In this type of therapy, a clinician will meet together with several clients with similar problems. When children are placed in group therapy, it is particularly important to match clients for age and problems. One benefit of group therapy is that it can help decrease a client’s shame and isolation about a problem while offering needed support, both from the therapist and other members of the group (American Psychological Association, 2014). A ten -year-old sexual trauma victim, for instance, may feel very embarrassed and ashamed. However, they may find that within a group of other kids the same age, they will realize they are not alone. A child struggling with poor social skills would likely benefit from a group with specific goals to help foster social skills development. A new mother with post-partum depression could feel less guilty and more supported by being in a group with similar new mothers.
Group therapy also has some specific limitations. Members of the group may be afraid to speak in front of other people because sharing secrets and problems with complete strangers can be stressful and overwhelming. There may be personality clashes and arguments among group members. There could also be concerns about confidentiality: Someone from the group might share what another participant said to people outside of the group.
Another benefit of group therapy is that members can confront each other about their patterns. For those with some types of problems, such as sexual abusers, group therapy is the recommended treatment. Group treatment for this population is considered to have several benefits.
Groups that have a strong educational component are called psycho-educational groups. For instance, a group for children whose parents have divorced might discuss in depth what their experience might be. Other groups might focus on anxiety, social isolation, self-esteem, bullying. Whether the group is held in school or in a clinician’s office, group therapy has been found to be effective with children facing numerous kinds of challenges (Shechtman, 2002).
At Psychological Assessment and Treatment Services we offer the following weekly Group Therapy Services.
- Parenting your ADHD Child or Teen
- General Parent Skills training using evidenced based curriculum for “best practices”
- Anxiety and Depression Group for Girls
- Screenagers – Psychoeducational group for parents to learn how to set good limits on their children’s use of electronics / internet.
- Social Skills Group for Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum.
Call us today to find out how to sign up for one of our weekly ongoing groups. 888-666-3089