What is Group Therapy?

Group therapy is a type of psychotherapy in which a therapist works with multiple clients at a time in a group setting. It's a common type of therapy used within mental health treatment programs, including in intensive outpatient programs. Our virtual IOP integrates personalized therapy groups designed to fit your mental health needs and goals.

Learn More About IOP
teen looking for therapy options

Here at Charlie Health, group therapy is a critical component of our virtual intensive outpatient program (vIOP).

We believe that a combination of group therapy, individual therapy, and family therapy (plus any psychiatric care you or your loved one may need) is the most effective way to help you achieve your  goals.

The logic is simple

If you feel seen and heard in your therapy group, you are more likely to share your thoughts & feelings, find connections, and learn how to better cope with mental health challenges.

Our groups offer you peer support, plus a therapist who can help you process individually while also leading the group moment-to-moment. You should feel seen and heard in a group therapy setting, which is why it's useful to be matched into personalized groups based on your needs, and experiences — not just where you live.

teen girl participating in group therapy

The virtual group therapy model we offer at Charlie Health is unique from other providers of IOP programs because of our ability to virtually connect people anywhere.

At Charlie Health, our virtual intensive outpatient program includes three hours of virtual group therapy, three times per week. Our group sessions are offered exclusively through our HIPAA-compliant telemental health providers. You are assigned to groups that are in alignment with your unique treatment plan from day one with Charlie Health, helping you toward the right direction in your  journey.

Types of Group Therapy

There are many different types of group therapy options. All of these can also be attended virtually!

At Charlie Health, we personalize your treatment journey with a tailored selection of group modalities to fit your mental health needs and goals:

Dialectic Behavioral Therapy Skills (DBT Skills)
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT)
Mentalization Based Therapy (MBT)
Relational Trauma Repair (RTR)
Motivational Interviewing (MI)
Attachment Based Family Therapy (ABFT)
Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)
Learn More

Group therapy can also include groups dedicated to alternative therapies such as creative arts and contemplative practices.

Some of the specific groups we offer in this field at Charlie Health include:

woman practicing yoga

Yoga & Yoga

teen girl participating in dance therapy

Dance Therapy

teen girl participating in art therapy

Music and Wellness
Art and Wellness
Drama Therapy
Adventure Therapy

Finding a therapy group with the appropriate focus, therapist, and peers can make a huge difference in your recovery journey.

Oftentimes, people choose to start therapy only with a one-on-one therapist without considering joining therapy in groups with peers or other people who have the same mental health concerns.

It might feel intimidating to start therapy in a group with people you don't know, but there are programs and professionals out there who can help guide you and with whom you’ll deeply connect.

When you reach out to start your journey with Charlie Health, our admissions team works directly with our clinical team to match you with groups and therapists who are most aligned with your mental health needs and goals. We know that one-size-fits-all doesn’t work in the recovery process, which is why our virtual intensive outpatient programming is so effective.

Support Groups

Support groups are a way to supplement group therapy by creating additional spaces and opportunities for people to connect with peers and professionals about mental health challenges they may be struggling with, or if they're struggling with a loved one's mental health journey.

Choosing an online support group can help you find the perfect fit for both your needs and your schedule, unbound by geography. Specific types of support groups at Charlie Health for both clients and their families include:

& Build Relationships

Group therapy that is creative and expressive is a clinically effective way to learn how to process and express difficult emotions and mental health challenges.

Group therapy will help you learn how to share perspectives and connect with others who may be going through similar struggles. It’s cathartic to have an outlet to share your thoughts and feelings, and to hear from others who may be able to offer advice or support. It can help you feel less alone.

groups of teens discussing their perspectives on an issue illustration

Explore Feelings

One of the most important aspects of group therapy is the exploration of feelings. This can be done in a number of ways, but the most important thing is that the group feels safe and comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings.

One way to explore feelings is to ask everyone to share something they’re feeling at the moment. This could be something that's been on their mind all day, something that's been bothering them for a while, or something that happened recently.

Another way to explore feelings is to ask everyone to share a memory that's been particularly emotional for them. This could be a happy memory, a sad memory, or even a traumatic memory. You could also ask everyone to share something they’re afraid of, what’s bothering them, or what’s keeping them up at night.

No matter how you choose to explore feelings, the type of group you're in should feel like a good fit and a safe environment when you’re being asked to share vulnerable experiences and emotions.

What Kinds of Mental Health Issues can Group Therapy Help with?

At Charlie Health, we utilize personalized therapy groups to address a wide variety of mental health diagnoses.

We know that no one is defined by their mental health issues, but we also know that the ability to connect with people who have similar struggles is critical to the healing process.

Our personalized groups help teens and young people with:

Depression & major depressive disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder
Anxiety disorders (panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder, etc.)
Suicide ideation
Chronic pain & chronic illness
Gender dysphoria
Anger management
Grief and loss
PTSD and trauma
Borderline personality disorder & other mood disorders
Substance abuse disorders
Divorce, domestic violence & other family-based trauma

How can you have a great group therapy experience?

Here are some things to keep in mind before you start your first session:


Not all groups are the same. Make sure to find a group therapy setting that is right for you.


Group therapy can be a safe space to receive feedback and advice from peers, but remember that it's up to you to decide what to do with that information.


Group therapy can be helpful in dealing with a wide range of issues, such as depression, anxiety, personality disorders, mood disorders, relationship problems, and substance abuse disorders. Group therapy in combination with individual therapy, family therapy, and psychiatric care as needed can be even more effective. At Charlie Health, we believe that this holistic approach is the key to mental health success.


Group therapy is usually led by a therapist, but sometimes there is also a co-leader or other facilitator.


Group therapy usually meets once a week for ~3 hours. Scheduling can be hard, but when you’re able to access group therapy from home (or in another private, safe setting while on a computer) there’s more flexibility. We work with your work and/or school schedule to make sure you’re able to attend your group sessions while also maintaining your routines and responsibilities. We even have weekend group therapy sessions!


Group therapy is a confidential setting. What is said in the group stays in the group. In our virtual groups, no one shares their full name or exact medical information. Privacy is pivotal when creating an environment in which people feel comfortable sharing honestly.

If you're thinking about group therapy, here are some questions to ask:

What are the goals of the group?

What is the size of the group?

What is the age range of the group?

What is the orientation of the group (i.e. is it open or closed)?

What is the focus of the group?

What is the gender mix of the group?

What is the schedule? (i.e. how frequently does the group meet and for how long)

headshot of Ann Matino
Ann Matino
Clinical Director

"Groups give young people the opportunity to come together, connect, socialize, and feel like they are part of something bigger.

They're able to realize that they're not alone; that other people are going through the same things that they are. Isolation and lack of connection is what's really hurting our young people's mental health. Group therapy is a way to directly address these mental health issues that stem from loneliness by offering connection, emotional support, social skills, and more–in a safe space."