Quote from Delz
Thanks Hukilau. The latter you referred to is what I'm talking about. So yes, I am still interested to here further thoughts of yours.
One thing I didn't mention: The type of group you do depends somewhat on the functioning level of the group. With lower functioning groups it is best to do structured exercises. With higher functioning groups you can be more creative. These are sometimes called "Process Groups" because the real value in the group is the immediate interaction rather than a specific outcome.
I really urge you to get a copy of Yalom's book. (Make sure it's the Inpatient book, he wrote another one on standard group therapy and those ideas won't work as well.)
The less structured group still has a definite format.
(Hi, my name is John and this is group therapy. We will be here until 2:00.)
Explain the group, go over ground rules.
(To make the best use of our time I am going to have you help me decide what things we should talk about. I'd like to ask that only one person speak at a time. I hope that you will be able to stay for the whole group. If you must leave I'll ask that you don't come back for this session, to cut down on distractions for the rest of the group...and so on with whatever ground rules your unit has decided on.)
The go round. try not to take more than 10 minutes.
(I'd like to ask each of you what you want to get out of this group today. Andrew, will you start?)
This is the hardest part. You are trying to steer people toward something that others can provide feedback about. You have to guide and manipulate because they won't at first know what you're talking about. Here's an example.
"I want to find out how to make my family stop nagging me."
Can you think of a way the people in this group could help you work on that?
"Maybe they could give me some ideas."
Maybe they could, but that might be difficult since they don't know your family. Would it help if you learned some things about yourself so that you understood how your family reacts to you.?
"I don't know"
Would you be willing to try it?
Good. We're not going to do it yet. We're going to go around and find out what others want to do in the group first, and then we'll come back and work on this with you.
Then on to the next person. If you are really struggling finding something for one pt., just move on. You only need one or two good openings to have a successful session. When you get back to the first person, ask for volunteers to tell him something about how he comes across to them.
There's a very
rough outline. These groups are hard work! But they are very satisfying when you see people learn something that is actually of some use to them and see them developing trust with other group members.
Don't worry if it feels awkward and the first couple of times don't seem to go well. You are still probably giving people more than they would get with the typical "talking" groups that pass some time but don't really accomplish anything.
There's a lot more. If you have specific questions about any part of this I'll try to answer them. But get that book!!