The Benefits of Group Therapy for Teens

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Is your teen currently seeing a therapist, or considering therapy? Many people know about individual therapy, but have never heard about group therapy before. Group therapy brings people together who struggle with similar issues, like depression, anxiety, emotion regulation, or eating disorders, for example. It is a space for participants to connect and support one another, while learning beneficial skills from an experienced therapist. Group therapy is an option that teens in particular should consider. It can be exponentially more effective for teens than just individual therapy; here’s why…

The therapist can observe how teens interact with others —
Group therapy is an entirely different experience. Simply by being in an environment with others, the therapist can see how the teens interact with their peers. Individual therapy is one-on-one; the therapist isn’t able to see these social problems in action during individual therapy. Perhaps a teen becomes extremely shy in a group, or develops conflicts easily while interacting with others. A group setting allows the therapist to catch a teen’s social difficulties in the moment that they happen, and help the teen in real life situations.

It helps improve teens’ interpersonal skills —
Think of group therapy as a safe space for teens to practice their social skills and work through social obstacles. In group, they have the opportunity to voice their opinions, work on their ability to listen, and engage in conversation with their peers. Teens can test out the interpersonal effectiveness skills that they learn from the therapist, without the fear of being judged. Over time, they can boost their social confidence, as well as their communication skills.

Teens benefit from connection and support —
Group isn’t just a place to learn skills and strategies—it’s also a place to connect with and support others. Group members can relate to each other’s experiences and offer guidance. It’s possible that another group member went through a similar experience; he or she can empathize with the person and offer first-hand, truly beneficial advice. Participants motivate each other to reach their goals and celebrate victories, no matter how small. It’s a positive environment where teens rely on each other for encouragement.

If your teen is struggling with social or emotional issues, you should think about enrolling your child in group therapy. Group is an effective and beneficial option for many teens. Group members often leave group therapy with increased confidence and improved communication skills. Most importantly, they’re grateful to have a welcoming environment to express themselves.