Today's post is all about group therapy. I am sure you have seen some form of a group on television and depending on what you saw, it could be a correct, close or totally inaccurate depiction of group. Since all groups are not created equally, I am going to share how my groups are structured for teens, what is the goal of group therapy and the benefits it posits.
Let's pull up at how my group structured. I have a strong preference for closed groups. Well, I only like to run closed groups if I am honest. What is a closed group? Thanks for asking. A closed group is when all members of the group begin at the same time.
This type of group enhances group cohesion and trust for participants. This is a big deal for teenagers. It also allows the members to be committed to a safe space where they can thrive and feel supported. Similar to my last statement, I also cap membership around 8 people. I want to every voice to have space in my groups.
As we drive a bit, we arrive at the type of group I facilitate which is a combination of education and counseling. This mixture of these aspects allow flexibility in content to fill the group space. While I make sure to have a curriculj, provide resources, and teach skills, I also make sure members are able to speak freely about their lives.
Six weeks a cycle is the desingated duration for the hour long group. I am a fan of impact and believe six weeks is the sweet spot for intentional impact.
Why is group therapy a good service?
Some teens are shy and may feel more comfortable among other teens versus sitting with a therapist individually. This also allows them to be supported without having to specifically share their unique story. This is possible as they are ab;e to hear from the other members in the group about similar situations they may personally experience. Consider it therapeutic interventions by proxy.
Practical skill practice is another benefit of group therapy. As coping skills are introduced, they can actually try the skills with members in the group. This gives them n opportunity to practice sans the anxiety of trying with a close friends or anyone in ther personal environments.
Built in peer empowerment is the third benefit we're going to discuss. Group members are typically very supportive of each other as they can idnetfiy with each other.