Experience with Kaiser Teen Anxiety Group?

I have a kid who is struggling with anxiety. They already have an individual (non-Kaiser) therapist they see once a week, but anxiety is such a beast, and I’d like to find them more support.

My past experience with Kaiser mental health services has been pretty awful for individual counseling, but I’ve heard they do better with groups. Anyone have experience with the following?

Teen Anxiety Group
Group Description:
Group for teens focusing on support and coping skills for social anxiety, generalized anxiety, and panic. CBT strategies to identify work on thought-changing and exposure strategies.

We have a referral to the group from a clinician at Kaiser. I was hoping they would have more to offer but that’s all they suggested, besides medication (which my kid is adamantly opposed to at this time).

Parent Replies

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I think it's very specific to your child's form of anxiety, the provider running the group, and the mix of other teens (which in our experience when my kid did the children's anxiety group at KP Richmond was not curated). I was very unhappy with what I saw of the provider running the group (for kids, they have parents come in the last 10 minutes, probably not the case for teens), who was an MD/psychiatrist, and I felt like the other kids' anxieties were manifesting more severely than my child's - which obviously I felt like was severe enough to sign them up for the group. So I was concerned about transference. But, this is all maybe not relevant for a teen, perhaps depending on if they are 13 or 18. It's really worth a discussion with your teen to gauge how much they want to do it, as opposed to making a decision for a child; and I would also involve their individual therapist in the discussion.

Just FYI, in the past I was unable to get regular individual counseling at Kaiser, but recently I was. I think they were sued, or maybe because the clinicians went or strike, or I don’t know, but I jumped through all their hoops and I got 12 weeks of individual zoom counseling with an option to extend (by jumping through more hoops). Not enough, I know, but it was helpful for me. They farmed me out to a  CBT community program. So if you are interested in individual counseling, it may be worth it to try again. 

I don’t have experience with the teen group - but I was part of a KP adult anxiety group that ended up being a lot more helpful than I anticipated. A lot probably depends on the facilitator and the the other group members. But I enjoyed my facilitators and found it really helpful to hear from other people who were having issues similar to mine. I even made a few friends and we supported each other outside of group. Also, If your teen starts the group and doesn’t like it after a sessions or two, they could always quit.