By Elaine Spencer, Psy.D. Licensed Psychologist
When parents realize that their children or teens are struggling and need support, they often consider individual therapy. It’s true that one-on-one therapy is an effective way for many children to work on their individual challenges through a close relationship with their therapist, but sometimes individual therapy is not enough or just isn’t the right fit.
One-on-one therapy can have a tremendous effect on your child, but what if it just isn’t the right fit? Our group therapy may be exactly what your young one is looking for.
So, what if your child needs something more or something different?
Children often need the opportunity to work on growing and learning with their peers. They may see it as a “safe” space and they will relate to what the others in the group are sharing. It helps to validate their own feelings when they know that others are facing the same challenges. The changes that can result from group therapy can be so remarkable that it is hard to imagine until you try it.
Group therapy programs like the Social Skills Group we offer here in Tampa Bay (Click Here to Learn More) provide children the opportunity to learn new skills and practice these skills in the moment in a safe and fun environment. Kids receive support from the therapist but more importantly they receive real-world feedback from their peers. This type of group feedback is often more powerful than the feedback children are receiving from their parents or other adults.
Some examples of tools that children will learn in group therapy settings include:
- How to identify feelings and cope with them in healthy ways
- How to navigate the social environment by recognizing social cues and boundaries
- How to make and keep friends
- How to solve problems and much more
These essential skills are developed through psycho-educational activities, games, modeling, role-playing, peer feedback, and creative activities. And, they last long after the group has ended. These are skills they will use each and every day for the rest of their lives.
Who would benefit from group therapy?
If your child is shy or socially anxious, is having trouble making or keeping friends, or is struggling with behavior problems at home or at school, a social skills group may be a good fit.
If you think your child would benefit joining a social skills group or would like help determining what type of therapy program would be the best fit, please contact us by email at: info@RicePsychology.com or by phone at (813) 969-3878.