Group Therapy for Teens
The Top 5 Reasons Group Therapy is Great for Teens
When you’re considering therapy options for your teenager you may want to consider a group therapy-based approach according to recent research.
Individual therapy undoubtedly has benefits for teens in terms of teaching them how to navigate the rigors of young adulthood, but group therapy has been shown to improvea teen’s ability to maneuver social environments and might even be better for this purpose than individual therapy.
One way group therapy works is by helping teens overcome social anxieties.Teens learn to better relate with one another through shared experiences and concerns that tend to emerge in group therapy.
The Journal of Child Psychology did a thorough review of over 20 years worth of studies, 56 in all, and discovered benefits for group therapy for teens as opposed to individual therapy.
Another reason group therapy seems to work for teens is that the therapist is able to see social interactions as they emerge and can help teens overcome shyness or social anxiety.
Specifically, Psychology Today listed the following conditions as benefiting from group therapy for teens:
- Social Isolation
- Acute Shyness
- Bullying Issues
- Peer Rejection
- Anger Management Problems
- Identity Conflicts
What exactly are the benefits of group therapy for teens according to this research?
The first benefit is in helping a teen build their social confidence. In a group setting teens can develop their social skills that will serve them later in life, such as public speaking and expressing your needs and desires in an adult setting.
Social anxiety, especially during the teenage years, can be quite a barrier to developing relationships and even getting a job. Learning these skills in an environment that is relatively stress free provides teens with an opportunity to express themselves that they might not otherwise have.
Along those lines, the second major benefit of group therapy for teens is in developing social skills.
The third major benefit of group therapy for teenagers is that, while they build social confidence and their social skills with one another, they also learn what a positive peer influence is. This is critical for most teens as their peer group can often have an outsized impact on their decision making and the pressures they experience.
Working with other teens in a group setting wherein each supports the other shows what mature, healthy relationships look like. This may help them avoid making bad decisions later in life and identify those peers that may not have the bests interests of others in mind.
The fourth major benefit for teens undergoing group therapy is that their relationships improve. Not only do their relationships at home and school show improvement, but their general ability to navigate the ups and downs of life equips them for a more stable future.
The fifth major benefit brings together the sum of the previous four in that group therapy for teens shows a marked decrease in stress levels in the teen’s life.
The teenage years need not be the most harrowing of a young person’s life, and, indeed, with proper therapy and support, they won’t be at all.