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.
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.
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.
Middle School Mood Management Group (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.
CHILL Group: Kids with Chronic Illness Living Life
Separate groups for ages 11-14 and 15-18, CHILL groups provide an environment of support to people living with a chronic illness and/or chronic pain. Members learn coping skills, how to improve their self-esteem, how to better relate in social settings and peer relationships, how to change unhelpful thoughts into positive perspectives, and how to improve their ability to manage stress and pain.
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 a concurrent group for parents.
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.
Anxiety and depression
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.
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
Being the Best Me with ADHD
Separate groups for Kindergarten-Grade 2 and Grades 3-5 to help 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.
Helps students in Grades 6-8 develop skills to manage symptoms of ADHD. Includes discussion of executive functions, organization, time management, focus, and study strategies.
A concurrent parent group reinforces topics learned in the children’s group.
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.