What is group therapy?
Group therapy is a dynamic and interactive approach for emotional healing. For teenagers and pre-teens, it can be especially effective. Instead of meeting with a therapist as an individual or with the family, a teenager can become a part of a group of peers to explore life.
Don't teens already waste enough time talking to friends?
Well, that depends on the kid. There are a few reasons why my groups are more effective than just hanging out with friends:
- The group is facilitated by a positive male role model (that's me by the way)
- I help guide the interactions and discussions toward:
- emotional growth and communication
- responsibility and maturity
- stronger social skills
- making better choices
- The group becomes a safe place to communicate and explore issues with other kids away from the judgments of their school peer groups
What's better, individual or group therapy?
After an initial meeting with you and your child, we will discuss his specific needs. Individual therapy and group therapy can focus on the same issues in different ways. Together, we will determine the best type of therapy that will help your child. Sometimes participating in both types of therapy simultaneously can be a great asset. In individual therapy, I provide specialized attention and create a non-judgmental environment for your child to explore his thoughts and feelings. At the same time, in group therapy I will also provide a safe haven for your child to develop a stronger level of comfort among peers. Your kid can take what he learns in individual therapy and put it into practice in group therapy. Consequently, he will use these new social skills out in the real world. After assessing the needs of your family I will recommend to you which approach best serves your child.
An advantage for group therapy is that it's generally less expensive than individual or family therapy. This can be a more economical way to start the therapeutic process if finances are a major concern.
Can you tell me more about some of the benefits of Group Therapy?
Kids and teens are not always too keen on just opening up and exploring their inner psyches. So instead of sitting around and pressuring these guys into self disclosure, I create fun activities for them to relate to one another.
That's right. Kids love having fun, and age-appropriate activities such as games and guided discussions about current movies, television shows and music can help them open up in a fun and non-threatening way. This indirect approach fosters many opportunities to explore their feelings in a more nurturing and safe way.
Remember that play is practice for real life and even though your kid is a teen, he's still learning how to be an adult. Carefully chosen games can enhance your kid's ability to explore issues around:
As these groups progress, the boys learn to trust one another and become more interactive. In time these groups will eventually evolve more toward direct personal interaction. Consequently, they will learn to develop stronger social skills and self-confidence.
For those of you with kids who are resistant to begin therapy, this is a great way to get them started. It won't take long for your teenager to be excited about the group and see it as something to look forward to each week.
Okay, but do you have anything to offer for parents before they pull their own hair out?
Yes. As you may know, throughout the school year I present parenting workshops to parents and several school organizations. The positive feedback I repeatedly hear is:
- I wish these workshops were longer.
- Can you come back more often?
- That was so much fun! I love your energy!
- I feel that I now understand my kids better.
- I am excited to go home and try your suggestions.
Well, you asked for it, now you've got it! This is your opportunity to attend one of my fun, informative and exclusive workshops. If you've been to one of my past semiars at your local school or parent organization, you'll like this one even better! It will be longer and in a smaller setting, so your concerns are sure to be addressed.
The format will be an open discussion, so bring your questions. You'll leave with practical solutions that you can implement right away. The goal is for you to gain effective strategies and alternatives to what hasn't been working for your family.
It's time to get out of that rut!