Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy where a small group of people meet to discuss, listen, and interact with one another under the guidance of a trained therapist.
These sessions focus on skill building related to specific issues shared by the group members, such as anxiety, social skills, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, mindfulness, distress tolerance, parenting skills and general coping. The therapist facilitates each session, helping to maintain a safe and respectful environment for all participants.
Why is group therapy a good option?
There are so many benefits of group therapy! A built-in support network allows people to share experiences and learn from others facing similar challenges. It helps participants realize they’re not alone in their struggles, fostering a sense of community and mutual understanding. These sessions also offer diverse perspectives and coping strategies, empowering members to learn new ways to handle their issues and improve their mental health.
Group therapy is also a cost effective option that allows participants to get more therapy hours at a fraction of the cost of individual therapy.
Types of group therapy
At Moose Jaw Psychology Services, we offer several types of group therapy for children and teens. All the groups run in a small group format with a minimum of three and a maximum of eight participants.
Child and teen group therapy sessions go beyond just supporting young individuals; they actively involve parents. Meaningful change doesn't occur in isolation. By including caregivers, these groups emphasize parents’ crucial role in their children’s emotional growth and well-being. This inclusive approach emphasizes how important family support and involvement are to children's and teens' long-term development.
Kids emotion regulation group therapy
Children often experience a range of overwhelming emotions, and they need to understand and manage these feelings for their well-being. Kids may face challenges in effectively expressing their emotions, leading to misunderstandings, frustration, and feelings of isolation. Many children also lack interoceptive awareness, the ability to recognize and interpret internal sensations, which is vital for emotional regulation and self-awareness.
In kids emotion regulation group therapy, suitable for children aged 7 to 11, group members participate in a nurturing and empathetic environment where they can express their feelings freely and receive support from trained therapists. The sessions for this group focus on skill-building for emotional regulation through interactive activities and exercises, such as breathing techniques and creative expression, aiding in the development of self-understanding. It emphasizes the importance of healthy communication and enhancing verbal and non-verbal skills to improve relationships with peers, family, and others. Through these sessions, children develop enhanced emotional intelligence, improved social skills, increased self-confidence, and lifelong coping strategies.
Each group session lasts 60 minutes, including 15 minutes of parent involvement.
Social Learners group therapy
The Social Learners group is a 12-week specialized program for children aged 8-11 who are neurotypical or neurodivergent (with conditions like ADHD, social communication learning disorders, social anxiety, twice exceptional, or autism levels 1 and 2) and who have good language, cognitive, and learning abilities.
These sessions focus on developing social thinking, which is fundamental for understanding and interacting with ourselves and others and determining appropriate behaviour in different settings. This group therapy program encourages practice in perspective-taking, helping kids to consider the thoughts and feelings of others in various settings. It also promotes flexible thinking and self-regulation, teaching children to adapt their thinking and behaviour depending on the context.
These sessions are 90 minutes, with parents joining for the last 30 minutes to learn the concepts and how to help their child practice the skills at home between sessions.
Children’s anxiety group therapy
Joining an anxiety support group can be hugely transformative for your child's well-being. If your child has increased emotional sensitivity, avoidance of anxiety-inducing situations, social withdrawal, excessive worry, perfectionism, difficulty concentrating, or seeking frequent reassurance, anxiety is disrupting their lives and possibly holding them back.
Our children’s anxiety group therapy, suitable for kids aged 8 to 12, is designed to educate children (and their parents!) about anxiety, its impact on the brain and body, and methods to identify and manage worried thoughts and feelings.
Group members will learn techniques to challenge and unravel their anxious thoughts, empowering them with effective coping strategies. Our 6-week program also focuses on teaching methods to calm the mind and body, helping with long-term personal growth and resilience. Every 90-minute group session includes 30 minutes for parent participation, giving participants plenty of opportunity for in-depth conversations and skill-building activities.
Teen wellness group therapy
Remember being a teenager? It is not easy. Teens and tweens can often have a tough time managing emotions, mood, relationships, self-esteem, and anxiety.
In our teen wellness group therapy, we split into two groups - one for those aged 11-13 and another for those between 14-17. In these sessions, your child will learn to gain perspective and acceptance among peers, practice communication and emotional regulation skills, and manage distress without becoming overwhelmed. They’ll learn tactics for staying present, effectively regulating emotions to handle anxiety and low mood and to identify and rewire problematic thinking patterns.
In a supportive group setting, your teen will also develop the ability to be aware of and constructively respond to their emotions, cope with difficulties without impulsivity, communicate needs effectively for positive relationships, and re-evaluate perspectives to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
Parent participation is recommended with this style of group therapy. At Moose Jaw Psychology, we have a 12-week parent component called Empower Parents-Teen. Parents can enrol in this program as a stand-alone group or be used to support a child's group or individual sessions.
Empower parents group therapy
Parenting is often exhausting and challenging. Sometimes, when children, tweens, and teens experience unpredictable emotions, parents also react with heightened emotions. This can result in anger, guilt, self-doubt, and disappointment.
Our parent workshop series addresses these very common experiences, helping parents bridge the gap between expectations and reality and equipping them with strategies to overcome those feelings of helplessness and frustration.
At Moose Jaw Psychology Services, we have two different versions of parent group therapy: one for parents with children looking to foster connection and set a solid foundation before the teenage years, and one for parents with teens looking to confidently support their teenagers as they become increasingly independent.
In both groups, parents will be taught effective ways to handle their child or teen's strong emotions, understand them even when they’re overwhelmed, control their own emotional reactions, and improve communication with each other in a more respectful and helpful manner.
Group therapy sessions provide a safe space for people of all ages to navigate and understand their emotions. We offer helpful techniques and tools that contribute to long-term well-being.
Want to sign up or learn more about one of our groups? We invite you to get in touch with us!