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Group Therapy… Why I think it may be right for you

Let’s Talk About The Benefits Of Group Therapy

As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, many families are struggling. Children are facing challenges at school and at home – including in academic, emotional, and social arenas. While rates of anxiety and depression were already high pre-pandemic, they are now present in youth at alarming rates. Parents tell me that they are struggling with how best to help their children. Plus, many parents are facing their own difficulties on top of wondering how to meet the needs of their children.

Some of the issues parents bring to me include having a child who struggles with anxiety and not knowing how to manage this, wondering if their child is lonely or experiencing difficulties with their friends, worries about how their child is doing academically, or concerns and confusion about how to handle issues related to gender orientation.

Almost all of the parents who attend my groups worry that their children are having trouble dealing with intense emotions and feeling overwhelmed and unequipped to manage. If this describes you, you are not alone. Many parents have found answers to their questions and reassurance for their concerns in my groups.

What Can I Expect In Group Therapy?

Groups have quickly become my favourite clinical activity. I love being able to talk about evidence-based interventions and support parents through the challenges of childhood. In addition, many of my clients tell me they prefer groups to individual therapy.

I currently run a variety of groups for parents and children on different topics, including how to parent emotionally intense and anxious children. In addition, I have in-person groups for children who struggle with anxiety. (see group page for more details)

Each group has a maximum of 10 participants. Some parents come individually, and some come as a couple. My groups are 60 minutes long, and there are virtual and in-person options. In group, I will have an opportunity to get to know you and the issues you face with your child, and you will also have an opportunity to get to know the other group members.

Each group session features three components:

Learning a specific skill that is backed by research. We cover a different topic each week. You will leave with concrete ideas to try at home for the coming week.
An opportunity to raise particular challenges you are facing. You will learn how to apply the skills we covered in the group to your specific situations.
A chance to support each other by sharing successes (and challenges) that occurred over the previous week.

What are some of the Benefits of Group Therapy?

Support and Connection

Challenges are much harder when they are faced alone. In the groups I run, parents and children often report relief in knowing they are not unique in their struggles. Sharing difficult experiences in a supportive, safe, and non-judgmental environment can help you start to think of different ways you can address your problems.

Learning Evidence-Based Theory and Skills

I am a believer that knowledge of child development, understanding the basics of how emotions function, and acquiring step-by-step skills necessary to implement strategies that work – is power. Groups are a great way to obtain information in an organized way and discuss how to apply this to your day-to-day life.

Reducing shame

It is not uncommon for parents and children to feel a great sense of ineffectiveness, sadness and shame in their struggle. Sharing reduces shame, especially in the context of acceptance and understanding from others. When the shame is reduced, we can learn, implement skills and promote our own self-growth.

It’s a more affordable option

Psychotherapy in Ontario is expensive, and the waitlists are long. Group Therapy can service more clients at a time and at more than half the cost of individual therapy.

If you are interested in participating in a group, please get in touch with me to schedule an intake call.

Dr. Zia Lakdawalla

I am a registered clinical psychologist who specializes in working with children, adolescents, and parents. My goal is to help clients cope with uncomfortable feelings, improve relationships, and increase competency and efficacy in managing the demands of each new stage of development. I am also a strong believer that the environment in which kids are immersed is a critical factor in how they learn to regulate their emotions and build resilience.
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