How to Make Group Therapy More Meaningful

group therapy

As one of the premier rehab centers in Utah, we strive to educate those around us on how to make the most out of their treatment. With the help of one of our seasoned group therapists, we have compiled a list of what one should and shouldn’t consider when participating in group therapy.

What to do: 

  1. Start the group process. Set an agenda of what you would like to work on in group by defining your concern(s) in here and now terms. Encourage group focus.  Be aware of how your issues are presented in the context of the group relationship.
  2. Be more trusting and trustworthy. You are trusting when you are willing to take a risk by opening up your true self to other people.  You are trustworthy when you make others feel safe to be vulnerable with the group.
  3. Express feelings, thoughts, fears, hopes, dreams, concerns, reservations, and expectations.
  4. Set personal goals.  Work on and process how you would like to move forward in your life; how you could become more productive and constructive.
  5. Be open to and ask for feedback non-defensively.
  6. Tell others what you heard them say and what you observed before you rush to giving them feedback and advice.
  7. Help other group members process new ways of coping with their thoughts, feelings, and urges.
  8. Ask other group members what they are presently thinking and feeling, what their urges are and how these affect their relationships.
  9. Ask for ideas, suggestions, facts, and clarification if you or others are confused.
  10. Summarize and clarify ideas, thoughts, feelings, and suggestions.
  11. Be willing to observe yourself and become more aware of your non-verbal behaviors, your feelings, and your thoughts.  Be aware of multiple emotions and thoughts and how they are impacting you in the present moment.  Observe what you are communicating with your non-verbal behaviors and what messages you are trying to send to others.  Be honest with yourself about what you are avoiding to express.  Be willing to share those things in group.

What to avoid:

  1. Distracting others.
  2. Appearing or being disinterested.
  3. Being negative.
  4. Calling attention to yourself by boasting, telling war stories, or entertaining.
  5. Downgrading others or their contributions.
  6. Pulling into your shell, not taking an active role.
  7. Making irrelevant comments.

Group therapy has been shown to be one of the most effective forms of therapeutic treatment. Implementing these suggestions can allow you to take even more from the experience.