Children's Hospital Colorado

Outpatient Psychiatric Group Therapy for Children and Teens

A close-up of two kids smiling and touching their foreheads and noses to each other.

If your child is struggling with emotional and/or behavioral difficulties, we understand how hard it can be to find the right therapeutic services. That's why our Pediatric Mental Health Institute has a variety of outpatient groups to help support kids, teens and their parents.

Four boys sitting in a group listening.

Each therapy group is designed to be a safe place for families to connect and get support from others. You will also learn strategies to deal with a variety of mental health concerns including ADHD, anger, anxiety and depression.

Why choose outpatient group therapy?

Outpatient therapy may be a good fit for your child if they are struggling to cope with difficult feelings and/or behaviors. Outpatient group therapies provided at Children's Hospital Colorado are evidence-based and focus on supporting kids, teens and their parents in learning strategies to better manage these emotional and behavioral challenges.

What group therapies are available?

Outpatient group therapy services are provided by pediatric mental health experts including psychologists, licensed clinical social workers and licensed professional counselors. Groups range in length from 6 to 16 weeks, with most groups lasting 10 weeks.

Group therapies provide a unique opportunity to receive specialized mental health services from expert providers, as well as support from other children, teens and parents who are participating in the group.

Below are the different group therapies available. For more details on a group's date, time and location, please call 720-777-6200.

Safely Expressing Emotions Daily Group for children 5 to 7 years old

The Safely Expressing Emotions Daily (SEEDs) Group is a skills training program for kids and their parents. This program serves children 5 to 7 years old who have emotional or behavioral problems such as a mood or disruptive behavior disorders, mood swings, or poor control of their emotions/behaviors that result in unsafe/unruly behaviors. Kids learn ways to cope with their emotions and interact more appropriately with peers and family members. At the same time, parents learn ways to effectively manage their child’s emotional and/or behavioral difficulties.

Anxiety Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Group, ages 8 to 12 and 13 to 18

Our Anxiety Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Groups are for children dealing with anxiety-related difficulties and their parents. Patients who participate in this group often have a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, trichotillomania, separation anxiety, Tourette's or tic disorders, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, social phobia, school refusal, or other specific phobias. In these groups, children/teens learn ways to cope effectively with their anxieties, while parents learn ways to best support their children in facing their fears.

Collaborative Coping Group for children 8 to 12 years old

The Collaborative Coping Group is for kids with behavioral difficulties such as not following directions, tantrums and aggression. Patients typically have a disruptive behavior disorder diagnosis and/or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Both child and parent participation is required. In the child group, children learn skills to manage anger and regulate negative emotions through relaxation, problem solving and communication. In the parent group, parents are taught behavioral strategies and communication skills to reduce their child's emotional dysregulation and behavioral difficulties.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Group for teens 13 to 17 years old

The Depressed/Bipolar Dysregulated Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Group provides treatment for adolescents with mood difficulties such as depression or bipolar disorder. Teens and parents learn coping skills to regulate their emotions, tolerate distress, engage with others effectively, be mindful, and use relaxation strategies.

Positive Peer Interaction Group for children 8 to 12 years old

This group is for children who struggle with reading social cues, resolving conflict and sustaining meaningful relationships with peers. The focus of the 10-week course is to help kids reduce social anxiety so they can engage in age-appropriate activities. In addition to learning flexibility, kids work on tolerating frustration and working through conflict.

Positive Peer Interaction Group for teens 13 to 17 years old

This group is for teens who experience difficulties with peers and effective social communication. Teens will gain awareness of how their thoughts and anxieties limit their engagement in social situations, while also learning strategies to interact more effectively with peers. The focus is divided between building healthy relationships and learning how to manage conflict. Participants also learn how to apply these skills in the community by practicing in several sessions out in public.

Intensive Outpatient Program for Anxiety for children 12 to 18 years old

We accept referrals for this 6-week evidence-based program focused on improving the lives of teens experiencing significant difficulties with anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). This program is suited for teens experiencing high levels of impairment due to their anxiety disorder, but not those experiencing trauma related anxiety. This teen- and parent-focused group meets three times a week with teens only in one group per week and an option for consultation with a psychiatrist. All meetings take place in our hospital on Anschutz Medical Campus. Referring physicians or interested families can call our intake coordinator at 720-777-2735.

Mindful Coping Group for children 8 to 12 years old

This curriculum-based program serves children who struggle with regulating their emotions. Kids learn coping strategies focused on improving emotion awareness and regulation, problem solving, interacting effectively with others, yoga and relaxation.

Parenting Group for Children with Behavioral Challenges; parents of children 3 to 7 years old

The Parenting Group for Children with Behavioral Challenges (BPG) is a group-based program that helps parents of younger children manage challenging behaviors such as not listening, acting out or temper tantrums. This program is for parents only, lasts 6 weeks and offers admission as we have availability. Parents learn about strategies that promote positive behaviors and decrease misbehavior. Additionally, a key component of the group is allowing parents managing similar behaviors to connect. This connection helps parents feel less isolated and reduces parenting stress.

Why choose group therapy at Children's Hospital Colorado?

Children's Colorado is the only hospital in the region that provides a full range of therapeutic services for children and teens who are experiencing emotional and behavioral difficulties. Our pediatric mental health providers are national experts in the field of mental health and are committed to providing therapeutic services that are evidence-based and family-centered.

Learn more about our mental health services.