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15 Effective Therapy Activities for Teens

female therapist explaining 15 effective therapy activities for teens to a teenage patient

Teen treatment programs are designed to address common mental health concerns teenagers face and provide healing through therapy with counselors, peers, and family members. When teens learn that therapy can be fun and empowering, their mental health is strengthened for years to come.

For more information on the teen treatment programs at Imagine Boise, call 888.597.2807 today.

How Activities Strengthen Teen Therapy

For most people, the word “therapy” conjures images of sitting alone in a therapist’s office talking about personal issues. While talk sessions have many benefits during mental health treatment, much more goes into an effective teen treatment program.
Fun activities make therapy more interesting and more effective as well. Here are 15 activities for teens in therapy designed to help them gain insight and strengthen mental health – and have fun while doing it.

15 Therapy Activities for Teens

Below, you’ll find 15 of the most effective activities for teens in therapy. These activities are proven methods of helping teens gain increased self-awareness, stronger relationships, and more effective coping skills.

1. Letter to Yourself: Teens can write a letter from their current self to their past self or from the perspective of their future self to their current self.

2. Life Timeline: Teens can make connections between significant life events and how they impacted their mental and emotional health.

3. Gratitude List: Challenge teens to list 100 things they’re grateful for. Taking the time to practice gratitude has a direct impact on reducing stress and feeling happier.

4. Personal Collage: Using a magazine, cut and paste together a collage that expresses thoughts and feelings.

5. Worry Journal: Having a place to put thoughts and feelings of worry, anxiety, fear, and frustration can help a teen get in the habit of identifying these feelings by expressing them instead of bottling them up.

6. Two Truths and a Lie: This simple party game is also one of the most popular ​​group therapy activities for teens. It’s a great way to build connections and help teens learn more about their treatment group peers.

7. Drum Circle: When teens work together to wordlessly create and sustain a rhythm, they learn the power of teamwork and see that each participant meaningfully contributes to the whole.

8. Spot the Strength: Each teen in the group shares a positive personal story, and the others take turns identifying something positive about the speaker they learned from the story.

9. Candy Game: Each teen chooses a candy from a bag and talks about a time they felt the feeling that corresponds with the color of that candy. For example, red is anger, yellow is happy, etc.

10. Human Knot: Teens in a group session stand in a circle. Each joins hands with someone across from them. The goal is to untangle the knot without releasing hands.

11. My Happiest Memory: This charades-style game consists of family members silently acting out their favorite family memory.

12. Enactment: Family members reenact a typical family argument. With therapist guidance, participants can gain insight into how to reduce family conflict.

13. Emotions Ball: Write different emotions on a beach ball and take turns tossing it to family members. Each participant shares a memory of a time they experienced the emotion facing them.

14. Miracle Question: Family members take turns identifying how their lives would change if a miracle occurred in their sleep.

15. Family Questions: Each family member answers a question about themself and then guesses how their other family members will answer.

Different Therapies Bring Different Results

Individual, group, and family therapies all achieve different treatment outcomes.
Individual activities help teens learn more about themselves and their relationship with mental health. Group activities are a powerful way for teens to build meaningful connections with peers experiencing similar mental health challenges. Strengthening family connections is an essential part of any teen mental health treatment program.

Teen Therapy at Imagine Boise

Imagine Boise offers outpatient treatment programs for teens aged 12-17. We work with teens and their families to provide guidance and tools for understanding and healing common mental health concerns.

For more information, call 888.597.2807 today and ask about the teen therapy programs available at Imagine Boise.