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:
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 Teen groups
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 all our teen groups. We offer a home where young people 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.
mixed gender teen groups
Our Mixed Gender Teen Groups are experiential process groups where teens can learn more about who they are and where they belong in a safe & supportive peer environment. These groups allow teens a place to learn how to build healthy relationships with peers, manage difficult emotions through mindfulness & self-compassion, and navigate the turbulence of the teen years with community & connection.
Mixed Gender Teen Groups are great for teens who struggle with depression & anxiety, have difficulty regulating their emotions, and who have had challenging peer or family relationships.
GirlTalk Therapy & Mixed Gender Teen Groups support:
Emotion regulation skills
Self-compassion & self-worth
Developing a solid sense of self
Pro-social behavior (i.e. learning how to engage in the world in a way that supports your goals, dreams, and relationships)
Our GirlTalk Therapy and Mixed Gender Teen Groups are facilitated by several members of our team. Current 2018-2019 groups are lead by Justin Givan-Gonzales, LCSW & Alyssa Cohen, LCSW
identity & relationshipS LGBTQ+ Teen Groups
Who am I and where do I belong? The gender inclusive Identity and Relationships LGBTQ+ groups support high school teens in developing a strong sense of self and healthy relationships. While all our groups are gender and sexuality-affirming, the Identity & Relationships Groups have a particular focus on the needs and experiences of high school teens who identify as LGBTQ+ and nonbinary. Our 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 YOU
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
Appreciation & compassion for self & others
Relationships & building connections
These groups are inclusive and supportive, and help participants deepen their empathy and self-compassion. Participants can expect the 75 minute group to remain intimate with no more than 6 members in the group. Groups are formed based on developmental stage, age and goodness of fit with other group members. Safety, security, and mutual respect will always be the core tenets of the group.
These groups are lead by Justin Givan-Gonzales, LMSW.
The Friendship Circle is a 3-8 session 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.
These groups are lead by Savannah Parnell, LCSW. 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!
Each group is unique but all groups focus on self-compassion, identity, emotion regulation, healthy friendships, self-care, resilience, growth & transformation.
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 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 teens 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.
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. To reserve your place in group, we charge the full amount of the series for time-limited groups due at or before the first group session, and ongoing groups are billed in monthly installments at the first group session of each month, prorated for the number of scheduled sessions (e.g. $200/month for 4 sessions or $250/month for 5 sessions). We require a 30-day notice for group cancellation once you have enrolled in an ongoing group and time-limited groups will not be refunded after the start of group. 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.
Initial Assessment Details: This 50-minute session is for the therapist to assess your child/teen’s history, current level of need, and make a recommendation for next steps in treatment. The assessment does not guarantee placement in group. While we strive to make initial assessments in our phone call with interested families, until we meet with you and your child and provide a more thorough in-person assessment, we cannot ethically make guarantees about placement in group. Sometimes our recommendation will be to enroll in a new or ongoing group, sometimes it will be to engage in individual and/or family therapy in addition to group or instead of group, and sometimes it will be a referral to a higher level of care such as intensive outpatient (IOP) or hospitalization. If you, your child and the therapist feel that our groups will be a good fit, your therapist will coordinate care at that time with your individual therapist (if you have one). We do not provide refunds for initial intake assessments regardless of enrollment in group.
New Group Formation: When our current ongoing groups are full, they become closed to new members until a space opens up. We start new groups based on need and interest, and we are intentional and take our time starting a new ongoing group to ensure that it will be a thriving and long-lasting group. This means that we offer intake assessments year-round but may not have immediate placement for your child. When your child is assessed and recommended for a group that is newly forming, the start date will likely be flexible as we meet with potential new members. We will communicate with you throughout the new group formation process and will begin the new group when we have a minimum of 3 group members. We offer individual sessions as needed to those who are waiting for a new group to begin. We know this process can take time, and is not the right fit for everyone. We have found that this thoughtful approach allows our groups to be sustainable over the long-term and ensures that once you start a group with us, you will have a home here for as long as the group continues to serve your needs.
Each group has its own personality and scope. Let us find the right fit for your needs.