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Group therapy

Empathy, encouragement, insight, information, camaraderie, and community: groups offer all this and more. Groups can relieve feelings of isolation and provide essential support as you confront personal challenges and make life changes.

Groups at Summit Psychological Services (SPS) are open to all. You don't need to be in therapy at SPS—or anywhere else. Of course, any SPS therapist or non-SPS therapist may refer you to one of our groups.

Adult Groups

  • Adult Psychotherapy Group

    This group is open to adults working on personal growth and development. This shared goal creates a space of empathy, honesty, and support. Frequent themes include coping with stress, communicating with others, nurturing relationships, improving work satisfaction, achieving goals, and fulfilling dreams. The group focuses on replacing self-defeating patterns with healthier alternatives.

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  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Group

    Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is taught worldwide and was featured on the PBS special Healing and the Mind. MBSR was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, author of the bestselling books Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness and Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life.

    MBSR teaches mindfulness meditation, mindfulness yoga, and mindful living. The majority of graduates report lasting benefits: less pain, greater ability to cope with pain and stress, greater ability to relax, and more energy and optimism. Some say their life has been profoundly changed.

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  • Mindful Therapy Group

    Most of us live "in our heads": dwelling on the past, worrying about the future, judging situations, avoiding the "bad," pursuing the "good." Mindfulness is the opposite: being fully present in the moment and gently accepting all feelings and sensations. Practicing mindfulness can help you relax, focus, and cope more effectively with problems. It can help relieve depression, anxiety, and chronic pain, according to research.

    In the Mindful Therapy Group, you will learn how to accept your feelings without judgment, become alive in the present moment instead of existing on "auto-pilot," replace worry and avoidance with choice and possibility, and take action aligned with your values. As part of this training, you will learn how to meditate.

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  • Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention Group

    Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) is a novel treatment approach for people in recovery from addictive behaviors. Developed by the Addictive Behaviors Research Center at the University of Washington, it integrates mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral relapse prevention.

    MBRP develops mindful awareness of triggers, seemingly automatic habitual patterns, and other addictive traps. It cultivates the ability to pause, observe the present moment, recognize that you have choices, and respond more skillfully—in essence, to change your relationship to discomfort. These practices can help you free yourself from deeply ingrained, often catastrophic habits while nurturing nonjudgmental compassion for yourself.

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Teen and Children's Groups/Parent Workshops

  • Adolescent Psychotherapy Group

    Classes, career choices, identity, fitting in, body image, parents, friends, relationships, sex, drugs, alcohol, sexual orientation: the high school years can be filled with pressure, decisions, confusion, and self-doubt.

    If you often feel overwhelmed, angry, anxious, depressed, or out of control . . . if you frequently fight with your parents or friends . . . if you get into trouble . . . you may have thought of talking to someone. But whom?

    The Adolescent Psychotherapy Group is a safe place to start sorting everything out. First, you'll be with other high school kids who can relate to what you're going through. Second, everything you say in the group stays in the group, because members learn to respect each other's privacy (unlike in school and on Facebook, where gossip can spread in a heartbeat).

  • Eating Disorders Recovery Group

    Are you concerned about how much or how little you eat, your feelings toward food, or your eating habits? This group can help you free yourself from self-destructive eating behaviors such as bulimia, anorexia, and compulsive overeating—and replace them with healthier ways to cope with life. The group explores the emotional issues that "feed" disordered eating, and it focuses on self-esteem and self-care. It challenges myths about the "perfect" body, male and female stereotypes, nutrition, and society's pressure to be thin. If you're in individual therapy, this group plus your counseling can be a powerful combination.

    Parent workshops: A child's eating disorder affects, and is affected by, the entire family. SPS offers workshops for parents seeking information and support. 

  • CHANGE (Children Having a Novel Growing Experience)—Elementary School

    This innovative group helps children develop social skills and build self-esteem. With state-of-the-art behavior-modification training, kids learn new coping, problem-solving, and communication skills. Parents report that their children "graduate" from the group with improved self-esteem and confidence, as well as greater awareness of their emotions, behaviors, and communication styles. 

    CHANGE can benefit any child, including those with learning disabilities or ADD/ADHD and those in stressful situations (divorce, loss, illness, or a new school, for example).

    Parent workshop: CHANGE includes a one-day workshop for parents. You'll receive insightful guidance on setting healthy goals for your child, establishing appropriate rules and boundaries, and cultivating your child's self-esteem and potential.

  • Young Adult Alcohol and Drug Recovery Group (aka The Breakfast Club)

    Striking out on your own is challenging enough. If you're working toward recovery from alcohol or drug abuse and dependence, it's that much harder. How can you stay clean and sober on a college campus? How can you keep your focus on recovery—while managing to leave home, develop healthy relationships, and launch a career?

    The “Breakfast Club” welcomes young adults striving to create a sober and fulfilling life. Participants share their experiences, struggles, and successes in a safe, therapeutic setting that provides vital support. The group is open to any young adult committed to abstinence and recovery. Attendance at 12-step meetings is highly recommended (but not required).

  • CHANGE (Children Having a Novel Growing Experience)—Middle School

    This innovative group helps children navigate the often-turbulent middle school years. During this pivotal period, as bodies and brains develop and mature, emotional regulation can be tricky. Meanwhile, kids must manage the pressure to fit in and be popular; the pitfalls of social networking; their first romances (and breakups); and bullying, whether overt or subtle, offline or online. At the same time, they must balance the demands of school, friends, sports, and other extra-curricular activities.

    CHANGE—Middle School teaches new coping, problem-solving, and communication skills. It helps kids develop maturity, emotional centeredness, confidence, and a sense of self. Participants learn state-of-the-art behavior-modification techniques, social skills, mindfulness techniques, and positive psychology: an emotional toolkit they can call upon for the rest of their lives.

  • Young Teen Group

    The middle school years can be a time of tumultuous change, and a young teen's self-esteem can suffer. Pressure to fit in, increased academic demands, new sexual feelings, physiological changes, negative body image, and other issues can cause confusion, emotional swings, and distress. Conflicts with friends can lead to self-doubt and loneliness.

    But you're not alone! In the Young Teen Group, you can connect with other kids confronting similar challenges. You can share feelings of anxiety and depression, and talk about being overwhelmed by school, friendships, and family problems.

  • "Roaring Twenties" Young Adult Psychotherapy Group

    Economic challenges, a competitive job market, and societal expectations have left many 20-somethings feeling ill equipped to transition to adulthood. Some millennials feel isolated and alone as they launch the next chapter of their lives. Others resort to self-destructive behaviors to cope with the emotional ups and downs of striving to gain more independence. Many feel judged and criticized for “failure to launch.”

    If you relate to any of these struggles, the “Roaring Twenties” psychotherapy group welcomes you. It’s a safe and supportive place to work through issues including entering the work world, redefining family relationships, managing stress, transforming your identity, and handling intimacy. The group also focuses on your strengths and achievements, as well as steps you can take to achieve your goals and thrive. Its approach is positive and encouraging, and it can benefit young adults with and without mental health issues.

482 Springfield Avenue
P: (908) 273-5558
F: (908) 273-3355
94 Valley Road
P: (973) 857-8857
F: (908) 273-3355

Summit Psychological Services, P.A.
Jeffrey S. Kahn, PhD, CGP, DABPS, Managing Director
Alison W. Johnson, PsyD, Director