Because the group will composed of recently clean and sober adults, it is going to take more than one full session for the level of trust and comfort to be at a place where productive group work will take place (Jacobs, Masson, Harvill, & Schimmel, 2011). During the first part of the second session, the beginning stage will come to an end as the trust and foundation of the group are still being formed. An activity designed for the members to get to know each other individually will be next. The group will break up into dyads, and select a new partner every 10 minutes. Questions asked of each member will include:
- Why do you want to be clean and sober?
- What do you expect to get out of the group counseling experience?
- What is your biggest fear about the group counseling process?
- What is your level of trust in the group? What is contributing to your trust or mistrust?
During this session, one of the members, John stated: “I am uncomfortable being with groups and I really do not want to be here.”
In response to this statement, this writer herein described as Group Leader stated: “John, tell me more about why you are uncomfortable being with a group?”
John: “I do not know the other members of this group. Why would I want to open up and share with complete strangers?”
Group Leader: “If you got to know the other members of the group, would you feel comfortable being in this group and would you want to be here?”
John: “I guess so.”
Group Leader: “Does anyone else have anything to say to John?”
Jackie: “You and I have had several conversations and I feel comfortable opening up to you. I have learned from you and I think that you are an important member of this group.”
Michelle: “I think that you are an important member of this group and I too am glad that you are here.”
Group Leader: “What do you think about that John?”
John: “Wow, I had no clue. Knowing that other members of the group like me makes me feel more comfortable already.”
It is important here to get John to open up and express how he is feeling and what he is thinking. This will promote group cohesion and trust will start to be established if the facilitator can get him to share (Corey, Corey, & Corey, 2010). Getting other members of the group involved in the discussion helps John see that he is an important part of the group and it makes him feel more comfortable.
Checking in with all of the group members closes the session.