Although many children benefit from individual therapy, in some cases group therapy is more effective. Group therapy is not only cost effective, but also contains certain key therapeutic factors:
- In group counselling relationships, children experience the therapeutic releasing qualities of discovering that their peers have problems, too, and a diminishing of the barriers of feeling all alone.
- Group members recognize that other members’ success can be helpful and they develop optimism and a sense of hope for their own improvement.
- A feeling of belonging, trust and togetherness develops. This allows for new interpersonal skills to be learned practically.
- In groups children are afforded the opportunity for immediate reactions and feedback from peers as well as the opportunity for vicarious learning.
- Group members have the opportunity to re-enact critical family/peer dynamics with other group members in a corrective manner.
- Children also develop sensitivity towards others and receive a boost to their self-concept through being helpful to someone else. For children who have poor self-concepts and a life history of experiencing failure, discovering they can be helpful to someone else may be the most profound therapeutic quality possible.
- In groups, children also discover they are worthy of respect and their own worth is not dependent on what they do or what they produce, but rather on who they are.
- Group members begin to accept responsibility for life decisions.