Resilience Builder Program | Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy | MedStar Health

Resilience Builder Program Group is a group therapy based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that seeks to provide patients enhanced social competence and self-regulation. This group is ideal for kids with a variety of diagnoses who want to develop social skills, coping skills, and flexibility in thinking.  The group setting allows for real time feedback as well as opportunities to practice skills with peers.

Who can participate?

Resilience Builder Program Group Therapy is designed for children and adolescents ages 7-14 (3rd - 8th grade). Groups are typically three to eight kids.

Session information

Resilience Builder Program Group Therapy is offered in the fall and spring. Sessions last for 12-15 weeks.


Participants and their families are invited in for a group intake appointment during which the clinician can learn about your child and his/her goals and make sure the group is an appropriate fit for him/her.

NPR's radio show "All Things Considered" did a story on a Resilience Builder Group being run in a school in Silver Spring, MD. While the group featured in the NPR story was not run by a MedStar Georgetown clinician, it still provides great information about the benefits of group therapy for kids.

More about resilience builder group therapy

Children’s social competence can be impacted greatly by one or several factors.  Our groups help children identify what they do well and build on their social strengths. All groups are led by experienced licensed psychologists and clinical social workers. There are five components to our group process:

  • Interactive Didactic: Specific resilience, leadership, and social competence skills are focused on each week using discussion, role plays, puppets, or other age-appropriate techniques for emphasis. Topics we have covered include: personal space awareness, anger/anxiety management, self-regulation, taking turns, starting and maintaining conversations, intention and impact of behavior, etc.

  • Free Play/ Behavioral Rehearsal: Children practice friendship skills with other kids through play in group with the group leader available to coach them through specific struggles that arise and praise the use of skills taught.

  • Relaxation/Self-Regulation Techniques: Therapists help children increase awareness of the connection between body, emotions, and feelings through calm breathing, visualization, mindfulness, progressive muscle relaxation, music, or yoga.

  • Generalization: Resilience Builder homework assignments and sportsmanship activities are utilized to reinforce the positive gains seen in the group therapy setting and expand them to use in the world outside of group.

  • Parents as Active Partners: Therapists are continually informing, encouraging, and assisting parents. Each week parents are given information about the specific social skill the group is addressing, ideas to encourage and foster development, and recommendations for additional readings.

For more information and to sign up, contact the Intake Line at 202-944-5426.

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