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The effectiveness of therapeutic approaches for clients receiving child and adolescent group psychotherapy is dependent on a variety of factors. Factors such as the type of therapy used, the age and developmental level of the client, the quality and experience of the therapist, and the appropriateness of the goals set by those involved in treatment can have an effect on outcome. Generally speaking, research has found that children who participate in group psychotherapy are likely to benefit from it; specifically, they can show improved social skills, greater self-esteem, better problem-solving abilities, increased insight into their own behavior, more positive interpersonal relationships with peers and adults alike.
In addition to traditional cognitive behavioral treatments (CBT), which focus primarily on changing problematic behaviors through thought restructuring or skill building activities such as role playing or relaxation techniques, therapists may use other approaches to engage a young person in discussions about their feelings or beliefs. Examples include play therapy (where children act out stories with toys), art therapy (utilizing visual arts to express emotions) and mindfulness based interventions (focused on being present in each moment). Depending upon individual needs these methods may be beneficial for helping young people gain insight into themselves as well as increase empathic understanding towards others.
Overall it is important that any treatment plan be tailored to meet a specific child’s needs while taking into consideration his/her age/developmental level. Overall research suggests that many individuals find progress through group psychotherapy sessions when done in conjunction with other forms of therapies such as individual counseling or family counseling.