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

Second Session

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.

Group Counseling Design – Adults with a Substance Abuse Condition

Group Selection

The group approach to counseling with adults with a substance condition has been proven to be not only cost-effective, but also powerful and successful. The group approach gives members of the group an experience that cannot be replicated by individual counseling. One reason why group counseling is so effective is because of therapeutic forces, like the instillation of hope, altruism, universality, and group cohesiveness. Another reason why group modalities are effective is due to their success in treating conditions that are associated with addiction, like bipolar, depression, and anxiety. (Treatment, 2005

Population and Participant Number

The people considered as members for this group will include adults, male or female, with a substance condition. The only requirement for membership will be that the individuals are over the age of 18 and they have a substance condition. The type of individuals that will be attracted to this group will be of the middle to upper socioeconomic status, above average intelligence, and most will have at least some college education. For an ongoing group, eight members might be ideal. (Corey, Corey, & Corey, 2010). However, because it is an open group and members are welcome to join at anytime, the number of people in the group will range from six to ten at any given time.

Group Counseling – Adults with a Substance Abuse Condition

In this post I will discuss group counseling with regards to a group composed of adults with a substance condition. I will discuss the group type and where the members will come from. I will discuss why I chose to select the group that I did. I will discuss the member population type and number of participants in the group. I will also discuss the session structure and the goals of the group.

Group Type – Adults with a Substance Abuse Condition

            The group that I plan to facilitate will consist of adults with a substance abuse condition. The members of this group will typically be adults referred from treatment centers. After going to treatment for 30-120 days, group counseling will be the next step in the recovery process. An open group is one where new members are welcome to join at anytime. (Cherry, n.d.). It is best for a person with a substance condition to join a group immediately after being discharged from treatment. Since people are discharged from treatment centers everyday, this will be an open group. Also, having members of the group that are in different stages of recovery is a good thing. This allows people that are new in recovery to be exposed to people that have been clean and sober for a longer period of time. This will give them hope. (Cherry, n.d.) Members of the group will also be referred by transitional sober living facilities.