Group Design-Adults with a Substance Abuse Condition (cont’d)

Group Sessions and Phases

In this section of the paper, the writer will describe several group sessions. The first session is the beginning stage of the counseling group and includes an icebreaker exercise. The second session includes a dyad and moves into the working stage. The third and fourth sessions describe check-ins, problems that are uncovered during the check-ins, and rationale for how the problems were addressed. Finally, the transition to closure is described.

First Session

One of the goals of the initial meeting will be further screening of the members. Further screening of group members will include additional assessment of each member’s readiness for the group experience, confirmation that each member wants to stay clean and sober, confirmation that each member is not suicidal, homicidal, or full of rage, and to determine if each member a good “fit” in the group (Berg, Landreth, & Fall, 2013).

The first part of the initial session will be to establish the rules of the group. The rules of the group are as follows:

  1. Attend sessions regularly and be on time. There will be three 3-hour sessions per week. I will be respectful of their time and start and finish on time. My expectation is that the members reciprocate.
  2. Make a commitment to complete sixteen weeks with the group. Sixteen weeks gives the group sufficient time for the group to form cohesion and for trusting relationships to form (Corey, Corey, & Corey, 2010).
  3. Maintain confidentiality. Maintaining confidentiality is imperative to the development of the group. Each member must understand and be on board with the importance of keeping discussions of the group confidential. Discussing what happens in the sessions to other people outside of the sessions is discouraged and talking about group members to non-members is strictly prohibited. This gives members peace of mind and it builds trust amongst the group members (Berg, Landreth, & Fall, 2013).
  4. Listen attentively to other group members. Each member is expected to listen attentively while the focus is on other members of the group.
  5. Be open, honest, and clear when discussing issues. Each member of the group can only expect to get out of the group what he is willing to invest. The group is most likely to develop the strongest if the members of the group are willing to be open, honest, and clear when discussing issues (Berg, Landreth, & Fall, 2013).
  6. Set concrete goals for personal development. The members of the group will see a greater benefit from the group experience if they are actively seeking positive change. Putting goals down on paper dramatically increases the odds of obtaining the desired result (Berg, Landreth, & Fall, 2013).

The ice-breaker activity that will be used is called Two Truths and a Lie. Each member of the group will write down two truths and one lie about themselves. When it is each member’s turn, they will tell the group all three and the group has to guess which one is the lie. This is a fun way to break the ice and for the members of the group to get to know each other. This exercise gives the members the opportunity to start connecting and for trust to start being formed.

It is important for the group leader to understand how the members of the group are feeling at all times. This is the best way for to stay on the same page. Therefore, the members of the group will then be given an opportunity to express their fears and their expectations of the group. The fears and expectations will be addressed appropriately prior to closing the first session.