Assignment: Analyzing Group Techniques
Group therapy can alleviate feelings of isolation and foster a supportive and collaborative environment for sharing difficult feelings in order to facilitate healing. For many people, being part of a group that has a shared understanding of a struggle provides a unique opportunity to gain an understanding of their own experiences.
As you examine one of the group therapy demonstrations from this week’s Learning Resources, consider the role and efficacy of the leader and the reasons that specific therapeutic techniques were selected.
Select one of the group therapy video demonstrations from this week’s required media Learning Resources.
In a 3- to 4-page paper, identify the video you selected and address the following:
- What group therapy techniques were demonstrated? How well do you believe these techniques were demonstrated?
- What evidence from the literature supports the techniques demonstrated?
- What did you notice that the therapist did well?
- Explain something that you would have handled differently.
- What is an insight that you gained from watching the therapist handle the group therapy?
Now imagine you are leading your own group session.
- How would you go about handling a difficult situation with a disruptive group member? How would you elicit participation in your group?
- What would you anticipate finding in the different phases of group therapy?
- What do you see as the benefits and challenges of group therapy?
Support your reasoning with at least three peer-reviewed, evidence-based sources, and explain why each of your supporting sources is considered scholarly. Attach the PDFs of your sources.
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Assignment: Analyzing Group Techniques
Group therapies alleviate isolation feelings and enhance a supportive and collaborative environment that allows members to share difficult feelings to attain healing. Group therapy is a form of counseling effective for treating psychological disorders that include substance abuse and addiction. The purpose of this assignment is to analyze group therapy techniques. The selected group therapy video is by the Center for Addiction Treatment Studies that focus on Interpersonal Group Therapy for Addiction Recovery.
Demonstrated Group Therapy Techniques& Evidence from Literature
Addiction is a complicated disease that affects many areas of an individual’s life. Studies show that group therapy is an approach shown to be effective in treating substance use disorders, especially with a view of preventing potential relapses among clients. Group therapy is a powerful component of addiction recovery as connecting with peers suffering from similar challenges assists in reducing the shame and isolation that accompany addiction. The approach also reminds one that they are not alone in their struggles. Therefore, group therapy offers a safe place for the addiction recovery victims to be vulnerable and share all their worries, discomforts, and shame, as demonstrated in the video by Jimmy.
The video demonstrates a host of interpersonal group therapy techniques like vulnerability and shame that Jimmy, the supportive and collaborative approach that members of the group show to him, and the non-interference role in sharing that the therapist plays. These techniques are essential in interpersonal group therapy as they allow members to share their secrets and gain trust and confidence in the group. Jimmy makes disclosures about how he started using drugs. This happens when a group has sufficient cohesiveness and readiness by the individual to reveal. Disclosures like Jimmy’s should never be forced, especially by the therapist. Disclosures show trust in the group and take risks by members to reveal their past secrets.
Evidence from existing literature supports the interpersonal group techniques noticed in the video. Firstly, the commentary by Devin Ashwood, an interpersonal group therapy teacher, supports the techniques as he asserts that interpersonal group therapies offer benefits like enhanced trust and the ability to make disclosures. However, they also show that members can be vulnerable and at risk of sharing personal information. Dingle et al. (2017) show that interpersonal group therapies can enhance emotional regulations and allow participants to feel more comfortable. The study observes that people suffering from substance use disorder (SUD) have difficulties expressing their emotions’ awareness, feelings, and regulations. As a scholarly source, the article shows evidence of the benefits of using group therapies based on its research findings. The implication is that these people require interventions that can help them deal with challenges associated with addiction recovery.
Therapists can also find challenges dealing with the management of complicated group matter due to their limited experiences and training and over-dependence on educational groups (Mahon & Leszcz, 2017). The other technique in the video and supported by literature is the interpersonal group therapy process stages that include here-and-now, and formation of genuine interpersonal and genuine relationships occurs. Another source of evidence is the Niedermoser et al. (2020) study that focuses on the benefits of interpersonal group psychotherapy among individuals with major depressive disorders. The study shows that these therapies enhance life at work for these individuals to perform better in their lives.
Therapist Doing Well
Interpersonal group therapies focus on members of the group and their abilities to interact with each other well. One notices that the therapist does well not interfere in the discussion. The therapist does not offer any opinion but allows the group members to offer potential solutions to Jimmy based on their past and using the interpersonal group therapy stages.
Doing Something Differently
Therapists offering counsel, especially for addiction recovery, need sufficient skills, knowledge, and experience to control the process effectively. As illustrated, group therapies focus on clients and how they can attain more trust and confidence to share their challenges and past experiences dealing with their conditions. Based on the video, I would do differently to ensure that all members can participate in giving Jimmy their trust to improve cohesion in the group.
Insight Gained on Handling of Group Therapy
Handling group therapy requires a therapist to know the kind of therapy they will use to encourage members to participate and feel confident and comfortable, especially cohesion among them. A core insight attained from watching the therapist handle the therapy is that allowing members to share their experiences and difficulties without interference is important. The approach is essential in attaining each stage of the group therapy, right from here-and-now to more complex, difficult dynamics that need more attention.
Leading a Group Session
Leading group therapy sessions, especially using the interpersonal group approach, requires a therapist to have sufficient experience and skills to handle the complex nature of these settings. Handling a difficult situation with a disruptive member of the group requires one to incorporate a collaborative approach where all members share their sentiments on such conduct and implore the perpetrator to focus on the main goals of the therapy. Further, a therapist can elicit participation by handling the group as one of the members and not questioning responses.
Different phases of interpersonal group therapy lead to in-depth findings and the development of trust. Therefore, I anticipate that group members will gain more trust, share their experiences, and benefit from the vulnerabilities that they have through the disclosures of others.
Benefits and Challenges of Group Therapy
Group therapy provides several benefits that include increased awareness, participation, and sharing of vulnerabilities. The therapy also allows clients to make fundamental disclosures to their overall good (Mahon & Leszcz, 2017). However, discomfort in the early stages, development of trust, and feelings of shame are challenges that make the therapy difficult to use. Difficulties in facilitation are evident, as demonstrated by the article by Wendt & Gone (2018), who assert that complex dynamics are a significant challenge to these therapies. Individuals are afraid of making disclosures of their past secrets to attain recovery or healing.
The use of interpersonal group therapy among individuals recovering from drug addiction is effective as it allows them to share experiences and enhance trust. Therapists can only guide the process but not control it. Despite these therapies’ challenges, they contain several benefits for clients and practitioners.
Center for Addiction Treatment Studies (2016). Interpersonal Group Therapy for Addiction
Dingle, G. A., Neves, D. D. C., Alhadad, S. S., & Hides, L. (2018). Individual and interpersonal
emotion regulation among adults with substance use disorders and matched controls. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 57(2), 186-202. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjc.12168
Mahon, L., & Leszcz, M. (2017). The interpersonal model of group psychotherapy. International
Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup1), S121-S130. https://doi.org/10.1080/00207284.2016.1218286
Niedermoser, D. W., Kalak, N., Kiyhankhadiv, A., Brand, S., Walter, C., Schweinfurth, N., &
Lang, U. E. (2020). Workplace-related interpersonal group psychotherapy to improve life at work in individuals with major depressive disorders: a randomized interventional pilot study. Frontiers in psychiatry, 11, 168.https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00168
Wendt, D. C., & Gone, J. P. (2018). Complexities with group therapy facilitation in substance
use disorder specialty treatment settings. Journal of substance abuse treatment, 88, 9-17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2018.02.002