ADOLESCENT GROUP THERAPY
Ocala Consulting & Prevention provides group therapy for children and adolescents. Group therapy involves one or two therapists working with a select small group of clients. Groups are often designed to target specific problems such as anxiety, depression, or an eating disorder. Other groups focus on improving social skills, or helping clients cope with a range of challenges such as low-self esteem, emotional regulation, shyness or a recent loss.
Groups can be time limited, with a predetermined number of sessions or they can be indeterminate (also known as an ongoing group) where the therapist and or group determine when the group should end. The design, therapeutic approach and duration of the group are determined by the focus of the group and the therapist’s theoretical orientation.
In addition to providing support, groups are designed to teach and instill proven strategies for coping with specific problems.
What are the benefits of group therapy?
Joining a group may feel intimidating at first, but group therapy can provide many benefits that individual therapy does not.
Universality: Children and adolescents often feel their problems are unique to them and this can lead to feelings of 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.
Forming Relationships: Groups provide a safe and structured environment that allows kids to have positive social interactions with peers that create supportive bonds.
Social skills: Groups provide a setting in which children and adolescents are able to learn through social interactions. The therapist models active listening, providing constructive feedback, and offering support. Group members also provide feedback on social behaviors. Over time group members pick up on these behaviors and implement them both in-group setting and in their everyday lives.
Improved self-esteem: Group therapy provides a platform for children and adolescents to help others. Many times children feel as though they cannot help others because they have needed so much support themselves. However, in a group setting they realize that they have skills and experience that may be helpful to their peers. The power of helping others is therapeutic and enhances self-esteem and self-worth.
Increased coping skills: Through the use of structured activities, the therapist teaches proven strategies to cope with specific problems. Group members will have the opportunity to practice these skills in a safe environment and receive feedback. With time group members begin incorporating these strategies into their daily lives.