I've been working hard to get the word out about my Empowering Teen Girls Group that starts April 12th. Throughout this process, I am understanding that unless your teen has had some sort of experience that has led to intensive treatment, you and your teen may not know what group is.
Parents who have teen who have experienced group have stated to me "my teen was in group when they were hospitalized and loved it". Or "group really helped _____ when she was at an inpatient facility". Group is often used in mental health inpatient facilities as a means to intensify the therapeutic process while undergoing observation and individual therapy. But, group is not always meant to be intensive.
Group should also be used to meet needs in the community. It can be a great supplement to meet individual needs of multiple people in the community. Group is used to help multiple individuals address the same problem while feeling less alone in their efforts. For instance, many parents may be feeling alone in their struggles with their teen or unsure of how to handle changes or to know what is normal versus what is a problem. Group would be a place they could find support and encourage each other in their efforts.
The purpose of group is to be a supplement or alternative to individual therapy. Group can be used with individual therapy as a place to practice skills or as a place to process life experiences. It can also be used on its own (without individual therapy) as a place of support and connection to others who are experiencing similar things. It can be a place to find empathy and understanding from peers who are going through similar phases in life.
The purpose of Empowering Teen Girls is to provide a safe place for your teen to connect with other teen girls who understand each other's problems. A place where they can hear how other girls are dealing with and handling struggles while being guided to make healthy decisions to face these struggle. A place where girls can learn together to take control of their lives and their emotions. Girls will be able to see that they have been through similar circumstances and learn new healthy ways to cope with their circumstances.
Group is a place to gain inspiration from peers and to connect and empower each other to be strong and courageous against the many temptations they face. It will be a place for them to bring the good and bad---discuss how they feel about it---and leave with a healthy solution or encouragement.
If your teen has seen a counselor or multiple counselors and you felt there was no progress, group may be a better alternative. Or if your teen feels uncomfortable seeing a counselor, group may be the place where they can learn to share by listening and connecting with other teens. Your teen may already be seeing an individual counselor, and group can be a way for them to practice and reinforce skills they are learning.
Group is not a place that unsafe behaviors will be discussed. It is not a place to come and meet up with friends. It is not a place to gossip. It is not a place where unhealthy decisions will be glorified or tolerated (drugs/alcohol, self-harm, sexual behavior, aggression, suicidal thoughts).
Group is a structured environment where you should feel safe and encouraged to be open and be you.
If you have questions about group or would like to schedule an intake for your teen to join group, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form on this page.
Have a Blessed Day!