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Group Therapy

Group counseling for teens creates peer connection and support

 

 

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Does your teen have trouble regulating their emotions and reactive behaviors?

Does your adolescent feel emotions far more strongly than their peers?

Is your teenager acting out based on those feelings in ways that are self-destructive?

Do you find yourself constantly worried about your teen’s struggle to deal with stress constructively?

Every teenager has coping skills. Coping skills are used to soothe oneself during times of internal and external distress. The trouble comes when our teenagers use negative coping skills because positive ways of self-soothing aren’t giving them an internal sense of calm.

This internal sense of calm is what is known in the therapy world as distress tolerance. In other words, how much distress can you tolerate before you lash out at yourself or others? A low distress tolerance leads to more extreme methods of coping such as:

  • Cutting
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Social isolation
  • Lashing out at friends and family
  • Drug experimentation
  • Extreme methods of getting attention
  • Emotional martyrdom

If your teenager is dealing with a lot of emotional dysregulation, resulting in low distress tolerance, then our teen DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) group is probably a good fit.

Does Your Teen Want To Make Deeper Connections, But They Don’t Know How? 

Is your teenager lonely and struggling to make or keep friends?  

Have they been dealing with anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues? 

Do you think your teen would benefit from therapy, but you also worry that one-on-one therapy might be too direct?  

Maybe your teenager feels alone in their struggles and thinks that no one understands their pain. While all their friends appear to be having a good time, posting their “highlight reels” on social media, your teen feels like the odd one out 

What’s more, your teenager might have trouble handling conflict, asking for forgiveness, or standing up for themselves. Or perhaps they’re overly confrontational—they have a hard time admitting when they’re wrong and letting arguments go.  

Deep down, you probably wish there was a way for your teen to meet other adolescents who are struggling. If this is the case, we encourage you to pursue our group therapy program at Teen Therapy OC. The dynamics of an adolescent process group allow for many of your teen’s challenges to be dealt with as they are happening (as opposed to individual therapy, where they are usually dealt with hypothetically).  

Loneliness Is Endemic Among Today’s Teenagers 

As human beings, we all have a fundamental need for connection. We are hardwired to belong to other people. Unfortunately, this sense of belonging has become increasingly rare for teens these days. The digital age has removed face-to-face interaction from so many areas of teens’ lives. Additionally, teens had to live through a global pandemic that interrupted their everyday social life and forced many of them into isolation.  

Girl with her head down and looking sadAll these factors have combined to make life lonely for kids growing up in today’s world. And the lonelier teens are, the more likely they are to suffer from mental health issues. Without as many supportive voices in their life, it’s easier for them to spiral down and lose perspective. Increased isolation can also contribute to social anxiety, making teens even more likely to avoid other people.  

Deep, meaningful relationships are hard to come by for teenagers nowadays, and that’s why group therapy is so vital. It can help them break out of their loneliness and experience the healing power of connection.  

Group Therapy Is A Chance For Teens To Realize They’re Not Alone 

Many teenagers have deep emotional pain because they feel unwanted around peers at school. In group therapy with TTOC, teens have a safe space to get support, compassion, and encouragement from others. We’ve seen many teens thrive in the group setting and then translate this growth into everyday life. It’s truly amazing what can happen when teens realize they’re not alone.  

Group therapy has a tremendous benefit for teens with depression, anxiety, social struggles, and poor coping skills. In all these cases, teens grow by getting feedback from others. They can enhance their sense of purpose and belonging because each group member’s input is highly valued. Their group therapist will help them lead each other to deeper expressiveness and understanding.  

How Group Therapy Can Benefit Teens With Various Mental Health Issues 

Depressed teens are often lethargic and avoidant of activity. Group therapy can help with teenage depression because it creates purpose, belonging, and activation, which instills teens’ lives with newfound hope. 

