As I think back to adolescence, some of my most important memories involve connecting with others…moments when I could talk with my peers about what I was thinking, wondering or struggling with. I could ask my friends “is this normal?” I remember hearing about the struggles others my age were going through and solving problems or complaining together. It was often surprising to learn when I thought differently from others and when others were thinking or struggling with the same issue I was. Together we could listen, share and support one another as we developed a more confident way of thinking or feeling.
Adolescence is a time in life when big questions are asked and opinions are developed. It’s a wonderful and often confusing time when deciding “who am I?” and “how do I fit in with the world around me?” It’s a time of balancing responsibilities and stress such as school, homework, and expectations of others. It’s a time of learning about relationships, the good ones we cherish and the not so good ones that bring us pain. It’s about exploring who we are, how we want others to see us and what we want to do with our lives. There are often family and social pressures that weigh us down yet it’s also a wonderful time for dreaming!
All of these big questions and experiences lead to a roller coaster of emotions. Adolescence is a time of feeling all emotions very intensely and figuring out what to do with them. It’s a time of learning what to do when that cute guy at school isn’t interested in me or when my good friend posts a terrible picture of me. How do I react when my parents don’t understand why I feel something is so important or they don’t trust me to hang out with my friends? How do I play it cool when I am so nervous about performing well in the big game or about avoiding kids on campus that I don’t get along with?
Teens love connecting with others, especially when it’s a good relationship or a safe environment. It is one of the ways teens can openly express themselves and to hear others do the same. Teen peer pressure is one of the strongest influences and when it is channeled in a positive direction it can create a powerful force.
Where To Find Connection
Teen support groups are designed to provide an opportunity for connection, expression, contemplation, skill building and support. Groups are designed so teens can come together and learn that they are not alone in their struggles, while facilitators are present to support and guide the conversations in a direction that benefits the group as a whole.
Therapy Changes offers Teen Support Groups in San Diego including Point Loma and Rancho Bernardo. The Teen Support Group is for teens ages 13-18 years old, to help increase their knowledge and ability to cope with life’s stressors, make healthy and positive decisions and connect with others who more or less “get it.” Group facilitators are genuine in their approach and treat all members like individuals. They strive to create a comfortable and relaxed space where teens can feel free to be themselves. Rather than the facilitators just giving an abundance of advice or opinions, teens are invited to a conversation and encouraged to express themselves in healthy ways.
Goals for the Teen Support Group include:
- Adopt healthy coping strategies
- Clarify goals and desires
- Learn healthy communication styles
- Increase self-care activities
- Improve self-esteem
- Manage social pressures
- Understand relationships
- Develop decision making and problem solving skills
Therapy Changes offers Teen Support Groups at the following locations and times:
Point Loma: Saturdays 10:00am – 11:30am
Rancho Bernardo: Thursdays 4:30pm – 6:00pm
If you would like to learn more about our Teen Support Group, you can call the office at 619-275-2286. We would be happy to answer your questions or schedule an intake.
Teen Support Groups at Therapy Changes: Teens Connecting with Teens was contributed by Dr. Jennifer Wendt