that otherwise might be difficult for them to share with an adult.
- Group therapy allows children and teens to build healthy relationships with their peers in a safe and structured environment. Creating relationships with peers in group therapy helps the child or teen build relationships with their peers outside groups, in their everyday lives.
- Group therapy provides an environment for children and teens to learn through social interactions. This exposure to social interactions allows children to develop age appropriate social skills that they're able to implement within group therapy and in their daily lives as well.
- Group therapy provides children and teens with relevant coping skills that they're able to practice within their groups, and then, with time, incorporate them into their daily lives when faced with struggles.
How Effective is Group Therapy?
Group therapy is a very effective tool, especially for children and teens. Elementary-aged children don’t have a full understanding of emotions yet, and therefore have a difficult time regulating the emotions they feel, often resulting in reactive outbursts. Group therapy helps children gain emotional intelligence and teaches them socially appropriate behaviors that equip them to reach their social developmental goals. Middle school children and teens tend to feel overburdened with their emotions and find it difficult to handle their feelings in a healthy way. Group therapy allows adolescents to share their emotions among their peers, which betters their communication skills, increases their confidence for self-expression, and normalizes the emotions they feel.
How is Group Therapy Different for Younger Kids vs. Teens?
Since play is a natural language way for kids to express themselves, learn, and resolve conflict, our groups geared toward our youngest clients will often incorporate various forms of play into the sessions. Activities might include art, reading books, role-playing, or games.
Older tweens and teens tend to be better able to express their emotions and thoughts verbally. And we find they also like to utilize the group experience to gain feedback, validation, and/or support from their peers. Therefore, these older groups typically include more discussion. However, we also recognize tween and teens still appreciate hands-on activities involving art, music, role-playing, games, and other structured activities.
We even have therapy groups designed specifically for young adults and their unique stressors!
Does Group Therapy Replace Individual Therapy?
Group therapy can be an effective form of treatment. If your child is already engaged in individual therapy, we encourage you to speak with your child’s individual therapist to see what makes sense for their individualized treatment plan. For some groups, such as DBT, it may be a requirement for a child to continue in individual therapy during their group experience.
At WFP, all group members are required to complete a parent-child intake prior to enrolling in the group. This allows you and your child to meet with the group leader, discuss goals, and ask any questions you might have. The group intake also helps the group leader better understand the group dynamics, tailor session plans, and to help ensure it’s a good fit for all participants.
What Are the Different Types of Group Therapy Offered at WFP?
WFP offers a variety of groups, camps, and workshops throughout the year depending upon interest and availability. If you would like more information about any of the services listed below, please call our office at 919-467-7777 or email email@example.com
Social skill groups help kids, tweens, and teens learn and implement the skills needed to initiate and build relationships, have appropriate interactions, understand social cues, and communicate effectively with others. School-aged children with ADHD, social anxiety, emotional or neurological disorders, Autism, sensory issues, or learning disabilities may need extra guidance on how to build the social skills to socialize effectively and with confidence. Group members learn how to communicate more effectively, create and keep relationships, handle conflict, listen, take turns, work together, and greet others, all while enhancing self-esteem.
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Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a treatment designed for individuals who are experiencing difficulties with emotional regulation, impulsivity, stress, and/or adaptive coping. DBT skills training offers concrete coping skills that are best taught in a group situation. Research has shown that groups have the benefit from providing peer support from other individuals who have similar problems, which can be a powerful component of treatment. At WFP, our DBT groups offer skills based in mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.
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We offer summer day camps to provide children, tweens, and teens an opportunity to learn, practice, and master their social skills! We also offer specialty summer camps such as DBT, Art, Gifted, Anxiety, and Study Skills.
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We offer a wide variety of specialty groups throughout the year, including groups for Anxiety, Anger Management, Study Skills, Divorce, Mindfulness, and more! Check out our comprehensive list of past and present specialty programs.
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We offer a variety of parent groups and special events throughout the year. Previous workshops, webinars, groups, and events have included topics such as Parenting, Screen time, Sibling Strife, Thriving as Couples, etc. Check out our full list of past and present workshops and presentations.
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