July 18, 2024
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July 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Virtual Teen Girls Group: The First Session

It’s the first session of a new round of our Teen Girls Group and the girls are all in their respective Zoom boxes, looking at each other nervously, their minds spinning and their hearts beating faster than usual.

After a quick introduction with names and fun facts to break the ice, the group leader pulls up a whiteboard and gives the group members a prompt:

“Draw a squiggle or design if you feel nervous about being here today.”

Six anonymous squiggles fill the whiteboard page and an audible sigh of relief can be heard.

The group leader says, “Draw a squiggle or a design if this is the first time you’ve been in group therapy.”

A few more squiggles appear.

“Draw a squiggle or design if you have been in group therapy before.”

More squiggles.

“Now…draw a squiggle or a design if you’ve ever had anxiety.”


“Draw a squiggle or a design if you’ve ever had a panic attack.”

More squiggles.

“Next let’s draw a squiggle or a design if you have siblings.”

Some squiggles appear.

“Now…draw a squiggle or a design if you’ve ever had a friendship end.”

Lots of squiggles.

As the questions go on, the page fills up with the anonymous squiggles. The lines might not look like much, but to the girls in the group, they serve as a visual reminder that they are not alone in their experiences. These squiggles demonstrate that this group of strangers actually have much more in common with each other than any of them might have thought coming into the group.

Once the therapist is finished asking questions, she says, “Next, I’d like each of you to message me privately on the Zoom chat with a question for me to anonymously ask the group as a whole.”

Chat messages begin coming in to the group therapist from the girls. There are questions about family dynamics, substance use, sexuality, depression and medication, body image concerns, and so on.

As each question is asked out loud by the therapist and answered with squiggles, the girls begin relaxing and feeling more and more comfortable with the other group members.

This activity is then debriefed verbally with the group, giving the girls an opportunity to share what participating in the activity felt like for them.

We LOVE using this activity in our groups, and our group members always have positive feedback as well; many say that it is “validating,” “normalizing,” and “helps them feel less alone.” This activity sets the stage for group members to dive into whatever has brought them to the group in the first place—they now know that at least one other person will be able to understand them and what they may bring to the sessions. At the prompting of the group leader, the girls can share why they joined the group and have an open conversation about what they are hoping to gain from being there.

Finally, the group leader brings up another blank whiteboard and together the group decides on group norms to follow such as confidentiality, letting each other have enough space to talk and not taking up too much ‘air time,’ and putting your feelings into words and not actions.


Does This Sound Like Something Your Teen Would Benefit From?

At Collaborative Minds Psychotherapy, our Teen Groups are process-oriented with a strong focus on the ‘here and now’ and learning more about how we behave in the world, and noticing how those patterns may come up in the group itself. Group members get to connect with others in a supportive and understanding environment while actively working on the issues that have brought them to group. In addition to our Teen Girls Groups, we have other group therapy for teens such as Social Skills Groups, DBT Skills Groups, and more. Contact us today to schedule a free 15-minute call with our intake coordinator to learn more about our services and to find out which of our groups would be the best fit for your teen!

Sara Schreiber is the founder and owner of Collaborative Minds Psychotherapy and along with being an individual therapist, specializes in group therapy and oversees all of the practice’s groups. Sara currently runs a process group for college students and a process group for adults, and has openings in her adult group. If you are interested in working with Sara through group therapy, contact [email protected] to schedule an appointment or visit www.collaborativeminds.net

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