Group therapy is often beneficial to teens and kids by providing support from others going through similar situations. Groups are led by therapists who have experience working with teens and kids in this type of setting to maximize the benefits.
Group therapy focuses on change: change in attitudes, beliefs, emotions and behaviors. In the group, members are relieved to discover they are not alone—their experiences, problems or fears are not unique or isolated.
Group members are able to receive support, consider alternatives, challenge thoughts and develop new, more effective coping skills to ease their struggles and improve the quality of their lives. Groups meet weekly for a specified number of sessions. Family members or other support persons may be asked to participate in some of the sessions.
Catalpa Health currently offers therapy groups on the eight topics listed below. To get more information or to express an interest in these groups, call the Catalpa Health Access Line at 920.750.7000.
The Bridge Group provides an opportunity for clients to start therapy services even before their first session with an individual therapist. This group offers support when there is a wait before or in between ongoing services. Clients will be introduced to coping skills, experience a safe place for sharing, and connect with peers. Ages range from 10-18 and attendance is on a drop-in basis.
TRY (Tool Review for You)
Formerly known as the Day Treatment Aftercare Group, TRY is for 7-12th grade students who have successfully completed Catalpa Health’s day treatment or intensive outpatient program. It reinforces the fundamental DBT skills learned in those programs, and offers interactive time to practice those skills, and to create a plan to use those skills outside of the group setting.
For ages 8-11, this group helps children increase their confidence and courage and reduce anxiety by learning coping skills and relaxation techniques. It includes tips for changing negative thoughts into positive ones and positive self-talk.
For youth ages 11-18 who are being served by the STARS (Specialized Treatment for Anxiety and Related Symptoms) program. The group helps kids with OCD make a fear list and practice their exposures with the support of their peers and their families.
ABCs of Anger: An Anger Management Group
For ages 9-11, this group helps children decrease aggression, verbal outbursts and other expressions of anger through relaxation and talking about triggers of anger, choice-making and consequences, and how one’s anger affects others.
Managing My Moods (3Ms)
For students ages 11-14 who need help with anxiety, depression or another mood disorder. This group helps them understand how their thoughts, feelings and actions can impact their mood.
SOAR Group: Social Opportunities and Reflection
Offers kids ages 12-16 the opportunity to learn and practice social skills to be better able to develop and keep relationships. Includes such topics as conversational skills, how to choose appropriate friends, handling arguments and disagreements, appropriate use of humor, handling rejection, teasing, bullying, rumors, and gossip. There is some parent involvement.
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
Being the Best Me with ADHD
This group for Kindergarten-Grade 2 helps improve overall function in kids with ADHD. Includes focus on self-regulation skills, school problems, social skills and self-esteem.
Concurrent groups for parents build strengths to better manage behaviors, teach behavior modification strategies, and reinforce topics learned in the children’s groups.
Anxiety and depression
This group is an experiential group focused on exploring depression, anxiety, relationships, self-esteem, self-confidence, and emotional regulation through creative expression. This group will connect individuals through their artwork and creative interventions to help group members learn healthy strategies to express emotions, develop self-esteem/self-confidence, practice calming skills, and explore social skills and relationships.
Focused on teens 13-18 and their parent or caregiver, this group helps build skills in managing moods/mood swings, assertive communication, teaching healthy ways to deal with stress and managing negative behaviors. Group members will learn cognitive, behavioral, and mindfulness skills to better identify and manage their emotions, and will begin to apply these skills in their day-to-day lives. Goals for this group are improved social relationships, better family communication, reduced negative coping strategies (self-harm, suicidal thoughts), and improved feelings of self-worth. Offered in Appleton and in Oshkosh, clients in this group will also be expected to meet weekly with a DBT individual therapist.
HeArt Group: Healing through Expression and Art
This group uses art and expressive therapy to help high school students replace negative self-talk with positive, realistic and empowering self-talk. It helps them learn and implement calming skills, communicate emotions more effectively, and improve their social skills and self-confidence through expression and positive interpersonal relationships with other group members.
Teen Girls Group
This group helps girls ages 14-16 connect, share, and find healthy coping strategies around anxiety, depression, self-esteem, relationship issues, and changing thinking patterns.
Teen Girls Group: Step Down Group/After-care
An extension of the previous group, this helps girls continue to share and connect with peers to decrease symptoms and develop healthy coping strategies.
Click here for a downloadable and printable flyer listing these therapy groups.
3 myths about group therapy:
- Myth #1: I’ll have to tell all my deepest, darkest secrets.
No one will force your child to divulge anything she is uncomfortable sharing. Your child alone decides what to say and when to say it. However, in order for the group to help, it is important to realize that what your child puts into the group will determine what your child gets out of the group.
- Myth #2: Group therapy will take longer than individual therapy because my child will have to share the time with other members.
Actually, group therapy is more efficient than individual therapy for two reasons. First, your child can benefit by listening to others, even if she doesn’t say much. She will find she has a lot in common with other group members. As they work on their issues, concerns and fears, your child can learn more about herself. Second, group members often bring up issues that strike a chord but that your child might not have been aware of or brought up herself.
- Myth #3: Group therapy is not as good as individual therapy.
Research has shown that group participants usually experience equally satisfying results. In fact, some find it is even better than individual therapy. Group therapy is recommended when your child’s therapist believes it is the best way to address your child’s needs, not because we do not have space in individual therapy, or because we want to save you time. We recommend it when it is the most effective method to help.