In this ever increasing “digital world,” we all long for connection. Socialization and friendships are especially important to children who are going through many life transitions. Through the connection and community that is developed during a group session, we can gain insight and understanding about ourselves and others. Groups help us define our social identities while allowing us to provide and receive peer support. The social benefits of groups also apply to group therapy, a structured approach where one or more therapists work with several people at once. Participants in group therapy share similar challenges. At Beyond Healthcare, our group therapy program is an integral part of our comprehensive mental health treatment for children, teens, and families. Beyond Healthcare provides flexible solutions to meet your child’s mental health needs in a safe, friendly, and inclusive environment. Learn more about all of our programs and services by reaching out online or calling 833.698.0453,
What Are the Benefits of a Group Therapy Program?
Individual therapy offers children and teens a safe place to share their struggles, explore their feelings, receive help to process emotions, learn to manage symptoms, and work through various issues. While highly beneficial, individual therapy does not provide an opportunity for therapists to observe how individuals relate in a group setting. A significant benefit of group therapy is that therapists can help children and teens work through social anxiety, poor social skills, poor communication skills, and other challenges in real-time as they occur. The effectiveness of group therapy is evidence-based, and other benefits include:
- Providing a safe place to practice newly learned skills
- Group members learn to be accountable for themselves and to others
- Seeing peers make progress compels other group members to heal and grow
- Group members learn from others’ experiences
- Formation of healthy and supportive relationships
- Increased coping, social, and communication skills
- Recognition that they are not alone and that others have similar challenges
The children’s group therapy approach is built on the core principle that children and teens feel better when they have access to a supportive peer group. Through peer interactions, group therapy helps children and teens develop their support networks resulting in more social support and reduced feelings of isolation and alienation. Group therapy also reduces the stigmas surrounding mental health disorders.
Is Group Therapy Right for Your Child or Teen?
In group therapy, members share a common diagnosis, struggle, or experience. In addition to providing support, group therapy aims to teach and instill evidence-based strategies for coping with specific issues. Group therapy might be right for your child or teen if they struggle with or have experienced any of the following:
- Anger management
- Anxiety or depression
- Eating disorders or self-harm
- Social anxiety or social isolation
- Low self-esteem or self-worth
- Trauma or significant loss
Children have a natural inclination to express themselves and resolve conflict through play, so children’s group therapy should incorporate spontaneous and structured play, including drawing, board games, or role-playing. Because teens generally have better verbal communication skills and are invested in peer feedback and support, teen group therapy should utilize a combination of structured activities and talk therapy.
Even though children and teens can share the same diagnosis or exhibit similar symptoms, they will still have unique needs that require an individualized treatment plan. The multidisciplinary treatment team at Beyond Healthcare will work closely with your child or teen to identify their strengths and challenges and develop a plan that best suits their needs.
Learn More About the Group Therapy Program at Beyond Healthcare
At Beyond Healthcare, we provide an array of mental health services designed to meet children and teens where they are. Our comprehensive approach involves the entire family so that each member can heal and grow. We understand that daily life, including school, can become overwhelming for children and teens who struggle with mental health issues. Contact the Beyond Healthcare team at 833.698.0453 to determine if your child could benefit from our day treatment or therapeutic after-school programs and learn more about our group therapy program.