Group Therapy is Great for Teens

Group therapy functions as a microcosm of the external world. If individual therapy is like the lecture, group is like the lab. Members get to build relationships with each other while they practice interacting in a space space to overcome anxiety and gain a sense of universality. Through sharing their experiences and struggles the members learn they are not alone.

We spend most sessions sharing whatever is going on in their lives and playing games. A favorite game has always been writing secrets and mixing them up. Upon reading them the members guess which person it seems would write that secret. It’s up to the writer to claim it or not. We place a high focus on sharing feedback with each other. As one teen said, “In real life people just ghost me. In group, you guys tell me what I did wrong.” It might look like going around the room and saying one thing that makes you want to be closer to someone and one thing that makes you want to take a step back. The idea is to help each person learn how they are perceived by their peers and help them learn how to come across authentically.

Members do not communicate outside the group. This is to maintain confidentiality as well as ensure that everyone is a part of all interactions and can share their perceptions. Weekly attendance is very important. Every attempt is made to choose members who do not attend the same schools and don’t know each other outside group.

Dallas Teen Process Group