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Empowering teen girls through group therapy

Today’s guest is Jessica Paist who has her degree in marriage and family therapy and is located in Jenkintown, PA. Jessica is a teen therapist who specializes in empowering tween and teen girls. She uses a family systems approach, which means she supports the parents along with their daughters.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How group therapy can empower adolescent girls quicker than individual therapy
  • Girls gain awareness they are not alone
  • Girls can support one another

How group therapy can support adolescent girls

  • Jessica does individual and family therapy
  • She began support groups due to girls having similar struggles and them thinking they were alone
  • Girls have opportunity to share struggles and support one another
  • Girls learns new skills and do various activities
  • Top “take away” is often “I’m not alone
  • Group can help decrease self-judgement and that there is something wrong with them

Tween Girl Groups

  • More preventive in teachings/psycho-education
  • Use expressive arts, video clips, etc
  • Self-esteem peaks around 9 years old
  • Work on self-esteem and mental strength building
    • What makes them feel good about themselves
    • What makes them wonderful people

Teen Girl Groups

  • Cover topics from anxiety, depression, self-esteem or other areas the girls are wanting to discuss during the weeks
  • Begin group with “Attitude of Gratitude”-one thing grateful for this week
    • Focusing on grateful moments in life can increase happiness
  • Use mindfulness techniques to manage anxiety
  • Discuss various coping skills girls can use
  • Share a compliment weekly to begin to accept compliments, filling up each girls’ love bucket and give themselves permission to accept their strengths
  • Healthy self-confidence is not the same as being self-absorbed

Fears/Concerns about group work

  • What if I know someone in the group is from my school
    • Jessica gives girl choice
  • If I come to group there must be something wrong with me
    • Jessica helps break down stigma
  • Group can help them practice feeling uncomfortable and work through emotions that mimic their reality
    • Lean into the fear and begin face fears vs avoid them

How to find girl groups

  • Psychology Today-can search for groups
  • Use search words in Google/Internet
  • Ask therapist, primary care physicians, school counselors
  • Do you want open or closed group
    • Jessica does open group-which means girls can come and go as they need on a weekly basis

Book Recommendations:

For Parents-they get weekly email regarding what was taught

Untangled by Lisa Damour, PhD

Nine Ways We are Screwing Up our Girls by Anea Bogue

For Younger Girl

American Girl Series

For Teen Girl

How to Like Yourself workbook

Self-esteem Workbook for Teens

I have some upcoming announcements I will be making, so I invite you to sign up for my newsletter. This podcast is also available on Stitcher, Google Play, YouTube and now iHeartRadio.

Jessica’s Information:

Website: www.JessicaPaist.com