Groups for Teens
Individual therapy is a great way for your teen to have a completely focused and confidential space to process through difficult thoughts and feelings, but getting your teen around some new people offers an opportunity to work on some skills that individual counseling does not bring to the table.
I always get asked if I am offering social skills groups in my practice. I mostly get this question from school counselors and teachers who have students who need some improvement in this area.
As a therapist who works regularly with teens, I understand why!
Teens Lost Out on Crucial Social Development During the Pandemic
Most teens lost out on crucial social skill development practice during the pandemic lockdown. Think about it, there were two years of not being able to read facial cues because of masks, months where teens had to eat lunch at their desks away from others, and seasons of missed events like football games and homecoming dances.
The ability to interact with others may seem like an inherent skill, but it is more akin to a muscle that requires consistent exercise.
Important social skills that your teen has likely lost out on include:
- Reading emotional cues
- Initiating conversations
- Talking to adults
- Body language
- Assertive communication
- Respectful communication.
There aren’t many opportunities for teens to make new friends outside of school but I think the experience of meeting new people is invaluable!
Hone Social Skills by Developing New Friendships in Group Therapy for Teens
Making new friends is a great way to practice and hone the wonderful social skills that teens gain in group therapy. Not only that but teens who struggle with their mental health often feel like outsiders in their school environment and may feel lonely amongst their classmates. In group therapy, teens are surrounded by others who are dealing with similar challenges.
More Fulfilling, Authentic Connections Can Be Formed
Your teen may also find a strong bond with the friends they make in group therapy because they are learning the same skills that serve as a foundation for healthy relationships. This can lead to more fulfilling, authentic, and supportive connections.
Empathy is a skills that can be gained in any group setting that a teen might enter. An exercise that comes with meeting new people is learning more about them and where they come from. Empathy involves being able to see things from someone else’s perspective and take a walk in their shoes.
Learning How to Respond with Compassion in Group Therapy for Teens
In groups run at Creative Counseling and Wellness, it is especially important that teens practice empathy and perspective-taking. We practice empathy by listening to others when they are sharing, learning how to respond with compassion and exposure to those with different life experiences. We also put special attention on considering others’ feelings and getting real about the discomfort that often comes with hearing new perspectives. Teens will be challenged to address the discomfort, sit in the discomfort, and practice moving on from the discomfort.
Developing Greater Self-Compassion
By developing empathy for others, your teen will have greater compassion for themselves as well.
As we go through life, it is really easy to get stuck in habits, thoughts, and behaviors that are ingrained in us. We often operate without much intention. We just go through the motions. This means we may be doing things that are not good for us. We may behave in ways that are hurtful to others. We may engage in habits that make us unhappy but do not realize what is causing the dissatisfaction.
What is Self-Awareness?
Self-awareness is the ability to see yourself clearly and objectively through reflection and introspection. Teens can gain self-awareness in individual therapy by having a trained professional sitting across from them challenging and pointing out areas for growth, but by participating in group therapy at Creative Counseling and Wellness, teens can build even more self-awareness by having their peers ask questions or highlight thought and behavioral patterns.
A Deeper Connection with People Their Own Age
Teens may have an easier time resonating with feedback from someone their own age and who speaks their language.
Resiliency is the ability to recover and heal from obstacles or hardships. Group therapy for teens is instrumental in building resiliency because it is a space to acknowledge difficulties and process them.
Creating Universality Through Sharing
Not only is it helpful to speak out loud about difficult things, but it also helps to share them with others who may have gone through something similar. This creates something called universality, which is realizing that others exist who share similar thoughts, feelings, and issues. How often have you felt alone in a painful situation? Like no one else could understand?
The Realization that You Are Not Suffering Alone
It is very common to feel that we are the only ones suffering and it can be incredibly therapeutic to learn that others are in a similar boat.
There are two types of group therapy that are most common: process group therapy and psychoeducational group therapy.
The Process Group
A process group is just what it sounds like. It is what you have seen on TV where everyone is sitting in a circle talking about their thoughts and feelings with one another. There is less structure to this type of group and the facilitator of the group serves as a moderator or guide for the group, interjecting with observations, questions, and linking points together.
The Psychoeducational Group
A psychoeducational group is one that involves more direct teaching. Sometimes these groups teach coping skills, communication, or relapse prevention techniques for those with addiction. Psyched groups can incredibly helpful for building up a toolbox with skills specifically geared toward a particular problem.
My favorite group is one that blends both!
I often incorporate various skill development exercises into my teen groups, along with time set aside for processing, so that teens gain important tools for managing stress, emotions, communication, making friends, and more. I find that teens do not learn enough of these skills in the classroom and could absolutely benefit from them during the chaotic 9 months they are in school each year.
Young Teen Wellness Camp
*Rising 6th-8th graders
Starting June 5th, I will be offering the first-ever Young Teen Wellness Camp at my Metairie office!
A Four Week Program
This is a 4-week program that will be every Monday from 9 am-12 pm and is focused on skills that are not taught in most schools.
These are skills that help teens navigate their mental and emotional health!
I will be covering topics of:
- stress management and more
Improving Emotional Intelligence
All of these topics are in the hopes of improving teen emotional intelligence!
If you want to know more about emotional intelligence and why I believe it is so important, read my blog titled Understanding Teenage Emotional Intelligence.
Ready to sign your teen up now? You can complete an interest form by clicking HERE.
Sign Up For Group Therapy for Teens in Metairie, LA Today!
If your teen is struggling with their mental health and it’s impacting their ability to fully live and enjoy life, Group Therapy for Teens at Creative Counseling and Wellness is here to help. As a Therapist, I have both personal and professional experience with these issues and am prepared to walk this journey of self-discovery with your teen. Follow the steps below to get started. Through ownership, balance, and practice, your teen can own the stage and the stage called life!
- Reach out to me via my convenient online contact form.
- Get to know more about me and my story here.
- Begin the journey to self-discovery and healing
Other Mental Health Services Offered at Creative Counseling and Wellness
I specialize in working with teens and their families. I work with a wide variety of individuals such as: LGBTQ+ Teens, Teens with Anxiety, Theater Teens, Creative/Artistic Teens, Teens Questioning Gender Identity, High Achieving Teens, Teens with Social Anxiety, and Teens Struggling with Perfectionism. My own life and experience give me a unique perspective that lends itself to working with teens especially. Reach out today!
*Teen Social Skills Groups Coming September 2023!!*
Want to be notified when more details become available? Provide your email address!
Need Any help
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