How Group Therapy Can Help Young Girls Process Trauma

Individual therapy is a wonderful tool for helping teenagers overcome their fears, improve their moods, and explore their feelings. But sometimes individual therapy is only one component in an effective treatment plan. For young girls dealing with a traumatic event in their past, group therapy can provide therapists with the rare opportunity to see how teenagers’ issues may play out in a social setting. 

Childhood Trauma

Childhood trauma is an event experienced by a child that threatens their life or their physical safety. Trauma can cover many experiences, from physical abuse to a car accident. Children who have experienced medical trauma can also experience lasting psychological effects. Even ongoing stress, such as living in a dangerous neighborhood or being a victim of a bully can be traumatic. 
According to a 2020 article: “Between 3% and 15% of girls and 1% to 6% of boys—develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a traumatic event.”. Children with PTSD may re-experience the trauma in their minds over and over again. They may also avoid anything that reminds them of the trauma or they may re-enact their trauma in their play. They may also struggle with anxiety, aggression, poor self-esteem, and self-destructive behavior. If your daughter has experienced a traumatic event, she may feel lonely or isolated. Seeking out support in the form of group therapy can be a helpful tool towards better mental health.

The Benefits of Group Therapy

Research has shown that pre-adolescents thrive in safe, predictable, and structured environments. Group therapy is a safe space where young girls can share and process their experiences and the after-effects of their trauma. Through group therapy, they are introduced to peers who have also experienced their own traumas. Instead of feeling isolated and alone, group therapy creates a community where they feel understood and heard without fear that they will be judged for their feelings.
Group therapy builds confidence and communication skills. As they build confidence and an understanding of group dynamics, girls can become more comfortable asserting themselves in social situations in their daily life. Group therapy can also be a source of positive peer pressure. When girls are in the company of peers who are also struggling to improve themselves and develop healthier ways of relating, they don’t feel so alone. Group members cheer and celebrate each other’s victories. This positive environment provides them with the confidence they need to overcome self-doubts and take more social initiative.
The goal of trauma-focused group therapy is to break the negative cycle of PTSD and help participants develop new skills and create healthy relationships. It can help them find international motivation for change that can lead to long-term success. 

Trails Carolina Can Help

At Trails Carolina, our wilderness therapy program’s mission is to give your child the confidence, coping mechanisms, and communication skills that will help them become the best version of themselves. Throughout our wilderness program, families restore and rebuild their relationship with their child.
We believe that by connecting with nature in a wilderness therapy setting, your child can learn to address their problematic behaviors, gain valuable personal insights, and learn important lessons. Free from the distractions and negative influences of everyday life, they can focus on their own personal growth and healing process. For more information please call (828) 202-8706.

Avatar of Jeremy Whitworth

Jeremy Whitworth

As Executive Director at Trails Carolina, a leading wilderness therapy program for youth and teens, I oversee operations and collaborate with our leadership team. Since 2022, I've also hosted the Common Ground Podcast for parents: With a background in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education, I've managed adventure-based therapeutic programs across the US and Canada. My experiences in competitive athletics and adventure sports have honed my leadership, risk assessment, and decision-making skills, which I apply to running a successful business like Trails Carolina.

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Trails saved my daughter’s life. Amanda is an amazing human and a brilliant therapist. I am so grateful to her, Science Steve, and the other wonderful people who could reach my daughter at a time when I could not.

Margot Lowman August 2022

Great life changing experience for our son. After becoming addicted to gaming during covid he was very depressed. At Trails he experienced the wilderness, Science Steve, learning survival skills and top notch therapy and support etc… I highly recommend! This gave our son and our family a renewed family bond full of love and excitement about his bright future.

Winnifred Wilson July 2022


Outstanding clinical work and superb staff! There’s a great culture at this company and it shows with how they engage with families/clients.

Kristin Brace June 2022


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Trails Carolina’s wilderness camps for troubled teens are dedicated to helping teens work through behavioral or emotional difficulties, build trusting relationships with their family and peers, and achieve academic success.