For teens with anxiety, group therapy gives them a chance to feel validated by peers. When teens get feedback from other teens, they often realize that their fears are unrealistic and gain a clearer and more objective perspective. What’s more, worry is usually quelled when teens have something to focus on outside of themselves. Group therapy can help your teen see beyond their own struggles as they develop empathy for the other group members. 

The social benefits of group therapy cannot be overstated. The other group members will provide positive feedback on why your child is likeable and offer insight into social skills that might need adjusting. Your teenager will receive this feedback in a safe, warm, and affirming environment. 

Additionally, teens are more likely to make changes when they feel a sense of belonging to a group. When your teen witnesses another teen benefit from positive coping skills, they are usually more inclined to try those same skills. For example, if the therapist challenges the group to give up social media for a week, your teen is more likely to follow through out of solidarity with the other members. 

In the end, many teens who felt isolated at school have felt accepted and encouraged in our support groups. When your teenager finds that they’re deeply important to people their own age, it can be the launching point for a completely different view of themselves. This is the most rewarding part of group counseling, and it’s why we are so passionate about running these groups for teens.  

HOW DBT GROUP THERAPY SPECIFICALLY BENEFITS STRUGGLING TEENS

Teens with low distress tolerance struggle to apply new skills. However, when adolescents support their peers, they internalize new coping skills too. This leads to renewed effort on the part of your teen to succeed.

Positive peer pressure cannot be overstated. The DBT teen group creates an environment where recovering is cool. Your teen gets positive attention for making an effort to use the various skills they learn in group (i.e. mindfulness, clear communication, identification of emotions, taking a pause between feeling and emotion and having a reaction, etc.).

HOW DOES TEEN DBT GROUP WORK?

At Teen Therapy OC, we created the DBT group to fill a gap in care we saw throughout Orange County. There are teenagers who need more than once a week individual therapy, but they don’t need daily intensive outpatient care. These adolescents need to have just a little bit more support.

Your teen comes to DBT group one hour per week. We only allow new members into the group during the first week of each month. This gives your teen a chance to create a bond and cohesion with the other group members.

Part of each group is spent teaching Adolescent DBT skills. The other part of group is about putting the skills into practice while the group members support one another. Between positive coping skills and increased connection, your teenager has a real potential to recenter and feel huge emotional relief.

 

You May Have Some Questions About Group Therapy For Teens… 

 

What if my teen doesn’t like their therapist or the other group members? 

Our therapists have a lot of experience working with teens, so we’re confident that your child will enjoy their time here. As for the other teens in the program, it’s important to know that the therapist pre-screens each teenager to try and form the most cohesive support group possible. And even if your teen doesn’t like their group, it’s still an opportunity for them to learn about what they want and don’t want in their relationships.  

Will sessions be confidential if there are other members involved? 

Before therapy begins, every group member must agree to maintain group confidentiality. The group therapist will emphasize the importance of this. Obviously, we cannot guarantee the actions of everyone involved in your child’s treatment. But since the teens we see find group therapy so encouraging, most of them feel motivated to keep everyone’s information safe for the sake of the healing process.  

What if my teen wants to continue with therapy once group ends? 

They are more than welcome to do so! Either we can connect them with another group, offer them a slot with an individual counselor, or give them appropriate referrals if they’re looking for something different.  

What is the cost of teen group cousenling?

One of the major benefits of group counseling is that it costs less than 1:1 therapy. Group therapy at TTOC is $125 per session. However, there is a $50 per month discount for group members who pay upfront for the month totaling $450. The group schedule is once per week for the first 4 Thursdays of each month (If there is a 5th Thursday in the month, then it is a week off). Superbills are provided at the end of each month to anyone who plans to submit for an out-of-network claim to their insurance. 

Your Teen Deserves A Place Where They Can Feel Seen, Heard, And Understood 

Group of teensOur hope is that group therapy will be that place for them. To have a personal conversation about whether group therapy is right for your teen, call Lauren at 949-394-0607. We look forward to hearing from you!  

To have a personal conversation about whether group is right for your teen, call Lauren at 949-394-0607 or click here to schedule a free 15 minute consultation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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