Between relationship issues, bullies, and peer pressure, there are tons of reasons why teens become withdrawn from their close friends and family members. Group therapy can help adolescents realize that they're not alone—all while creating a judgment-free, supportive environment to explore their mental health challenges with other group members.
Group therapy programs can be incredibly effective for teenagers, and many teens in group therapy sessions consistently benefit as they grow and develop. Here's why your teen should enroll in group therapy.
Therapy groups help teens connect with their peers
From anxiety disorders to traumatic experiences, mental health challenges can make it harder for teenagers to manage their feelings. When teenagers feel overwhelmed, they're more likely to isolate themselves from close friends, family members, and loved ones. The prevalence of loneliness often peaks in adolescents and young adults, but this isolation can make teenagers feel even lonelier.
Fortunately, therapy groups can help teenagers form meaningful connections with their peers. When they realize other teens are experiencing similar situations, they'll feel more comfortable sharing their personal struggles, providing feedback, and practicing healthy coping strategies. With the help of group sessions, teens can realize their feelings are normal.
Group sessions empower teens to make positive changes
When teens realize they're not alone, they feel naturally empowered. During group therapy sessions, teenagers can work through their mental health problems with the support of other people. In addition, group sessions provide valuable opportunities for teenagers to offer support and receive feedback from other group members.
In this way, group therapy can help young people improve communication skills by giving every group member a voice. Even if your teen isn't used to making their voice heard, group sessions offer an opportunity to practice. Group provides a safe space to speak without the stress and anxiety that might come with regular social interactions. At the same time, when they learn about the successes of other group members, they'll work harder to find their own personal success. Plus, the more teens feel empowered to speak up for themselves and share honestly, the more confident they may feel. Confidence is generally linked to improved mental health.
Teen group therapy promotes active participation
No matter what your mental health looks like, therapy can be hard work. Every therapy session requires active participation, and working toward mental health goals requires a collaborative effort from the client and therapist.
That's where group therapy sessions can make all the difference for teenagers. Group members aren't required to participate, but the more effort your teen puts in, the more benefits they'll receive. Over the course of the group therapy program, group members feel more comfortable opening up. Trusting that what happens in the group, will stay in the group, can be a major motivation to participate in a group therapy program.
Throughout treatment, group leaders will encourage teenagers to talk honestly about difficult feelings—even if it feels frustrating at times. Ultimately, part of the challenge and benefit of group sessions is to learn new ways to make deeper connections with other people.
Group therapy helps teens form healthy relationships
From family relationships to romantic partners, healthy relationships are an important source of support in any teen's life. Stable relationships are built on trust, honesty, and support. Unfortunately, teenagers don't always have the tools to recognize unhealthy relationships in their lives.
By discussing relationships with their peers, teenagers can improve their ability to form healthy relationships. They can recognize what a healthy relationship looks like, learn the warning signs for unhealthy interactions, and take steps to ensure their relationships have a strong foundation. At the same time, group settings help teens learn positive social skills, practice active listening, and find effective ways to communicate.
Most importantly, group psychotherapy and psychoeducational sessions help teens to cultivate a healthy relationship with themselves. Through group activities, teens can develop sustainable self-care strategies to manage stress. In addition, therapy helps teenagers take responsibility for their actions and navigate conflict. In a group setting, teens can practice respectfully addressing issues and conflicts in a safe space.
Whether your teen is starting therapy for the first time or searching for extra support, group therapy can be an important component of their mental health treatment.
At Charlie Health, our virtual intensive outpatient program (IOP) combines individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy to create a comprehensive treatment plan for every client. Our innovative approach to group therapy matches teenagers to personalized therapy groups based on their unique needs, schedule, and experiences—not just their geographic location.
We believe that holistic treatment is the most effective way to achieve your goals. Contact us today to learn more about our intensive outpatient treatment program for teens.