Social interactions become increasingly complex in middle school, and the tweens/teens we see need a safe environment with their peers to navigate through difficulties and develop a stronger sense of self.
They may come to us experiencing:
• Increased Anxiety
• Feelings of Isolation
• Decreased Self-Esteem
• Difficulty Developing Self-Control
The goals of these groups are to increase their self-confidence, decrease anxiety in social situations and give them the tools and awareness to feel more at ease with themselves. This increased understanding and confidence will empower them to develop more satisfying relationships with friends and family.
The focus of the group will include, but is not limited to:
• Self-Esteem and Self-Concept
• Managing Stress in Social Situations
• Developing Friendships
• Connecting With Others
• Self-Control/Impulsive Behaviors
Our therapists incorporate many different therapeutic methods to achieve the goals of the group, such as CBT techniques, role-plays, mindfulness exercises and other interactive activities to help drive the group process and create a safe and open atmosphere where the members can give and receive therapeutic feedback.
These ongoing groups meet weekly. The cost per session is $95, and they require an initial evaluation to determine which group would be the best fit.
To give you a glimpse into what to expect, here is an excerpt from weekly parent feedback:
I had a feeling tonight was going to be a tough night to stay on topic, given the news that school is closed tomorrow… and it was! However, while we didn’t get my plan done, we did some even more important group work. Our check-in lasted a long time, but that was because the boys were joining in with each other, making related comments, telling their own stories, and sometimes giving each other feedback about the way they like to be talked to or don’t want to be talked to. They were respectful of each other, but also helped each other to learn and grow. No plan I could have had is more important than that!
We did work some on how to get along with people you don’t like, which was a topic one of them suggested last week. We discussed reasons why you might try to get along with someone- one suggestion was “maybe they are nice and just have a bad reputation.” I suggested that sometimes we are nice because it makes other people happy, because it might be consistent with the values we identified a few weeks ago, or because it’s just easier. Next week we will work more on the “how” to do it to build on the “why.”
-Melanie Kaplan, LCSW