Austin Group Therapy Across the Lifespan
Curious about how group therapy can support you or your teen? Groups offer a unique way to connect, reflect and develop relational, social and emotional tools. We offer these innovative therapy groups across the lifespan:
- GirlTalk Therapy Groups for tweens & teens
- Identity & Relationship for tweens, teens & college students
- LGBTQ+ affirming for teens & college students
- Friendship Circles for elementary students
- Parent support groups
We offer year-round enrollment based on availability, with some groups running on time-limited schedules of 6-8 sessions and others running long-term (learn more). Every group requires an initial session to determine goodness of fit. Please contact us to learn more about these groups and see how we can support you and your family!
girltalk therapy groups
GirlTalk Therapy groups support:
- Emotion regulation skills
- Self-compassion & self-worth
- Developing a solid sense of self
- Healthy friendships
- Empathy building
- Meaningful connection
- Pro-social behavior (i.e. learning how to engage in the world in a way that supports your goals, dreams, and relationships)
GirlTalk Therapy Groups are the roots of GTTG. First offered in 2011, our teen girls groups have grown right along with us, with some groups running for several years at a time and new groups forming every year! Identity and Relationships are the heart & soul of our GirlTalk Therapy groups. We offer a home where girls can learn about who they are and where they can find connection and a sense of belonging.
What makes a GirlTalk Therapy group different? Girls join our groups when they are struggling with depression & anxiety, when they've had challenging friendships & felt lonely or left out, when they've struggled with who they are & where they belong. Each group is unique and rooted in our values of integrating social-emotional skill-building with a non-curriculum, experiential experience that centers the girls and their goals & needs. Each group session allows the members to bring in what's present & needs attention, while over time building the scaffolding for solid coping skills for managing difficult emotions, challenging relationships, and using mindfulness & self-compassion skills to create a more stable & cohesive sense of self.
Our GirlTalk group offerings change regularly to meet the needs of our clients. We currently offer both ongoing and time-limited GirlTalk groups, so contact us to find out about getting started with a GirlTalk group tailored to your daughter's needs.
Each group is unique but all groups focus on self-compassion, identity, emotion regulation, healthy friendships, self-care, resilience, growth & transformation.
identity & relationship Groups
LgbtQ+ affirming Groups
Who am I and where do I belong? The mixed gender Identity and Relationships group support teens in developing a strong sense of self and healthy relationships. Within this group, the members will explore topics of:
- Identity & expression
- Appreciation & compassion for self & others
- Relationships & building connections
- Personal support network
- Core values
This group is inclusive and supportive, and helps participants deepen their empathy and self-compassion. Participants can expect the 60 minute group to remain intimate with no more than 6 members in the group. Safety, security, and mutual respect will always be the core tenets of the group.
Our LGBTQIA++ groups provide a safe place for us all to be ourselves and to talk to others who may be experiencing some of the same things that we are. None of us need to feel like we’re alone; we’re all on this same roller coaster together.
Discussion topics vary by age and developmental stage, and will include:
- Feeling good about being LGBTQ+ and non-binary
- Healthy relationships
- Navigating the Internet safely
- How do we self-identify?
- Coming out-what now?
- Identity & expression
- Learning about healthy & safe sexuality
- Healing shame & guilt
- How to create a network of support
These groups are lead by Justin Givan-Gonzales, LMSW, who is under the supervision of Lauren Dreyer, LCSW-S.
The Friendship Circle is a 6-8 session GirlTalk Therapy Group for boys & girls in elementary school, and we offer groups several times over the year, generally in the fall & spring. We offer multiple groups or co-facilitated breakout groups for the younger and older elementary group members to have a chance to practice their skill-building in an age-appropriate setting. This group will help your child learn the fundamentals of friendship building skills, explore ways to understand and manage their emotions and behavior, and practice expressing empathy for self and others. Our ultimate goal is to increase comfort in social situations, while celebrating each child’s uniqueness and the commonalities that bring us all together! Through collaborative games, meaningful dialogue, and art activities, the group participants will learn specific strategies for calming down, working out peer conflicts, interacting with others, and increasing self-awareness and self-compassion.
This group is led by Georgia Denny, LMSW. Georgia is a former school counselor with boundless energy and passion for this age group. For the 60 minute group sessions, your child can expect a mixture of focused skills-based learning along with active play, art activities, games and lots of fun!
frequently asked questions
What is group therapy like at Gt therapy group?
