1. Power of Connection
Children and adolescents often feel as though their problems are unique. Meeting peers who have similar challenges empowers group members to put words to their problems while feeling validated and understood. Given the increasing importance of peers in their lives, children and adolescents often share more openly in the context of a peer group than individually with a parent or other adult.
2. Opportunity to Develop Social Skills
Groups enable children and adolescents to learn and practice social skills âin vivo,â so to speak. The therapist models active listening and provides feedback on social behaviors in a supportive manner. Groups provide a setting in which group members can learn and implement prosocial behaviors that ultimately become part of their everyday lives.
3. Affordable, Alternative Way to Get Support
Individual therapy is not always the answer â or the only answer. Group therapy is often more affordable than individual therapy. Group therapy might be a good addition to individual therapy or a more comfortable option for those who are not sure their issues warrant individual therapy. Group therapy can also be a helpful step-down â a way to maintain gains from individual treatment after completing work with an individual therapist.
4. Healing Power of Serving Others
I often say that the best way to boost self-esteem is to do esteem-able things. Group therapy provides an opportunity for participants to give feedback and support to others. This experience inherently builds self-esteem as participants realize that they have the power to help others. For individuals who are frequently in the position of needing extra support, this opportunity to give is invaluable in enhancing self-worth.
5. Forming Relationships
Groups are a safe, structured place to build relationships. Many participants come to group with histories of negative social interactions. These negative experiences often lead to behaviors, mannerisms, and patterns that continue the cycle of negative peer relationships. I like to say that group offers the opportunity for âeasy winsâ in the relationship department. These âwinsâ can be the boost that participants need to start a cycle of positive relationships outside the therapy room.
**If you think your child might benefit from a group, please contact us today. If you or your child aren't a fit for one of our current offerings, please let us know as we're open to forming more groups. Did we mention we at Abundant Life Partners LOVE groups?!