It’s common for teen group therapy to be included in a program for treating addiction and other mental health disorders. However, many people don’t understand why it is an important part of a treatment program. To learn more about teen group therapy and our mental health treatment services, call Kiwi Recovery today at 617.751.6610.
What Is Group Therapy for Teens?
Formally organized group therapy has been used by trained psychologists for more than 100 years. It is universally accepted as an effective part of a comprehensive treatment plan for people of all ages.
A group therapy program involves five to 15 clients meeting with a certified mental health professional for one to two hours at a time. Topics of group discussion might center on specific disorders, like depression or eating disorders, or they might include topics that affect all teenagers, like improving social skills.
It is typical for the group to have input on discussion topics, but guidance from the clinician is equally important.
Talking about personal issues with a group of strangers may feel intimidating at first, but in a therapeutic setting, the opportunity to share with peers is valued by most clients. Group therapy is a judgment-free zone where teens can speak freely among peers who share similar experiences.
Benefits of Young Adult Group Therapy
When a client participates in group therapy for teens, they have an automatic support system. Often, adolescents with mental health disorders feel isolated from their peers. Joining group therapy discussions fills a social gap and allows participants to bond with others who are committed to recovery.
Group therapy lets kids know they are not alone. The relief of learning others feel the same way and have had the same thoughts is a major step toward recovery.
Other benefits of group therapy for teens include gaining:
- Opportunities to give and receive support
- Increased gratitude
- A safe place in which to be honest
- The opportunity to practice communication skills, such as active listening
- Unconditional acceptance
- The ability to help others and be a role model
Teens may also benefit from the diversity they experience in group therapy. Meeting others outside of their own social bubble provides therapy clients with new perspectives and exposes them to a new range of coping strategies.
Group Therapy vs. Individual Therapy
Group therapy and individual therapy share many of the same goals and techniques. The main difference is that in individual therapy, it is just one client and one therapist. This one-on-one dynamic can lead to deeper insights. Clients of all ages may feel more comfortable sharing extremely personal information in private sessions.
However, the intensity of individual therapy can also increase stress. Clients may feel pressure to have breakthroughs or say things they think a therapist wants to hear. Kids who feel distrustful of adults may take a very long time to open up if they do at all.
The group therapy dynamic allows for different psychotherapy techniques that aren’t possible in individual therapy sessions. Experiential activities like art, yoga, or music therapy, group role-playing, and taking turns leading the group offer opportunities for personal growth.
Though each approach can be considered to be a “stand-alone” treatment, group therapy and individual therapy are complementary approaches. Including both in a comprehensive treatment plan provides the privacy and the support a teen needs.
Could a Young Adult Group Therapy Program Benefit Your Teen? Learn More at Kiwi Recovery
When your child is trapped under the weight of addiction, depression, or anxiety, finding the right treatment program may seem overwhelming. Our programs are designed specifically to help teens and adolescents thrive. Call Kiwi Recovery at 617.751.6610 or reach out online for more information about all of our treatment programs, including teen group therapy.