Our elementary & middle school girls' groups use experiential activities and group discussion to create a safe, trusting environment for girls to learn more about themselves and each other. Groups focus on social awareness & skills, identity development, building self-confidence and self-compassion, developing empathy and a sense of connectedness, and helping girls navigate the transitions of early adolescence. From peer & family relationships, to body image and a rapidly changing sense of self, these groups help girls celebrate their unique selves and foster healthy friendships.
Our high school girls' groups help teens manage the stress that comes with high school and find balance with their academic, family, extracurricular and social commitments. High school is a time when the pressure to meet the expectations of parents, teachers and peers can become overwhelming, and our group gives girls the opportunity to share their experiences and learn from each other in a safe, supportive and collaborative environment. This program will give your teen the foundation to develop healthy relationships, a strong sense of self and coping strategies for dealing with the challenges high school can bring.
Groups for young adults and parents are focused on supporting healthy identity development, navigating attachment in adult relationships, giving and receiving support for phase of life issues, and building a cohesive narrative about who you are and where you belong. In these groups we talk about what is going on in each person's life and focus on the moment-to-moment experiences and interactions of the group, and how to use the group experience itself to develop deeper self-awareness, learn new ways of relating to others, and to heal & grow.
why do people join group therapy?
People come to our groups for many reasons. Some are referred by individual therapists or school counselors, some ask their parents if they can have a place to talk about life stuff and others come to us from parents who are looking for ways to support their child or teen's mental health and well-being. Parents & young adults join group to find support, meet like-minded peers who are also doing the hard work of looking inward and figuring out who am I and where do I belong? Some of the reasons for seeking group therapy include:
- Challenging peer relationships, bullying (aka relational aggression), not fitting in
- Emotion dysregulation: losing your temper easily, getting overwhelmed, feeling out of control
- Family issues: divorce, separation, conflict between parents & teens
- Changing schools or moving to a new city
- Transition into middle or high school, transition from high school or college
- Poor self-image, low self-esteem, feeling badly about who you are
WHAT CAN GROUP DO FOR ME?
Group therapy can be an effective way to meet teens where they're most comfortable, in a small setting with like-minded peers. For group therapy members of all ages, groups can help you feel less alone. Some of our group members see us or other therapists for individual or family therapy, and use group to debrief with their peers, as well as give and receive feedback and support. Some group members have never tried therapy before and find the group setting to be more comfortable (even if they're nervous at first) than sitting one-on-one with an adult therapist. Therapy groups are different than group settings at school and extracurricular activities. They are therapist-guided to be safe, supportive, nurturing and engaging for group members from diverse backgrounds. The experience of being in group can be very healing, and is especially helpful for anyone struggling with social anxiety, difficulty in relationships, those who struggle with self-worth or those who just feel awkward and uncomfortable meeting new people. Some of the benefits of group therapy can include:
- Feelings of confidence and connection
- Learning more about who you are and how to be true to your values
- Discovering how to use self-compassion instead of self-criticism
- Building healthy friendships and stronger family relationships
- Learning how to manage difficult feelings
- Discovering your strengths, resources and inner resilience
long-term or time-limited group? How do i know which is the right fit?
Most of our groups are long-term, open enrollment, developmentally-appropriate process groups. This means that members can join and graduate from group at different times, and the group can keep going. These types of groups mirror our experiences in the world, where we are often having to navigate relationship transitions and learning how to enter into established groups as well as how to say goodbye when people leave. These groups are, at their core, about establishing healthy peer attachments.
Our time-limited groups are more focused on practical learning and skills-acquisition, and are great when your child or teen needs a primer on social-emotional development. Sometimes a child can participate in a time-limited group to build some language around the social and emotional skills we teach, and then might join an ongoing group for the long-term.
While both groups teach skills and incorporate age-appropriate topics for discussion around emotions, sense of self and social relationships, the open groups are much more about the long-term process and experience of the group itself, and can adapt as the members grow. The needs of these groups might look different over time, and members can stay for different lengths of time depending on needs and goals, but they are based in the latest neuroscience that teaches us that interpersonal relationships are how we form our identity, how we regulate our emotions, and how we learn how to organize ourselves in the world.
the fine print
Fees: $50/group session for 60-minute groups and $60/group session for 75-minute groups; $125 for initial 50-minute intake assessment to determine goodness of fit for group based on client needs and current group focus, address group expectations, goals and policies, and begin building a relationship between the client and therapist. We do not accept insurance but are able to offer statements for out-of-network reimbursement. Please contact your insurance company directly to verify benefits.
Each group has its own personality and scope. Let us find the right fit for your needs.