Why Group Therapy for Teens Is A Good Option

Teenage years are difficult for many and group therapy is a great way to help teens. Sharing in a group setting helps young adults work through challenges and issues. It creates a sense of belonging that proves beneficial when working through problems.

What Is Group Therapy?

Group therapy is a form of treatment where you meet and discuss your problems, traumas, or concerns with others who share similar issues. It always takes place under the supervision of a trained therapist or health care professional. The therapist guides the conversation, provides solutions, and teaches coping skills. The overall goal is to create an interactive group that forms relationships and works together to help each other. Studies have shown that this process is an effective form of therapy for children and adolescents.
Within the structure of your therapy sessions, you can share your feelings with others and normalize your emotions and experiences. You become more self-aware as you learn about yourself. Group therapy enables you to begin to comprehend the effects of your behaviors upon yourself and your loved ones. In addition, you learn how to give and receive constructive feedback while interacting with your peers.

How Group Therapy for Teens Can Help

Group therapy helps you in ways individual therapy doesn’t. When you are with others you can discuss, manage, and reflect on your emotions and experiences. Sharing with peers promotes an understanding that you are not isolated in your feelings and trauma. Many teens feel isolated and alone as they navigate these challenging years of adolescence. Connecting with peers gives you the insight that you are not alone and that others struggle with similar issues. Working with others can introduce you to valuable ways to manage the stressors that are prevalent during these years. For example, interactions within the group can give you tools to help you manage relationships, parental and peer conflict, middle school, and high school problems.

Group Therapy Benefits for Teens

Group therapy is a space in which you can practice your emerging social and interpersonal skills. It’s a place where you can learn to engage with others and work on active listening. When you participate, you learn to think through your comments and reflect on your actions. Learning to communicate effectively leads to better relationships and boosts self-confidence, which is essential in adolescence.

Teens participating in group therapy activities can find connections and support with their peers. In therapy, you can express yourself freely in a safe space with other like-minded individuals. Connecting with others lets you know and understand that you are supported and are not alone in your mental health journey. According to an analysis of 56 studies over two decades, adolescents participating in group therapy were coping better than 73% of teens who were not in this kind of therapeutic program. Sharing experiences is a powerful tool to help you understand that whatever you are going through, others have also dealt with similar issues.

Group therapy boosts self-esteem and confidence by letting group members help each other. According to research at the University of Texas at Austin, when you can help a peer by sharing your own experiences, that act boosts your self-confidence. You come to understand you are a valuable part of the group. Being valued as a group member and feeling a sense of belonging are key to coping with difficult emotions and events. Teens supporting teens leads to motivating one another, pushing through difficulties, and celebrating goals.

In addition, group therapy is an excellent strategy for therapists. During group therapy, the therapist can observe how you interact with your peers. Therapists can see how the group is interacting in real-time and help you navigate social interactions and conflicts. This observation gives them tremendous insight into why you are struggling, and how to best support everyone.

Who Benefits from Group Therapy?

Connecting with others in therapy sessions can help teens working through many different types of issues. Many of the challenges teens face overlap. Some of the common problems adolescents need assistance working through are:
  • Bullying
  • Identity confusion
  • Social isolation
  • Depression/anxiety disorders
  • Addictions/substance abuse
  • Emotional disturbance/mental illness
  • Eating disorders

Group Therapy for Depression and Anxiety

Group therapy is beneficial for those suffering from addiction, depression, and anxiety. Those suffering from addictions are often also suffering from co-occurring mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. While sometimes they’re self-medicating to relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety, those same symptoms can also be made worse by the substance with which they are self-medicating. In group sessions, you can address the struggle with depression and look at it from others’ perspectives. This is powerful in itself as you reflect on the causes of your depression. At the same time, the act of sharing and talking can help identify the root and triggers of your anxiety and find ways to manage it. Likewise, communicating and socializing with peers helps with social anxiety.
Throughout adolescence, you begin to acquire communication skills that will benefit you as you grow into adulthood. You learn to problem-solve, pose questions, and process your experiences together. Through the power of communication and shared experiences, you can identify depression and anxiety and acquire tools and strategies to help manage them.
Overall, group therapy provides many benefits for teenagers struggling through adolescence. It offers a safe space to learn and practice coping strategies in a healthy setting. It also helps foster and manage positive peer relationships and emerging social skills.
At Core Recovery, we offer treatment plans that include group therapy for teens. Contact our professionals at Core Recovery to learn more about our Intensive Outpatient Program that involves group therapy for teens and how it can help you and your family.

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Core Recovery is a Professionally Certified Mental Health Practice in North Phoenix.