Group therapy activities for teens are a great way to get young people involved in talking about their mental health. It can be difficult for teens to open up, but specially chosen group therapy activities can help them feel more comfortable talking about their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Therapists provide a safe environment where young people can bond over similar challenges and support one another.
Being a teenager can be difficult, especially without strong social skills. The therapists at Imagine Seattle choose activities to engage teens in group therapy that can improve their communication skills, confidence, and mental health. Contact us at 425.295.2459 to learn more about our teen group therapy program.
5 Activities to Engage Teens in Group Therapy
Group therapy activities for teens should differ from those used with younger children or adults. The games and activities must engage young people for group therapy to be effective. Some group therapy activities that have proven to be successful with teens are:
Drumming is a fun group activity that appeals to teenagers from all backgrounds. No musical experience is necessary; a drum is the only equipment needed. Many teens enjoy participating in a drumming circle in group therapy because it does not require them to speak, so there is no pressure to talk about uncomfortable topics. Group drumming has been shown to reduce stress, improve mood, and boost immune function.
2. Music Selection
Music selection is an activity where each group member can choose a song. The group listens to the music, then discusses what thoughts or feelings arose in response to the song. This activity can help teens with difficulty regulating their emotions since it allows them to communicate through the lyrics and music that match their feelings.
3. Gratitude Mapping
Gratitude mapping involves encouraging teens to think about the things they appreciate in their lives. The therapist may provide each group member with specific topics such as people, places, and experiences. The teen will then brainstorm and write or share what they are grateful for in each category. Gratitude activities like this help shift a young person’s focus to the positive aspects of life rather than dwelling on the negative and ruminating about what they do not like.
4. Exploding Balloons
When teens do not know how to express their feelings in a healthy way, they may bottle everything up inside. The exploding balloons game teaches young people how keeping their feelings inside for too long can cause them to blow up at others. The therapist will provide group members with balloons and ask them to share something that makes them feel upset. With each item, they blow some air into the balloon. Eventually, the balloon will pop, which symbolizes what happens when we bottle up our feelings. Teens are then given a second balloon which they blow up until it is full. Instead of bottling up their feelings, they are asked to talk more about something that upsets them. Then they let the air out of the balloon until it gradually deflates, representing the release of pressure after talking about one’s emotions.
5. Group Journaling
Journaling is a great individual or group activity for teens. The therapist usually provides a writing prompt to get teens started when in a group. After being given some time to write in their journals, group members can share what they have written and discuss the chosen prompt topic.
Find Group Therapy Activities for Your Teen at Imagine Seattle
Incorporating fun and educational activities into teen group therapy engages young people so they can get more out of their sessions. Teens learn how to work together, get to know one another better, develop healthy communication skills, and improve their relationships with themselves and their families. If you are interested in group therapy activities for your teen, reach out to Imagine Seattle at 425.295.2459.