Group therapy for children
Would you like your child to feel less anxious in social settings?
Do you wish she had better friendships or more friends?
Do you worry about how your child gets along with other kids at school or on play dates?
In some situations, group work may be the best way to get support and address issues directly. Groups can provide a sense of belonging, and relief in knowing that others are in need of support, too. They provide direct instruction and coaching in an applied setting.
At The Sibley Group, we have groups that address an array of issues for adults, children, and parents, because we know that working in groups is often the best method to get support and to practice new skills.
Our counseling groups for children match children’s interests, ages, and abilities. Each group is customized to address the particular needs of the participants, and we refine the curriculum according to the goals of each group. We integrate social skills training with activity-based opportunities to practice newly learned skills.
Integrative process groups
Children are offered opportunities for new connections and improved friendships. Our groups help children feel a sense of belonging with other children through facilitated “playtime” or “talk time.” In our groups, we structure “talking time” for children to allow for improved listening and communication skills and model good social skills and friendship behaviors, and we give children a place to practice friendship strategies. Our children’s groups can address a variety of issues, including low self-esteem, attention problems, problems with behavior, and emotional issues.
Coed Pre-K and kindergarten readiness group
Our Pre-K skills group prepares children for success in kindergarten. Using a fun, hands-on approach, children will learn social skills and practice positive behaviors that help in the classroom, on the playground, and beyond.
This group is ideal for four- and five-year-old children who are currently in Pre-K getting ready to enter kindergarten in the coming fall. Every week, children will actively participate in skill-building exercises to develop confidence and mastery in the following areas:
- understanding and responding appropriately to social cues
- making transitions and following routines
- regulating feelings and activity level
- sharing, listening, and taking turns, and
- initiating play and cooperating with peers
Groups for school-age boys
We teach social skills in our groups for school-age boys. These groups draw heavily upon the “theory of mind,” which involves the ability to think about other people’s thoughts and feelings, and the ability to think about what other’s think about our own thoughts and feelings. It starts with understanding your own thoughts, feelings, and actions and bridges to “reading” someone else’s actions and conversations in order to “think about,” “feel about,” and understand other’s thoughts and feelings.
We use gameplay to skills such as:
- social competence (getting along, sharing, listening with your mind/body, heart, attention)
- executive function (having a plan, working step by step)
- nonverbal communication (eye contact, faces, jokes, feelings, poses) conversation skills/verbal communication (getting a topic, asking good questions, listening, using someone’s name)
- self-management (staying in your space, calming your body), and
- Problem-solving (getting a game plan, learning to self-advocate)
Groups for school-age girls
In a safe and expressive environment, young girls can experience a sense of acceptance, validation, and growth with their peers. They girls practice skills to navigate social interactions, increase their sense of worth and self-esteem as well as learn how to create boundaries for themselves and others.
These groups focus on:
- challenges in friendships
- forging social connections
- emotional regulation and self-awareness
- processing underlying feelings of anxiety and depression, and
- finding support amidst other factors